First-Day Jitters

It feels so good to be back in this environment. I can’t even tell you just how much it helps my drive just being here.

To begin the day, my roommates and I all woke up around 8am. Actually, I had been tossing and turning most of the night, and mainly between the hours of 5am and 8am. I think it has something to do with the fact that my bed here is not against the wall…which I might change since I’ll be here for a while.

We had breakfast in the cafeteria (when I say “we” from now on, I mean my fellow sliders. We tend to do things in a pack) after which I returned to my room with the USA Today. When I’m at the OTC, I read the paper! Actually, I browse the headlines, and then attempt (and fail) at the crossword before embarking on the sudoku.

A couple athletes had to head to the track in the morning to get their sleds, but since I had mine taken care of, I stayed at the OTC. Savannah and Charmaine got back from the track around 11, so we went to do our sprint workout shortly after.

I haven’t sprinted in close to a month, so I had a little bit of trouble adjusting. I didn’t warm up enough, so during the last sprint, felt my hamstring (the same one I pulled in the first combine) twinge a bit, so slowed down in the sprint and finished the workout at that. Nevertheless, I still sprinted well, and was glad I got it done.

After a bit of lunch, I headed out to town to look for a job. Since I only had a couple hours, I planned on looking into only a couple places and then returning tomorrow. I applied at the Courtyard Marriott, the Downtown Diner and asked at a couple other places, before I came across the Crown Plaza Resort and Golf Club of Lake Placid.

It was basically the quickest job I’ve ever gotten. I asked about an application, and as I was filling out said application, a manager came over and asked how long I’d be here. I told him until April 3, but it wasn’t until he gave me a look like “Oh, well, that’s too short” that I mentioned that I was an athlete at the Olympic Training Center, to which he replied, “Oh! You’re an athlete! Well, that’s different! We like to treat our athletes well here.”

So, I was brought in for an interview with the Food and Beverages dude within the next five minutes, filled out human resources stuff, and voila! Hired as a server for the breakfast shift! I start Thursday, and will work 6am-noon. I have no trouble waking up in the mornings, which the manager loved to hear (he was also impressed that I graduated from college).

With that HUGE weight lifted off my chest, I returned to the OTC, ate a little bit, and headed to the track with my roommate, Leisl. We both had to go early to pick up our runners from Don. Unfortunately, my runners weren’t with him, so I used a school sled for the night.

I think a lot of the development athletes had butterflies in their stomachs today, because it was the first day back. I certainly was very nervous most of the day, and had “game stomach” all night. The bathroom was overused by me alone I’m sure.

I have a very annoying habit of keeping my head and shoulders up as I am sliding. It’s something that I really need to work on if I’m going to get comfortable on the sled. The first run, wouldn’t you know it. My head was up the entire time. Oy.

It wasn’t until my third and final slide of the evening that I felt like my head was down more than 40% of the time. I know for sure it was down on Curves 1, 5-14, and 17-20. Which, I guess is more than 40% of the track (there are 20 curves on this one). My second run was my fastest start time (5.76) and my fastest downtime (1:04:something…not a fast track day for all since the ice was slow), but my third felt the best. Thus is the way in sliding!

I got a great kiss off of the Chicane during my first run. I actually skidded a LOT through my first run, and in doing so through the Chicane, I hit hard on my left side. I now have a rather tender left arm and lower leg. Again, such is the way with sliding.

I also got a little carsick on the van drive from the finish line back to the top of the track to get my stuff. It got worse on the drive back down to the bottom of the track (in those vans, the only thing you see is the way you just came, so you can’t see the road ahead). I got back to the OTC, lay down for a couple minutes before attempting dinner. The only thing that was remotely appetizing, surprisingly, was the herb-roasted trout that was one of the options.

I look forward to tomorrow! I have my first weight training workout here, which means REAL Olympic lifting for the first time since early December! I love lifting, and I love lifting with athletes who push me to lift my best.

I also look forward to using my own (my very own!) sled! I am using an old sled of a veteran athlete, Rebecca Sorensen. She said it was a great sled, so I’m happy about that. It’s weighted for me, and will be all set for me to slide on it tomorrow (skeleton gods willing!).

Oh! That reminds me. As I was getting my school sled to use for the evening, Don was checking my balance point (basically where my weight is on the sled) and as I say on the sled, he said, “Do you have ANY weight in your legs??” I couldn’t believe it. I looked back and, knowing full well that it was kind of odd to say, I replied, “Don, have you SEEN my ass?” He laughed and said that I was still top-heavy and I should work on that. Basically, squat and do leg work a LOT.

Enough of my blabbing. I’m off to bed! This is another thing I need to work on: routine, and routine bedtime! It’ll come!

Good night, and that’s all for now…

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