Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy back to school!

Hello everyone who reads the blog. I hope you are all having fabulous summers and for those of you who go to school I hope you are looking forward to that transition.

A few weeks ago I left Bend and all of the wonderfully fun, motivating, and supportive people who I have been lucky enough to spend the summer with there. Right to my departing moments, as Sonya chased down a bus to Portland with me and Becker made calls for me, I was reminded of how sweet it is to have such incredible teammates. After spending a week at home where I got to hang with the family, and train with the brother, I headed off to Ecuador.

I've been in Ecuador for about a week and a half now. I am living with an awesome family in Cumbayá which is right outside of Quito. Cumbayá is at 2,450 meters so I've been adjusting a bit to the slight change in altitude from what I'm used to back in Minnesota and Massachusetts. There are lots of volcanoes around here and I'm really looking forward to hiking up some of them (quite a few of them are over 5,800 meters, so tall!). One of the nearby volcanoes Cotopaxi, started spewing and doing other active volcano things last year, so during orientation we had to go through all these safety procedures just in case it erupts while we're at school. Also because of all the plates moving around there are often trembles here, there have been two or three since I've been here but I haven't felt them.

I have also been learning how to cook Ecuadorian food which I would love to share with the team when I see you all in Quebec if I can find the ingredients. Today was my first day of classes, I got some really cool notebooks with motorcycles and cars on them, so I felt ready!

There are lots of churches in Quito. This is a view from the top of one of them.

The valley you can see in this picture is Cumbayá where I live! I took the picture from El Parque Metropolitano which is a big park right in the city with lots of trails.

This is a volcano, what you see is a crater. Even though it is a little dangerous to live in a volcano crater, a lot of people live down there as you can see.

This is another volcano crater, but this one is filled with water.

To all of those who will soon be back at Williams, have a great start to the school year!

Much love,


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer Training Exclusive Update

At Long Last: Boys Came Back

One month ago on July 21st, there were two nordic skiers on the Williams campus: Perry "I hoe collards" Thomas and your author of this blog post.  Later that night, cruising in his prized -- if a little small and not quite as sexy as Joey's -- Tacoma pickup, Jordan Fields arrived. The next day, we spotted the cutest outdoor trip leader in the history of outdoor summer adventures, Luke Costley.  So, on Friday, July 22nd there were four.

Now fast forward one week. If you had been sitting in Tunnel City on Saturday Aug 30th at 9:30AM, you would have seen not just four, but a whole pack of Nordic skiers run by --  everyone looking toned, and most-everyone looking tanned.

We had called, and the alumni came home. Shout out to all the east-coast Nordic alumni that made the trip: Evan D, Nick, Phil, Ian, Casey, Isaac, Kalle, Vanya; also to current skiers, Evan C. and Jack. It was great to see our predecessors happy after college -- it gives us seniors hope -- and also back enjoying Williamstown.

When Joey and Evan came up, they went straight to the weight-room. On the left is picture of them (and Luke + Jordan) pretending to fly. On the right is Luke on the day after his return, poutier than ever.
Narrated by Kalle Jahn, this award-winning short documents the adventures of a few skiers on the Nordic boys team in their quest for gold.
But all that fun happened a month ago. Since then, I've finished my summer research at Williams and spent a week in Castine, ME -- a sleepy town, a little off the tourist track.  Here's a picture of Isaac '14 in the fort we made to hide from pirates. 
I'm looking forward to be back on campus, training with the team and meeting the new skier freshman. Rock the cow, stay uncomfortable, and stack skulls. Love, Eli.
P.S. Braden Becker mysteriously appeared on campus; he was spotted sitting on a wall eating a piece of a leaf.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Late July! August!

Hey team--

It's been a fantastic summer, I really cannot complain. My bike trip was dope: we had the perfect day to cross the Golden Gate Bridge after four weeks of UNREAL biking. 

I was excited though to get back home because Eli and Jordan were in town and we capitalized on the coincidence by inviting all our former and current New England-based teammates to come hang out. See Jay's post below for photo evidence of the reunion of sorts that happened at the end of July. I believe Eli is working on a recap of the event -- it was awesome, I'll let him tell the rest.

