I've been back in the U.S. for a month now, but until the other day I hadn't been back to Vermont. So after five months on the road, it feels good to be HOME! I flew back from Colorado on Wednesday and was greeted in Albany by my dad and a mix of rain and snow coming out of the sky. It continued to produce a "wintry mix" for the next two days, but spring finally hit a few days later. After Sun Valley, Simi and I drove back to Aspen for a few days before a quick trip to Boston with most of our other SMS T2 teammates for a YES Kids fundraiser. The T2 Foundation, the title sponsor for our SMS T2 team, is a big supporter of the Boston Youth Enrichment Services and we were able to meet a bunch of the kids who had tried cross country skiing over the winter and also attend a fundraiser in the evening. This fall I helped set up a program where I could personally be in contact with the YES Kids by email throughout the winter. It was nice to meet the kids in person and I'm looking forward to becoming more involved in the coming winters. Another nice surprise was that the SMS T2 team won the T2 Foundation Community Service Award at the event. As a team, we place a huge emphasis on community involvement, particularly with getting kids outside and active, so we were honored to receive the recognition!
|Some of Boston's future XC stars!|
|"Skiing" by the YES Tram|
|Packed into the YES Tram|
Our trip to Boston was a whirlwind and after 36 hours we were back in Colorado for some resting and adventure time. I enjoyed one last week of back country skiing and sunshine with friends out west before heading home.
|Summit Sistas selfie|
|A little piece of wonderful|
|And a lot of sun|
After flying back home last Wednesday, I had exactly one day at home before heading back down to Boston to hang out with some of the Eastern Mass skiers and attend a US Ski Team fundraiser. I stayed at Mark and Pilar Doughty's house while in Boston. Mark is the principal of Thoughtforms, which is my teammate Noah's headgear sponsor. The timing was perfect because Noah was in town for the weekend, so we were able to team up for a busy couple of days. I am very grateful to Mark and his lovely family for letting us stay with them and organizing the weekend. On Friday afternoon, Noah and I headed out to do a Q&A and pizza party with some of the CSU high school kids. I was impressed with the questions the kids asked and enjoyed meeting them. After the Q&A, we headed back to Mark's house to get ready for our USST Fundraiser. We had a good showing of supporters at our fundraiser and it was a pleasure getting to know some new people.
|Grace Bird with her new pink jacket and bib we auctioned off|
|Thank you to everyone who came out and a special thanks to Liz Arky, our good friend and USSA Trustee Board member, who put the event together. Here we are with Liz signing some wine bottles for our auction. (photo from noahhoffman.com)|
After a good night of sleep, Noah and I woke up to an early pancake breakfast made by Mark and Pilar's children, Nathan and Anneka. After chowing down on some tasty chocolate chip pancakes, Noah and I hosted a practice for some of Eastern Massachusetts's younger kids. We led...actually more like chased the kids around the track for a warm up run and then led them in some stretching and core. After the warm up, we split into two stations. I led the agility and speed ladder station while Noah led the dry-land drills station. After an hour and a half of running around, we went inside to answer questions and sign autographs. Jamie Doucett captured some awesome shots from our practice.
|Introducing ourselves to the kiddos. Check out that SMS summer camp shirt!|
|Warm up stretches|
|Push up challenge!|
|Speed ladder pros|
|Check out that form!|
|Demonstrating one of my favorite agility drills, the speed ladder|
|Noah leading the kids in some dry land drills|
|We ended the practice with a game of sharks and minnows, or as the EMBK kids call it, wolves and reindeer. Noah and I were the first set of wolves.|
|Who are we going to eat next?|
|Thanks for having us!|
I drove back to Vermont on Saturday afternoon and finally started to settle in. Soon after arriving, my brother and his girlfriend came home for the weekend, my sister got home, my grandmother came for dinner, and my room was a mess...just how I like it. It's nice to be home!
|Leroy is even warming up to his long lost sister|