One person, one pole!

Holly BrooksJanuary 20, 2012
Well, here I am. Back in Ramsau. This time there are no Christmas trees, no big group meals. It’s just me, myself & I!  I’m skipping some World Cup action to get some much needed time to heal my wrist. Injuries are just one unavoidable aspect of being an athlete and all & all, I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse.  I’m hoping to be ready and rearing to go in time for the World Cups in Rybinsk, Russia.  (If for no other reason, I have to race in Russia after spending hours on the complicated Visa and paying $400 dollars just to enter the country!)
The gorgeous view out my window one of the few, clear days
There were some people that encouraged me to return to Alaska to rehab my wrist but when it came down to it, the 30+ hours of travel each way & the 10-hour time difference make it nearly impossible to do.  So, I am training, resting & rehabbing here at the Kobaldhof, trail side.  My days are filled with one pole skiing, icing, stretching, PT exercises, taking vitamins, getting as much sleep as possible (because that’s when you heal the best right?) & swimming countless laps in a tiny, tiny hotel pool in a bikini and no cap or googles.  (Think swim, turn, swim, turn, swim, turn!!!!)  Whenever it gets a bit lonely I just think to myself – “This is where people come for their annual vacations! And I’m here as a part of my everyday life!”  Yes, I may be that weird girl that sits by herself in the restaurant for every meal, every day but hey, this is part of the package and I am still living the dream, right?  I think so. 
On the sunny days tons of colorful hot air ballons dot the landscape!
I’ve had gorgeous days here in Ramsau and ones that leave a bit to be desired.  Two days ago I classic one-pole skied to the other end of the perfectly groomed trail system, sat in the sun & had coffee, and came back, an entirely different way.  In contrast, yesterday I ran in the rain and got soaked by ice-slush and Austrian drivers who sped by me, disinterested in the fact that they were full-on spraying me with slop.  I guess it’s good to keep it real and not get too comfortable right?
Without a roommate, intense travel schedules, team meetings, and ski testing I’ve actually had some time to  do a bit of light reading.  Rob gave me Apolo Ohno’s book for Christmas and I just finished it.  I had to chuckle last night because he referenced a training camp he did by himself in Colorado Springs.  He talked about it being a bit lonely:
“It was lonely. But lonely in a good way. It allowed me to reset my mind, to really go deep into my heart and soul and ask myself questions, to remember that champions are made when nobody else is looking.  When you’re training by yourself, there’s an undeniable temptation to let up, even if it’s just a little. It’s easier to get off the bike, or decrease the pedaling frequency, or run for forty-five minutes instead of the hour and a quarter you had set out to go.  I made sure to train just as hard as or harder than ever; that builds so much confidence and reflects your character so much more.” (pg 236)

It’s a good thing that I have a coach because otherwise, I’d probably train myself into a hole here all alone.  Apolo’s training camp, was in the middle of the summer where you can afford to run huge hours, and carry some fatigue. However, here I am, just having completed the Tour de Ski – and hoping to race in a short amount of time.  Erik (my coach) wrote me a plan and reminded me, “Holly, this is not the time to go out and break records and get glacier tired.” (Making reference to the summer months were we pretty much ski ourselves into the ground…)   Luckily I have him to provide some perspective for me and keep me on a short leash.  Sometimes I fall into the trap of “more is better” and I can certainly tell you, that is not always the case.
So, for now, I will diligently follow my training plan & rest up for Russia. I can’t wait to cheer on my teammates in Estonia this weekend. As much as it pains me to not be there, I know they’ll represent the US well in the classic double header. Following the races in Otepaa, the team will come here, to Ramsau where we will train until our departure for Russia.
Ciao & as always, thanks for reading 🙂 
Oh – two completely unrelated things:
First, my brother just departed on another international adventure.  He is driving the length of Africa! Yep, Cape Town to Cairo. Maybe I just think his blog is interesting because he’s my brother but other people seem to enjoy it as well. You can find it here if you’re interested:
Second, a friend posted this video on facebook earlier today.  If you’re lacking motivation to get active, check this out…… being active is literally, the single BEST thing you can do for your health!  As the video states, you have the remaining 23 1/2 hours of the day to do whatever else you want!

Holly Brooks

Related Posts



November 21, 2012


November 21, 2012