Our Canadian Women’s Ski Team is a truly incredible team. This team includes the athletes (and a few other ladies that will always be part of our Team), our coaches, our physio, our techs, our trainers, and all of the behind the scenes people that make this happen such as sponsors, presidents, board members, Alpine Canada employees, etc.
First of all, our coaches and technicians make our team run as a unit. My relationship with my coaches/technitions is an open dialogue. I can rely on them through thick and thin, skiing related or otherwise. I truly believe that they want what is best for us, even if it is not related to skiing. I had one coach come up to me after a particularly bad day and tell me, “Erin, you know that your skiing doesn’t define you. I know today wasn’t what you wanted, but we are proud of who you are and what you have become.”
Our physio is one of our greatest assets. She keeps us happy, healthy and mentally sounds. Not to mention that she is an absolutely fantastic driver, in some of the worst cars! And her yell out of the start has me pushing hard for the first gate. She knows exactly what we need, and goes out of her way to make it happen.
Now on to my teammates, my teammates are my extended family. They are adopted sisters, confidants, de-stressers and rocks. Most people would think that with a group of about 7 girls travelling together, training together, and living together this would be a recipe for disaster, and in the past I would have thought so to, however this is not the case. Every single person on our team brings our team something special, whether it is Britt the encourager,
Madi as our story teller,
Elli as our scholar,
Mikaela keeping us young,
MP giving us fashion advice,
or Mitch keeping us on our toes, making sure we are fired up and always ready to laugh.
I have never been on a team like this. Day after day I watch teammates put their needs aside to help one another. We are young, we are growing together, and as we build this fabulous castle of our careers, each team member acts as the foundation. No matter what this year bring, I know that we will get through it, because we are lucky, we have all we need, and together, we can conquer anything.
Living in Canmore
(I had to do my research for this one)
Mr Lawrence Grassi was an Italian man that moved to Canmore in 1912. Mr Grassi started working in the mines in Canmore, but also became well known for his skills as a climbing guide. It is said that on one of his tours a man broke his leg and Lawrence, who was small in stature, carried the man 2miles down the trail because he didn’t want to leave him behind.
Lawrence Grassi took it upon himself to set off into the woods with an axe on his shoulder to make trails. “…It was a labour of love. He loved the mountains but enjoyed having others share their beauty. So day by day he pushed through the bush discovering the best ways of approach -blazing a trail, cutting out the underbrush, grubbing out stones and rocks, bridging little mountain streams…
The world needs Grassis... men who will seek new paths; make the rough places smooth; bridge the chasms that now prevent human progress; point the way to higher levels and loftier achievements." -Dr. Woodsworth (www.peakfinder.com)
Now to the question of why I chose to spend my summers in Canmore. Well, the funny thing is that it wasn’t a choice… well not really. In February 2011, our coaches told us that we would now be required to move to Calgary or Canmore in the summers for the foreseeable future. To tell you the truth, I didn’t want to move. My friends and family were in Ontario, not to mention that I really didn’t have many funds to rent a place in Canmore, find a car, buy myself food, etc. I had lived at home my whole life, and I was being uprooted. My mom and I decided to drive across the country in a standard car, and I thought that stalling so many times that I missed a green light was proof that I really wasn’t prepared for what was in store for me that summer.
However, that was one of the best decisions that our coaches made. I was able to realize the importance of training and more specifically the importance of rest.
I was able to balance out my training, with having fun, resting, sleeping, eating the right foods, etc. Yet, even as I realized this, I didn’t realize the full extent that I would fall in love with Canmore.
Over the past few years Canmore had become our home away from home. I have met so many incredible people; hiking up some brilliant mountains; swam in some cold, yet inspiringly clear water; and rediscovered biking again. There are so many hidden gems by the three sisters, that I was able to discover because I had time during dryland or during my rest period; such as the standing wave at the Kananaskis river or the cliff to climb near Cougar Creek.
I told the girls the other day that I miss Canmore. I miss it because I know where to find things in Canmore, I have friends that I can call up to go for a coffee and Canmore is the place that our team truly came together.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any more questions.