This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club
A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic.
Today we check in with David Norris (29), a 2019 World Championship team member who has been competing on the World Cup for the last two season. David hails from Fairbanks, AK and has now been a member of the APUNSC elite team for six years. He has a degree in accounting from Montana State University and completed a Masters of Business Administration from Alaska Pacific University just last week!!!
Where are you right now? What have the restriction been? Are they now changing?
I’m currently in Bozeman. The restrictions here seem pretty standard: wear a mask and social distance; most shops besides grocery stores are closed. Bozeman has been reopening over the past two weeks with dine-in options and non-essential shops returning to business. The trails were always open so I mostly noticed these restrictions when shopping or wishing I could carpool with friends.
How did your season end? Were there any race cancellations that affected your season?
After Holmenkollen I went to Bozeman to meet up with Jessica [Yeaton], visit her parents, and recover before the Canmore World Cups. Basically the same day the World Cups and the rest of the season were cancelled Jessica’s classes switched to online, so we decided to just stay where we were to reduce travel and see what would come of this pandemic.
What is a highlight of the ski season you did have?
Oberstdorf 30km skiathlon and Falun 15km skate mass-start were both major performance highlights for me. More than the result on paper I was encouraged by my ability in these two races to move into the top 15 when the lead pack started to split up. In the end I didn’t finish where I believed I should or could have, but spending time in the top 15 and learning what that takes was inspiring and made me excited for next season.
How have you planned around the unexpected end to the season? Did you do anything to “finish” out the season or jump into summer training early?
I got pretty sick at Holmenkollen and was being a good ski racer trying to recover until I heard all the races where cancelled. Then with no races to get healthy for I started rallying the training; I tried to ski a bunch with Jessica and adventure in the mountains. After about two weeks of that I was completely wrecked and had to slow down. Maybe as a result of not having a traditional ending to the season I haven’t really had a traditional start to the new season either.
What activities are you doing to keep yourself busy outside of training?
April was definitely slow… I hardly had any hours at work and I hadn’t started spring classes yet. April consisted of reading a couple books, carving a butter knife from a dead chunk of apple tree in the yard, and baking lots of bread. In May I took my final MBA class and had work hours pick back up- so lately I’m staying more happily occupied.
What did your workout look like today?
This morning I did about an hour and a half jog. I had plans for some strides and plyos, but the ole’ calf was bugging me. This afternoon I rode my mountain bike for about 2.5 hours.
Do you have any indoor/at home workouts you are doing?
I’ve been doing some floor core with Jessica and once a week I try to tie some straps to a tree to do TRX type stuff. I am weak right now for sure, but with the time not in the gym I’ve probably done far more cardio.
Without knowing what the future has in store, has it been challenging to keep up motivation to train? Where are you getting that motivation? What motivates you to keep training?
I like to exercise quite a lot, I think I have held high motivation to stay fit right now by doing only the workouts that sound fun. Jessica and I have been following the weather, and often when the weather is at its worst we just crank out some intervals or hammer for a while and call it good. When the weather is good, we spend hours out in the sunshine mountain biking or backcountry skiing. Its actually been a really refreshing approach; however, in June, I’ll follow a lot more structure.
How are you keeping in touch with friends/family/teammates?
Text and Facetime are my go-to for most friends and family.
What has been your biggest challenge in relation to Covid-19 and how are you tackling it?
I like to make plans with goals and pursue them. Since March I’ve canceled a lot of summer plans and have held off from creating new ones. I think I am being forced to learn that patience is not the same as laziness.
What are your plans from here? What things do you have in store for a summer that will include many restrictions?
I am headed to Anchorage in early June to start back into training with the APU boys. I bet with several of my favorite summer races canceled I might time trial the routes. I’m hoping the restrictions don’t make bouncing back to ABQ to visit Jessica too challenging. Other than that my life should be simple- train, work remotely, study, fish, and avoid making too many plans.
Do you have any helpful advice in dealing with the changing times?
Be patient and exercise every day.