Thursday, October 2, 2003 - Perspective
X-C.com Update: Big Sky Country!

- By: Shayla Swanson

Hello from Bozeman Montana!! There is so much to say, but I doubt very much if any one would be interested in reading an essay. So, I thought I would give y'all (just kidding) a brief update on the three areas of my life that are the most time consuming at the present moment. Training, School and Making friends!!

Training is going really well. I was able to schedule my classes so that I can fit morning and afternoon workouts in… this means early mornings, but not too early! Most of the afternoon workouts have been with Dragan Danevski's group, the Bridger Ski Foundation. It's a really fun group and my immature sense of humour fits in just perfectly… I'm the third oldest of the group!! I've been the brunt of a few jokes with my never ending supply of spandex shorts!! Training in the area is great and it's really nice change of scenery. Last weekend we did a running race up Mount Helena, the capital city of Montana. It went really well and I was the first woman to cross the line. I received a nice trophy of a running woman, but unfortunately her leg broke. I guess she had a stress fracture???

Classes are good and MSU is treating me well so far. I am enrolled in 4 classes for the semester, and enjoying them all. It's a bit of an adjustment to get used to homework again after a year off from school. I'm trying very hard to stay on top of it, but this seems to cut into nap time…OH NO!! At the moment I am trying to speak with my professors and rearrange my final exams so that I can race the full week in Soldier Hollow. I've been using the familiar line " Hi. My name is Shayla Swanson and I'm a student in your class. I am a x-c skier and I won't be here for the final exam. Is there any way I could write it early?? " Needless to say, I feel like a bit of a pain in the butt!! So far 2 out of 4 have been very accommodating! Here's hoping the other 2 are as well.

I am living in a dorm on Campus that has single rooms and is only for students over 21. It's working out really well so far, and I have been getting chummier with the people in my building every day. There's one odd ball who lives at the end of the hall… but that's another story!!! For the first week I was eating by myself a lot and reading the newspaper…I was very caught up on current events!! Now I am having the opposite problem! I am finding it a bit stressful deciding who to eat with… the foreign exchange students, girls on my floor, person I met yesterday etc... Oh what a dilemma. The grade F meat used for prisons and school cafeterias is slightly disconcerting, but It'll make cooking on ski trips that much more exciting!!

Anyways, I guess that is all for now. I miss everyone at home and hope that you are doing well. We'll be skiing in no time!!




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