23 years and counting!

Yesterday, February 1, was my twin brother and my 23rd birthday! If you know the story of our birth, you will know that it is a miracle that we survived to celebrate it! My mom put it best over the phone last night: “23 years ago, I was dying and so were you! Yay for us!”

Some of the girls out celebrating my birthday with pizza

Yes, hurrah for us for making it this far! And best of all, we’re both healthy, happy and living life to the fullest!

My birthday was spent at the Olympic Training Center, at Mt Van Hoevenberg, and at a local pizza place in the village. I spent it with my newest friends: my teammates and fellow athletes on the US Developmental skeleton team, and some fellow athletes up in the ranks. After pizza and a movie (“Salt”…fail. Don’t watch it. It’s bad.) we chowed down on ice cream and got some little goodies to share between us.

Rachelle poses with some of our sweet stash. We all have sweet tooths!

I haven’t updated much since forerunning, mostly because when it comes to a typical sliding day, I’ve already talked about it. However, I do have a plan in the works for a video diary following me on a “typical” day here at the OTC and in the life of a skeleton athlete. When I post it, it will be a pretty close show of what I, personally, do as my routine during my training day.

I’ve had a couple bad days of sliding (not crashing bad, but just frustrating bad) including a run that scared the bejeezus out of me. I was up too far forward on my sled, so my runners weren’t digging into the ice like they should have been. Because of that, I was skidding all over the place. It wasn’t bad until the Chicane, where I felt myself coming in wrong to the entrance of Curve 17. About a split second later, I realized that I was skidding sideways, with my feet pointing towards the roof and my head staring down into the walkway. Not good.

Basically, I was jolted off my sled as I hit the wall coming out of 17, landed hard with my bicep crashing into my saddle, resulting in a dead arm, and almost flipping in 18. I stayed on my sled, held on with my eyes closed for the remaining curve and a half, and got off the sled shaking. My arm was pounding, and hurt to the point that I almost dropped my sled as I carried it down the couple stairs to the finish house.

I was definitely shaking as I waited to get on the van back to the top, and fighting back tears. It was very frightening, especially after the fact. It was also frustrating because I had several excellent runs the week before.

Needless to say, I was a little gun-shy of Curve 17 the next run down, but luckily I made it through relatively cleanly. My times for that day were not my best, but I got through the day, with a welcome encouragement post by Kendall.

But my runs yesterday were good. I hit my first sub 59 (I think, but I can’t remember for sure, so we’ll say this is my first!!) and scored a 58.91. I also was sub-minute on my other two runs. They were all pretty consistent, but I’m still working on bringing my times down.

Pushing the start

Sliding was cancelled today due to the crazy snow that’s hitting the East Coast, so we’ve been chilling in the OTC. I did a weight lifting session, braved the slick streets in Morgan’s Jeep to drop off our movie from the other night and pick up another from the library, and have been struggling to complete my first crossword. Ok, so I’ve peeked at the answers (I’m doing yesterday’s so today’s paper has the answers) a couple times, but only twice to get a word, and the rest to double check that I got the word right. If (when?) I complete it, I will be taking a picture of it, since it will be the first crossword I’ve finished.

A very special thank you to my Idyllwild neighbors, Bev and Linda, for their generous donation!

Short update! More to come at another time!

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