FeatureInterviewsNewsA Day in the Life from APUNSC : Rosie Frankowski

FasterSkier FasterSkierMay 19, 2020
Rosie Frankowski (right) racing this winter in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: NordicFocus)

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 Rosie Frankowski (28), a 2018 Olympian, 2019 World Championship team member, and SuperTour podium regular. Rosie hails from Minneapolis and has now been a member of the APUNSC elite team for 6 years. She has a Masters in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University and a Masters of Business Administration from Alaska Pacific University where she is also an adjunct professor.

Where are you right now?

At home in Anchorage, Alaska.

How did your season end? Were there any race cancellations that affected your season?

My ski season didn’t end early because I had already planned to head to South America and Mexico to do a series of running races, trail races, and marathons. I ended my ski season after the Ski Tour 2020 and flew from there to Minneapolis and then directly to Mexico to run a marathon on March 1. Although my ski season didn’t end early, all the running races I had planned after that in Patagonia and Peru were canceled towards the end of March. I, then, had to emergency fly from Mexico City back to Anchorage and give up a multi month trip.

Rosie Frankowski racing at the 2019 World Championships.(Photo:US Ski Team)

What is a highlight of your ski season?

The highlight was doing Period 1 World Cup. Going to a bunch of places I hadn’t been before was a big challenge and I’m proud of myself for tackling it. Also, getting to race in some iconic places like Lillehammer and going to Finland for the first time. That was a good experience for my life and ski career.

I also had a lot of fun doing the Alley Loop race in Crested Butte. It was a low key race, but really fun to be back in the American Nordic ski community. Being part of a citizens event and seeing how much fun everyone has at them was great.

What was it like “moving” or resettling during a pandemic?

That was absolutely crazy. We decided at midnight we were going to fly out of Mexico City at 5 AM the next morning to Anchorage. Luckily my boyfriend’s parents live here so we were able to stay with his mom while we tried to find a place to live and a car.

I was let go of the job I had had for the last four years because I was an event planner and there were no more events. I had to find a new job as well. All of this during a pandemic when you aren’t supposed to be going to peoples’ houses or contacting strangers was crazy and quite stressful.

Maybe by luck we were able to find a place to live and buy a car right before things became very restricted here. Once we had a place to live, we were able to work remotely. It was definitely an added obstacle in the already stressful process of trying to find a place to live. It wasn’t very easy, but it did all work out.

What does a typical day look like now? How have you planned around the unexpected change of plans in your life? Will we see you on the race trails this winter?

My life is similar to what a normal day would look like because we are lucky up here in Alaska and have been able to use the trails. I go out running or skiing in the morning. The biggest difference is not being able to carpool with teammates which as a big fan of car pooling has been killing me. I’ve been getting into some podcast to keep me entertained and luckily gas is really cheap right now.

I train in the morning, come home, eat lunch, work at my job remotely, similar to most Americans right now, and then train again in the evenings. The biggest change has been working remotely and sharing the space in the apartment with other people working remotely. That’s always an interesting challenge.

I will be on the race trails this winter. I hope we are able to have races this winter as usual, fingers crossed. You will see me out there if there are races to be at!

Crust skiing at Hatcher Pass. (Courtesy photo)

What activities are you doing to keep yourself busy outside of training?

That’s been the biggest change for me. I am very social and I love going to breweries or going to listen to music and I planned events for downtown Anchorage in my last job so attending community events is a huge part of what I love about life so the social restrictions have been hard.

We’ve had a lot of outdoor fires so we can stay 6 ft apart and catch up with friends that way.

I attempted to get into yoga which sometimes works and sometimes I just can’t sit still long enough, but it does help to relieve some stress.

Since my trip to South America was cancelled, I’ve been practicing my Spanish and playing ukulele.

I’ve been obsessed with trying to grow cilantro. I have about 12 plants in different parts of my house and really babying them. I take them inside at night so they think it’s night which is a problem in Alaska when it’s so light, plants tend to go to seed quickly.

What did your workout look like today?

I went to Sadie’s house and rollerskied with her around town. We’ve been skiing on snow so we haven’t done much rollerskiing so I’m just easing into that now.

Everything went well and nothing was broken so that’s good!

Do you have any indoor/at home workouts you are doing?

I’ve been doing elements of strength from home. I find some core videos online which is entertaining and sometimes very difficult.

I go to a park across the street to do some lunges and push ups and things so the neighbors probably think I’m crazy, but that’s the gist of getting things done at home right now.

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 think it has been challenging to keep up motivation to train especially for more ski specific goals. Luckily the spring brings new energy for running and hiking so I’ve been motivated to do that, but I have been struggling to find motivation to get out on rollerskis or even real skis sometimes. I’ve been focusing less on the idea that this is for a specific race and focusing more on the fact that this is me getting to be outside for two hours today, to get sunlight and fresh air. Then taking that day by day so I’m not focused so much on progressing towards a specific goal but on enjoying the outdoors. I’m lucky enough to call that my job and everyone else that has to work from home is spending 8-9 hours inside their home and I get to go outside and call that work.

How are you keeping in touch with friends/family/teammates?

Mostly through FaceTime and Zoom. We had Zoom meetings with the girls team while we weren’t able to train together. Most of my friends and family live in the lower 48 so I generally only get to see them once a year anyhow so that hasn’t been that different. Having fires outside and being able to be 6 feet apart has increased my marshmallow consumption but has also provided a good social outlet.

What has been your biggest challenge in relation to Covid-19 and how are you tackling it?

The biggest challenge has been the uncertainty and stress in not knowing what the future holds. I had planned to be on this trip until early July. I had been planning it for two years and sold my car and moved out of my house, planned to do all these running races and really take a deep breath away from skiing. But I have really fallen back into the pattern of being a ski racer which isn’t bad, but I had really wanted to take that space and gain some perspective and I didn’t get to do that. Emotionally and psychologically it was hard to not feel like I was taking a step backward when I had to come back and not be progressing in my life or athletic endeavors. That’s been something that’s been stressful. I’m still working through it day by day. I have a new job which has been challenging me and hopefully helping me grow. I have been trying to figure out a plan for the upcoming ski season that is different and focusing less on the World Cup and planning more races in the U.S. that I find fun. I have plans for running races in late summer/early fall if they happen so focusing some on the running aspect this summer as well to shift my mind a bit and focus on more than ski only goals.

Running trails in Mexico. (Courtesy photo)

What are your plans from here? What things do you have in store for a summer that will include many restrictions?

Hopefully I will get to do some races. I’m trying to take advantage of the fact that I will be here all summer and might not have camps so doing some adventures that I haven’t been able to do and those that are a little more off the grid with less people around. I am also looking forward to growing a garden because I will be around and foraging for mushrooms and salmon fishing and really taking advantage of the Alaskan lifestyle.

Do you have any helpful advice in dealing with the changing times?

Take it day by day. There are good days and bad days and don’t beat yourself up if you have a few bad days in a row and need to cry it out.

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