Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cupcake Eater Turned Nordie

By: Matt Manwaring '21

Hi folks,

            My name is Matt Manwaring and I reside in the cow pastures of New Hampshire. Back in the homeland, I participated in soccer, skiing, and track. I could go on about life back in New Hampshire, but we will just skip ahead to the good stuff. At my high school, I currently hold the record for most Shaw’s cupcakes consumed in one school day with a grand total of 24. While I am on the topic of school records, I also hold the school record in the 4x800m relay for between the leg handoffs. Another proud accomplishment of mine is failing the driver’s test, because I stopped at a red light. Don’t worry, I did not sign up for the training to drive the team van. In my spare time, I practice being a crossing guard just in case college doesn’t quite workout for me. Perhaps the most important tidbit about me is that I am not a state champion, unlike our hometown girls’ soccer team. As for training with these fellow skiers up here in Canton, it has been absolutely surreal. There is a moment in every single workout where the realization that I am actually out training with some highly driven skiers occurs. There isn’t much more you can ask for besides that. Well, of course, besides these pictures of my accomplishments:

Matt M racing to gold

Monday, September 18, 2017

Over the Hill

Some people don't want to be over the hill. Understandably, as it usually means you're past your prime. However, as skiers we want to be over the hill (and onto the downhill!). I like to think of our periodized training as sort of like that as well. Having just finished out a couple week block of going hard up some hills and getting speedy, we are looking down onto a rest week!
Kate '20 and the fall foliage! (Emily '20 photo)

This past week was our second hard week in a row. Two weeks ago we got in a big volume week (see Dana's blog), and last week we dialed back the hours a bit but added in a couple good sets of intervals. Combined with school starting to ramp up with the first exams and assignments coming in, the annual SLU plague starting to hit in earnest, and trying to continue to get to know everyone, there has been a lot to do! I will be the first to say that I am exhausted and was maybe ready for my recovery week more than a couple days ago, but truly, I think the team has navigated the past week deftly. We got in some quality, focused training, but people weren't afraid to take it a little easier when things weren't going well.

The week was full of variety with AM strength (you know you'd think you might, but you never really do get used to trying to make your body do pull ups at 6:30 in the morning), some easy runs, easy rollerskis, moosehoofing and classic intervals, and an OD. Also, GAME DAY. I was away for part of this weekend, so I missed it, but I am told that we may have won or may have lost speedball (really some people might just be in denial...), but at least everyone learned the alpine team's names. The weather has switched from fall back to summer, so we have had variety with that as well. I personally, am waiting anxiously for fall to return.

Like with any week, we have had our share of triumphs and fiascos. Some triumphs were looking pro in great new SLUSKI shirts and shorts, getting out there to do some intervals, and celebrating Aliya and Kate's birthdays! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN :) Any day that has cake involved is a good day, especially when the people you're celebrating are so awesome. Perhaps even better than cake was the fact that we got the entire team at one Dana table (or a couple pushed together)! We are quite a large team these days, which is so cool to see. Some fiascos would have to be the Saturday evening ski Jackie and I did where we sat around for 90 min on the side of the road, because someone took our water belts that we left on the side of the road (maybe thought they were left behind?). Unfortunately, that was where we put the car keys... A huge thanks to the random strangers that lent us phones, parents for finding us rides, the Townsends, and Campus Safety and Security for picking us up!!! Everything is solved now. We also had a rather adventurous Sunday OD that accidentally had us going down a very large hill... Sorry guys! Clearly, it has been a while since we skied those roads last fall... In the end we walked down a little bit, and it was ok. I'd say it was a net triumph week on the whole, though. And we never fail to keep it interesting!

This was just a brief overview, but keep looking for updates from the freshmen.  They'll be introducing themselves on the blog in the coming weeks. I'm going to go work on recovery now that we are "over the hill", but thank you as always for reading the blog and following our lives!