Well, here I am in Lake Placid once again for the Skeleton Sliding School, a beginning training camp for those interested in pursuing the sport.
I arrived on Sunday evening after taking a flight from Baltimore to Albany. The ride from Albany was a little long, but not as long as the last time when I drove all the way up from Virginia. Close to the town, I started to see a sprinkling of snow on the ground, which was nice to see, but still unexpected for someone who had just spent a summer of hot, humidity and a fall of beautiful weather in Virginia. We were also greeted by the site of the illuminated bobsled track on the side of Mt. Vanhoevenberg, a beautiful sight, that I will hopefully capture a picture of in the coming days.
We arrived just in time for dinner at the Olympic Training Center, where I would be staying for the next week. It was much more relaxing for me this time around, since I knew where things were, how things basically worked and wasn’t as terrified! After a leisurely dinner, I sat in the dining hall meeting new athletes/teammates who were attending the school as well. I also learned that the OTC rented out movies at the front desk, and they had a pretty good list too!
I met my roommate that night, a Canadian from Toronto named Maeve. She’s pretty awesome, eh?
Thanks to the snowy/rainy weather that night, the combine scheduled for that morning was pushed back a day. I started my training program today anyway, doing some squats, dips, bench press and DB walking lunges. Pretty good workout, considering it was my first true weight workout for a while.
Finally, that night was our first sliding day! We began by being fitted for our sleds and helmets, a pretty exciting event, since we were all pumped and nervous!
We did a track walk to check out the route. It was much more difficult this time since there was ice to walk on! We put on our spikes, but after walking half a mile on my toes (where the spikes are) my calves were killing!
We started from Start 4 at the Olympic Sliding Center, pictured below. Start 4 is just above Shady turn, shown below.
I can’t even tell you what sliding felt like. The first slide down was completely different than what I expected. It felt kind of like a roller coaster, without any straps or pads holding you in. It was pretty terrifying, but I wanted to go again. The second ride was so much more enjoyable, and the third was downright exhilarating. Going around the turns, you feel the G-Forces pushing your head down into the ice, and luckily, my helmet took the brunt of it.
What a wild experience! It’s crazy that I’m doing this, yet I feel so happy while I’m on the ice!
Below is a picture of me and Savannah, another of my skeleton teammates, outside of the starting house at start 4. To our left, you can faintly see the track curving into the background!