ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – “It’s been really cold lately, which is good. We have a good amount of frost, and if it were to snow right now, it would definitely stick,” said Holly Brooks. “We’ll be skiing before we know it!”
After making the U.S. Ski Team for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, the 28-year-old from Anchorage officially cut her work hours to part-time this summer. Brooks still coaches at Alaska Pacific University, but with hopes to make the US team for the 2011 World Championships in Oslo, her own fitness is no longer an afterthought.
“Training is going really well. I am definitely on track now,” said Brooks, who is looking forward to the competition season.
On-snow time can’t come soon enough for Brooks. Her racing schedule is already set.
“I plan on doing the domestic circuit starting with West Yellowstone, then Silverstar, the mini-tour in Rossland, B.C. – I’m really excited for that – and then head out for U.S. Nationals in January,” Brooks said.
As of October, Brooks is ranked fourth in the U.S. While she is unsure of how many female skiers the U.S. Ski Team will field Oslo, she is hopeful that she will make the cut. “Oslo is the plan and the hope. Rebecca Dussault is pregnant and due on January 19th, so she won’t be competing in Oslo,” Brooks said. “But knowing her, I never rule it out that she’ll come out and post some amazing result even if she’s pregnant,” Brooks added with a laugh.
Brooks explained that there really is no need to leave Alaska to get premium training, but she did change a few things after going part-time with work. This summer, for the first time, Brooks completed two on-snow camps on the Eagle Glacier in Alaska.
“I’ve never done a training camp there myself, but it’s an amazing facility. We’ve had a lot of athletes up there, but I’ve always been the one left at home to take care of things here when everyone else left,” Brooks said.
However, Brooks added that her part-time status is no cakewalk.
“Since I’m not on the U.S. Ski Team, I still have to support myself. In a typical day, I will train in the morning, then coach at noon and again in the afternoon, and then I will get in another of my own workouts in the evening,” Brooks said, explaining that while she’s coaching, she might not be training and doing all the drills, but she’s still on her feet.
Although Brooks has increased her training emphasis this summer, she is still prefers the home scene over travel camps.
“I’m kind of lazy that way. I don’t really see a need to leave Alaska. While it would be super-fun to be in Lake Placid and train with the U.S. Ski Team, I have great training partners, a really good coach, and there will be lots of travel later,” Brooks said.
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.