It’s going to be a long winter…

It’s cold here….this could be a problem.

Below are some pictures from my fellow skeleton friend, Nic. Nic took pictures instead of sliding on Friday because the night prior he “decided to check the structural integrity of turn 4.” That test included 1 concussion and 6 stitches. Oops. Check out his website here.

Here’s Mt Van Hoevenberg from the top! We typically slide at night or in the late afternoon. Because it gets dark in Lake Placid as soon as the sun come up (sometimes I wonder if the sun forgets about us), it’s almost always dark during practice.

Me attempting to “warm up.” Hah. Attempt is the operative word here. I need to come up with a different strategy up that doesn’t include below freezing shakeouts.

We aren’t supposed to be doing an all out push starts yet but we have been practicing at the push track a bit. So this run was not all out but instead focused on keeping my hips square and knees up. I feel a bit anxious using track spikes to sprint on ice because the traction you get in them is not phenomenal. Skeleton shoes are called brush spikes. They look a lot like track spikes (which is what we have been using… great for me since I have approximately 3298732201 pairs of them). The biggest difference is the spike plate. Instead of 6 or 8 quarter inch metal pins, brush spikes have hundreds of tiny needles. Considering I have forever scarred my ankles from my triple jump spikes, it will be interesting to see what damage I inflict once I get the brush spikes.

I will end on this all around awesome picture of one of the more experienced sliders. Visit Chris’ blog here. He is completely airborn! Wha–whaaaaaat?

We had a race/quiz on Friday to wrap up week 2 of skeleton school. We were paired up with a more experienced slider and got 2 runs to be the most consistent. They added up the difference in the time of the 2 runs for my partner and me. After 2 runs my teammate, Sam, and I were tied for 1st with one other team. So the quizzes we took were a tiebreaker. But guess what? There was still a tie. So at the last minute Don says we each get a 3rd run to compare. Well, I blew it and we came in second. Womp. I did manage to get a pretty ridiculous looking shirt out of it. But did I learn a valuable lesson. The mentality that goes into skeleton is a lot like any field event in track. You get a run. You wait. You do drills to stay loose. You get a run. You wait. More drills…. So on and so forth. I need to be patient and stay focused on the job infront of me. I feel like as a track and field athlete I was good at performing under pressure because during each round the only thing I thought about was the next jump. I just need to apply that to skeleton now.

Thats all for now. I’m in Lake Placid for one more week and then head home for 2 weeks. I should be coming back up in December for a bit though. I’ll be sure to post on how the week goes.

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