Welcome to something I've been very excited about getting started on! Instead of clogging up my Facebook page with long essays, I decided a blog was a better place to organize all my thoughts, as well as share pictures, videos, and act as a general hub for all my social media. I'm excited to take you along on my journey for the upcoming 2016/2017 season!
For those of you who don't know, I have been in Montréal, Québec since the 29th of May, biking to a nearby gym four times a week in order to prepare for the 2016/2017 season. Today I head back home to Ontario. That means I will have stayed in Québec for 54 days.
54 days in a different province has been another step in my life that I never foresaw myself taking, but these past 2 months have had a huge impact on my outlook. I have been training 4 days a week in the gym, with sprint sessions and bike rides sprinkled here and there in an attempt to become more active, change my lifestyle, and hopefully improve my performance on snow.
Training at Spécifik Performance has been exhausting, inspiring, and exciting. Every day posed a new challenge, and every pound of weight I added on to the bar felt like my own personal medal to add to my collection. Pistol squats, one legged squats on the upside down bosu ball, bench presses, leg curls, pull ups, front squats, and back squats have been just a few of the exercises I worked on. Two days out of the week were group session with fellow alpine snowboarders, while one session would be with a different group of people. The last day was for one-on-one sessions.
Before this summer, working out wasn't at the forefront of my thoughts. This sounds blasphemous now, but let me attempt to explain:
Last season was a series of unexpected events, very few of which were unfortunate (I'm looking at you, US Nationals). Coming out of a very intense year of school that ran through the summer, snowboarding wasn't very high up on my priorities. The 2015/2016 season was supposed to be more of a training season where I would attempt to get as close to 100 days on snow as I could. However, after the first training camp in November set off the season in high gear, I found myself suddenly thrown into 5 months of intense races and travelling that I wasn't prepared for physically or mentally. Physical testing in May confirmed the already very apparent fact that I was definitely not in shape.
It was recommended that I spend two months in Québec, staying with a teammate and her family in order to be closer to the gym that I'd be training at. A perfect distance away, I tried to bike through rain or shine every day. The first week was, for lack of a better word, ROUGH. My legs have never been in so much pain. Even walking down the front steps of the house was difficult. One massage session later was all it took to reinvigorate me. I can't say that I wasn't sore after every session, but it was a good soreness - the kind that means my body has gotten stronger. This was, however, not the worst of the pain.
About 4 weeks ago, I ended up smashing my toe into the ground during a training session, resulting in my first real bruise that I can remember (I don't bruise like a peach, so this was a rarity). Shortly after that, I got a cold lasting over a week. It's safe to say that my luck nearing the end of my time here in Québec hasn't been the best, but pushing on through has felt extremely rewarding.
So what's next?
I leave for a month-long on-snow training camp in Chile on the 31st of July! My excitement to get back on snow has doubled after spending so much time in the gym. And this is only the beginning! I'm excited to see how two months in the gym translates to my riding.
I can't thank everyone who's helped me throughout the summer enough. From the trainers at the gym helping me figure out the terminology, to friends helping me do the math, to the enormous generosity of my family-away-from-home, I'm going to miss everyone!
Thanks for making Québec feel like home!