Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Greetings from the land of the midnight sun!

Hey ALL! I have been meaning to write an update as the first visiting athlete of the first year of the Whitehorse training center for a while, but with all that has been going on up here, here I am with over a month pasted and just writing this! What a month it has been! What they say about people coming up north and never wanting to go home is certainly true. Up here I have gone on my first mountain bike ride… on the edge of an earth embankment that went directly into the Yukon River after about 60ft…a little nerve racking at first. I also have gotten in some skiing (in t-shirts no less!), road biking (first time out we biked from Skagway (elevation 15ft) over the ‘summit’ (elevation 3292ft) BIG HILL!), lots of swimming in ice cold waters, hiking, trail runs and OH YEA OOODLES OF ORIENTEERING!

There are organized training sessions four times a week doing everything from intensity to VERY technical training exercises. The coaches up here Brent, Afen and Ross always come up with some kind of exercise to keep us coming back day after day! I have also become involved in volunteering as a coach while I’m here. So I also coach younger kids four times a week. Coaching plus training means a lot of new maps! It was a bit of a shock to my system when I first arrived to suddenly have a couple new orienteering maps on a daily basis. It was also a shock (a wonderful one) to have people to train with again. I still remember the feeling of my first sprint training session with the team. It involved pie plates being dropped as controls and the last person picking it up (a self cleaning orienteering route!). I couldn’t stop smiling at the end of the night. It was so encouraging to have other people to push you harder and just to hang around.

After about two weeks of unemployment I got two jobs in the same day, but don’t fret it’s not like I am over worked as I still work only about 20 hours a week. The first job I got through the help of Leo the dad of the family I am billeting with and it is bussing once a week at a local truck stop called Trails North. The second job that I work at during the week is at the local knitting store called Knit Now. Both have been very accommodating to my desire to not work a lot… just enough to pay for gas so that I can drive to my adventures! The long and short of it is I am truly living the life; I eat, sleep, train, occasionally knit J and clean some tables. I can’t believe that I lucked out and this was the year that the Whitehorse training center started! Anyone who was thinking about coming up to COC’s and is still undecided, stop thinking and come! I unfortunately I have to face reality and go back to Kelowna and do my nursing practicum and will not be able to make it BUT I have pre run some of the courses and although sworn to secrecy I can still tell you it will be a blast!

First year HPP member -Tori Owen

(oh and as school is out my academic brain has gone into hibernate so please excuse the writing mistakes!)