I moved to New England two years ago and I am so grateful that I did. My experiences with New England racing and training have been amazing. This year, I went to all the eastern cups and met many wonderful people there who made me feel like I was a part of a tight knit and welcoming community of hard working athletes, coaches, organizers, and parents. After traveling to Junior Nationals, I feel even more a part of this great group of people.
Out in Minnesota I definitely had my ups and downs. I had a few races that did not go as I had hoped, and yet, I was still able to enjoy my time. I believe that this is all due to the uplifting group of people around me. We all tried to communicate with each other on how our races went. If a race went well, we all congratulated and celebrated with that person. If a race did not go as planned, we worked together to lift that person up and help them get back to having fun. After a few tough races for me, I was revamped by the teamwork of the super fun relay races. One of my best races and most fun races ever was the relay and I heard from many other people that they share the same attitude towards that day of racing. The fact that the relay was so great for so many people on team New England shows that we are not only strong individuals but a strong and uplifting team.
This great attitude continued through the fun activities we did as a whole team or as an age group outside of skiing. I had tons of fun playing tag in our afternoon mobility, receiving some snow balls to the face, showing off my terrible bowling skills, and emptying the shelves at trader joe’s of all peanut butter and chocolate milk. I also can’t remember another time that I voluntarily sat in the hallway of a hotel for hours. During our free time, I really enjoyed resting in the hall and hanging out with my new friends. We spent so much time just talking and getting to know each other. It was awesome to meet people from all over New England and the world, with Elsa and Maddie from Sweden and Australia, who I had raced with in the past but had never had full conversations with. Another uplifting routine we got into was the team meetings every night. Everything from sharing thoughts of the day at our U18 girls meetings to the awesome speeches/ pep-talks from our team leaders. Jack Lange truly made me remember how much this team cares about each other and our success as a whole group. I am really going to miss the fun times we had at JN’s and am looking forward to seeing everyone at the end of the season races, camps, and next race season. I think that the immense success that team New England had is all thanks to the amazing coaches, wax techs, organizers, and team mates that we had out there. As a team, we not only succeeded in winning the coveted Alaska Cup but we showed other teams what real team spirit looks like! Thank you so much to everyone who supported team New England and let’s keep the cup for many years to come!