On stressing less

Jessie talks about getting sick, finding the positive and learning from it! 

It’s always easy to be positive when things are going well, but what about when a wrench gets thrown into “the plan”? The last races of World Cup period 1, I traveled to La Clusaz feeling great and fully intending to do some awesome skate racing. Then I got the cold that made it’s way through our entire team (staff included) and wasn’t able to race at all, which was pretty heartbreaking as it was the first time I haven’t anchored the relay since World Champs 2011 and I absolutely live for relay days. I feel like it’s my part to play for the team and not being able to race my heart out for the team that I love made me feel like I wasn’t doing my job, wasn’t fulfilling my role. I felt horribly guilty for being sick and kept thinking “if only I’d washed my hands 31 times instead of only 30, I might have washed the germs off! If only I’d slept another hour…ate another orange to get more vitamin C…” but there’s nothing I could do, and I finally realized that the only way to get better was to let it go and not worry about the things that weren’t going to happen, and instead focus on the things I COULD do to get better!

The town of Saint Jean de Sixt where we stayed in France
The town of Saint Jean de Sixt where we stayed in France
The course on training day as the sun came up over the mountains!
The course on training day as the sun came up over the mountains!
Noah and JP testing out kick
Noah and JP testing out kick
Because it's France, the FIS family tent that serves athletes and staff lunch had wine out on the tables...in large juice pitchers. No shortages there! Andrew and Tim testing it out here.
Because it’s France, the FIS family tent that serves athletes and staff lunch had wine out on the tables…in large juice pitchers. No shortages there! Andrew and Tim testing it out here.

And you know what? The world didn’t implode, I didn’t die, and things moved along. The relay did great, and SMS team member Sophie scrambled for us. In the end, it was a good lesson that even when things don’t go as planned, it’s not the end of the world and things will get better. And things DID get better!

I traveled back to Davos with Liz and Noah where we lived in a little apartment in town and got to put up a Christmas tree, cook our own food (I was particularly thrilled about this) and generally feel more “normal” and at home than we would have in a hotel.

Dinner with Liz and Noah - it made me so happy to cook again!
Dinner with Liz and Noah – it made me so happy to cook again!
The three musketeers and their Happy-Hanukkah-Christmas tree! (photo from Noah)
The three musketeers and their Happy-Hanukkah-Christmas tree! (photo from Noah)
I had a really nice Skype with my family on Christmas!
I had a really nice Skype with my family on Christmas!

Although my training wasn’t perfect and definitely not what I had planned before getting sick, it was another reminder that even when things don’t go according to plan you can always make the best of it and find positives in every single workout! And yep, there were many moments where I doubted my fitness and had confidence struggles going into the Tour since I hadn’t raced in a while and didn’t know what would happen. But when I kept finding the good things in every practice session and focusing on all the things that went right, I was able to talk myself into a “can-do, go kick butt” attitude instead of a “I have no idea, let’s just see what happens” kind of attitude.

Doing some baking for a Holiday party with the Canadians! (photo from Liz)
Doing some baking for a Holiday party with the Canadians! (photo from Liz)
Enjoying my new relay-inspired socks from Podiumwear! Thanks guys!
Enjoying my new relay-inspired socks from Podiumwear! Thanks guys!
Getting over sickness takes time and patience, but a few easy hikes helped me feel like I was getting back into it!
Getting over sickness takes time and patience, but a few easy hikes helped me feel like I was getting back into it!
SUNSHINE! Happy to be super warm in the Swiss mountains!
SUNSHINE! Happy to be super warm in the Swiss mountains!
Davos does an incredible job with snow farming, and they created 10km of trails for us to train on.
Davos does an incredible job with snow farming, and they created 10km of trails for us to train on.

Now we’re in Val Mustair for the start of the Tour de Ski, and I’m so excited for another tour! I think it’s so exciting to race from day to day, getting to do what we love over and over again. It’s a high-energy, fast-paced way to live and you’re totally exhausted at the end, but that, too, is a great feeling of knowing you accomplished something incredibly difficult. I was really happy with my start to the tour yesterday in the skate sprints, making the final and finishing 6th on the day! (further proof to my skeptical mind that getting sick won’t derail my season). But even more exciting was that we had 4 girls qualify (Sophie, Me, Sadie and Kikkan) as well as Simi for the men, and everyone skied so well. It’s also so fun to have Sverre and Lilly Caldwell cheering us on at the tour – it’s like having our own SMS support crew! They have been amazing cheerleaders all winter long. Speaking of cheering, make sure to cheer loud for our SMS teammates at Nationals in Soldier Hollow this week!

-Jessie

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