Saturday, June 15, 2002 - Athlete Perspective
Gord's Ski Newsletter, Vol.5,No.1: Time

By: Gord Jewett

Athletes always need to be aware of time. It has a way of tricking us. You can often hear skiers being tricked by time: “The Olympics is still four years away!”, “I have lots of time, skiers don’t reach their peaks until their older” and “It’s only June, I have lots of time to train!”. The truth is, there is never enough time. The Olympics are ONLY four years away, which means that qualifying is ONLY three years away, we need to train hard NOW so that we can reach our peak at all, and it’s ALREADY June!

Looking though my training program it seems like I will be racing in no time at all. Even though the season is months away I have hundreds of things I need to improve. This is a good sign, because if that list becomes too short then I had better be one of the best skiers in the world! As long as there are things to improve, there are ways to get faster. At the end of every season I have a long checklist of goals and weaknesses that need attention, and it’s always tight to accomplish everything in six months of dryland training. I have to hope that I won’t have any injuries, sickness or other setbacks that are going to inhibit me. There is a lot I can do to help in that cause, and there are some things I have to accept I can’t control.

Four years ago I had a devastating back injury that just wouldn’t go away. After almost two years away from racing I had surgery, and it has been a struggle to get back to form. One thing I may have neglected in that time is my back, and now I’m paying for it. After finally making back on the National Team this year, my back has started to give me some trouble. I have a million theories as to what caused it but the bottom line is I need to do more core strength and more flexibility training. It turns out I have more control than I thought, and there is a lot I can do to prevent further setbacks. The same goes for sickness, where careful diet and sleeping can avoid most colds. While some sickness in the winter might be unavoidable, good habits make my ability to recover from sickness much better. Those good habits will buy time, and it is time that I really need, both in my preparation and on the ski trails.

Using core strengthening exercises to prevent injury and increase performance.

Our season is well under way now and we’ve already had one on snow training camp on Vancouver Island. While my back was a little sore, I was able to do all my training without too much problem and my focus for the next easy week is to get things under control and nail down a solid routine of core strengthening exercises. We are around Canmore for the next month before we head to the Haig glacier towards the end of July for more on snow training. The team this year is made up of five men and three women, and it is a strong and motivated group that is focused towards the 2006 Olympics and all of the steps it will take to get there. Being focused and pushing hard is made a lot easier when there are others around with the same goals. It is my team that will buy me a little more time by keeping me focuses as we push towards the podium. Of course having a teammate that has actually been to the Olympic podium never hurts either!

Only five months to the first races of the year, eight months to the World Championships in Italy, 30 months to the Olympic qualification period and 44 months to the next Olympics! The clock is ticking!

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