Friday, July 26, 2002 - Athlete Perspective
NTDC Update: Glacial Reflections

By: Shayla Swanson

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One glacier camp done…one to go, not that I am counting down. The Haig camp is a fantastic training experience. The trip is always a highlight of my summer plans. By the end of this summer I will have made 11 trips up to the Haig. This may seem like a big number, but it’s peanuts compared to Erik Carleton's 19 trips.

A few things have changed since the midget adventure camp when I was 11 years old, besides skiing for more than 20 minutes. Most noticeably, the dwellings have become quite luxurious. No more hauling water, or cold showers. We now have a warm shower (sometimes too hot!!), a cook (thanks little Dave!) and a separate building for stretching and strength workouts. A satellite dish was even brought up so the Tour De France fans wouldn’t be left in the dark on the success of their favorite riders.

There are a few things that haven’t changed, and probably never will. The creativity shown when developing leisure activities is incredible. Who would’ve guessed that rocks, sticks, marmots, puddles and snow could supply so much entertainment? Some favorite games played at the glacier include daily puddle rock tournaments, marmot chasing/tormenting, and baseball soft toss with a field hockey stick. A new event was added during our camp. The abundance of snow made it possible for us to slide on an orange rescue sled into a puddle of melting snow. Our very own LOG RIDE!!! This was very worthwhile because we were able to do COLD bath recovery treatments for our legs (or whole bodies) in our own amusement park style.

Another thing that struck me, besides how lucky I am to be able to experience the Haig, is how I can see obvious improvements in my fitness and skiing. The hiking time which used to be 1 hour, is now 50 minutes or less. The skiing is now slow and steady at a low heart rate, without stopping all the time to allow my heart rate to drop out of zone 3. I used to have to remember 20 things for technique, now it’s really only 1 or 2. Some would say, “What did you expect to happen?” I realize that it is all part of the development process. However, as a first year senior coming out of a slightly rocky season, it’s extremely comforting and encouraging to see such changes. This type of concrete evidence is what convinces me, and my teammates, that all our hard work is paying off and ultimately going to help us realize our goals!!


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