Since then, I've been away with my family for some hiking in Austria. We found snow:

It hasn't actually always been sunny and warm. The first night coated the mountains above our town with fresh snow. And running intervals feel like fall training, but not in a bad, end-of-summer way.
Some big views:

We're here for a bit longer but only three weeks until our first practice together! See you all so soon.

P.S. Braden Becker and I now "Best Friends" on Snapchat and he's been asking for my opinion on footwear fashion. Big strides for our friendship!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bendventures with Sonya!!

Hi friends!

First off, don't worry, Alaska is still absolutely stunning and will always have my heart.

Hiking with dad <3

However, while I was home (in Anchorage) briefly, I made my way back to Bend (which is awesome in its own regard, of course) soon enough and was lucky enough to get a ride back to the farm house with the one and only Sonya Jampel. We then spent a beautiful few days together, as documented below.

Taking a quick break from cliff jumping.

Meeting some really friendly locals.

Casual afternoon caving sesh.

Eloquent public speaker/famous champion of human rights and also Mr. Trump.

As you might have guessed, we also did a fair bit of training, along with Carmen and Sarah and a bunch of other Bendites. It's been super awesome to practice with Williams teammates alongside many other collegiate and elite athletes from all over the country. One of our coaches out here, Bernie Nelson, has reminded us again and again how great it is that so many of the Williams girls were able to get together and train over the summer and urged us to continue to work together throughout the entire season.

I can't tell you how stoked I am to do just that. The energy, enthusiasm, and support this team has shown has absolutely been the best part of my college career so far, and having a bit of that over the summer is going to give the Williams women that much more of an edge, I just know it.

Thanks for reading, everybody, and I'll see you on campus in just a few short weeks! :)


Sunday, July 31, 2016

"I get up early so that the world belongs to me."

I recently finished reading the book, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. It's a mystery novel written by a Swiss author, Joel Dicker, that has been translated into many different languages and was named the #1 international bestseller in 2015. It takes place in Somerset, NH, and tells the story of an up and coming author and his well known literary mentor. It's detailed, fast paced, and woven into the primary storyline are short pieces of advice, usually in the context of writing, boxing or running (a few of the main character's pastimes). One of which was, "I get up early so that the world belongs to me."

Last week, Hannah Benson checked in with the women's team and asked us to share our goals for the upcoming month. She reminded us (although it's hard to believe) that the school semester AND ski season are quickly approaching. While I haven't had the day to day presence of teammates like the Bend Crew, it was both encouraging and motivating to hear what each person had chosen to focus on-- many of which were measurable process goals. One of my goals was to not let the weather dictate my training, or in other words not allow myself to use the weather as any type of excuse for not completing my training. New York has been HOT. As someone who could live in 65ºF and below, usually I quietly suffer though the inevitable couple of weeks at the end of July when it's nothing but hot and sticky, reaching disappointing lows of 72ºF and super sunny highs around 90ºF. It's a tough two weeks for training, but soon it passes and the first signs of crisper fall mornings are on their way. Not this summer. Ever since the start of June, it's been hot. So, while I've been doing my best for most of the summer to not let this disrupt my training plans, Hannah's prompt has given me a concrete focus throughout August. Whether it's better hydration, shadier trails, or earlier mornings, there's a way to get in the work without letting the weather be an excuse. So, back to the book... when I came across that line, it seemed like the perfect thing to remember, "I get up early so that the world belongs to me."

In other news, I've been spending a lot of time up at our family cabin in the Adirondacks-- swimming, running, card games, campfires, the works. Maile Sapp, who skis for Harvard, also has a camp on our lake so we've spent some time catching up about skiing, new teammates and our hopes for mountains of snow next year.

This past week, my youngest brother, Jude, had a hockey camp at Providence College. While he was there, the rest of my family got to explore the surrounding area and visited beaches, local bookstores, tried Rhode Island's famous frozen lemonade, ran in a few state parks, and spent a lot of hours packed into a mini-van.

A cove near Ft. Whetherill where my dad went scuba diving.
Our golden retriever, Toffee, soaking up some sun on our camp dock.
My brother, Gabriel, giving the thumbs up near the Beavertail Lighthouse (RI).
I'll be at school in a few, short weeks and am very excited to be back with the team. Keep up the great work!

Until then, stay cool!