Skiing in Aspen this week . And the skiing is beautiful!! It´s world champion conditions and hero snow. That means you´ll feel like a world champion skiing. And the snow lets you rip crazy sharp turns. Turning like a hero. Add blue skies and you´re probably looking at some of the best skiing on the planet right now. A real confidence builder for an injured athlete trying to make his way back. You can probably tell I´m pretty excited. That’s what happens when you walk around on crutches looking at all you´re friends skiing all winter. You miss it. And then you start nice and slowly. Hoping things work out. And it kinda does, but not 100% like you hoped for. But then these sweet conditions come along and give you that extra little help you needed. Skiing is a lot of fun on days like these. This week in Aspen is turning out to be real good. Or real awesome as I should say here in America.
Mid last week I tried skiing for the first time. That’s a week ago now and the progress has been great. I was very optimistic before the first day. I figured the foot would feel as good and safe inside a ski boot, as it did inside the cast. This was of course way too optimistic, so I was a bit disappointed. But now its slowly getting there. Still problems in rough conditions, but that too keeps getting better. This week I can almost follow a normal training, so I´ve joined up with parts of the team in Hinterreit Austria. Feels great to be back with the boys. And even better, I´ve decided to join them for the training camp in Colorado. I´ll fly over on Sunday and then I get almost a week of skiing in Aspen before I have to decide of I´m ready to do races at the world champs or not. Its still far away, but the progress is promising. And even if I don’t make the championship, that will probably be the best training anywhere in the world. So it’s a win win long and short term. On my way to the airport I´ll stop by Kitzbuhel to check out the downhill on Saturday. With Jansruds speed right now that might be a good day for Norway!
I dropped the crutches around Christmas eve. Started walking close to normal around January 1st. This last week I’ve done lots of tests and exercises to test the achilles. And here’s the real good news; it looks pretty good and I’m going skiing this week! First I’m stopping by the HEAD factory to get some boots refitted and then I’m ready to go. Probably not 100%, but being on skis is a long step in the right direction. I’ll keep you posted on that progress and post pictures on Instagram. Fingers crossed. Exciting times ahead:)
Sometimes shit happens. And when you´re an athlete and that “shit” is an injury, then your life is changed until you´re a 100% recovered. It´s for sure not the end of the world, but you´re life just looks a lot different the next weeks or months. So what to do? I found no positive side to this situation within my world, the world of sports. So I started looking for other alternatives that I find interesting and inspiring. Trough my career I´ve gotten to know a lot of great people in different fields and environments. And trough this I´ve learned that entrepreneurs, people that start their own businesses and companies, think a lot like athletes do. They set high goals that are hard to reach, but they´re willing to take the risk and reach for their goals. And they often do so with energy and passion that I recognize from sports. So I quickly realized that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to keep my mind occupied while I´m doing (boring) rehab training. Spending time with experienced (and hopefully smart!) entrepreneurs. Have fun, get inspired and maybe learn something at the same time. And where do you find an environment that´s full of experienced entrepreneurs?? The Bay Area. San Francisco and Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest companies and most innovative companies in the world. Companies who´s product we use every day. Like Facebook and Google. But more important, it´s full of innovative companies driven by people with a passion and a vision to create what could be the as important as Google 10 years from now. Thanks to a little help for some good friends in Oslo, some new friends I made a long the way, and a very open and welcoming culture here in Silicon Valley, this trip was everything I hoped it would be. Very inspiring, lots of fun, and filled with lessons to learn. I have spent every day with people I had never met before, but that were still willing to share both their time and their experiences. At companies like Google, or at some café with someone willing to risk everything on an idea that’s just on a piece of paper. Both with same enthusiasm and conviction that they´re working on something big. I hope that I´ve learned something. I like this “industry of big ideas” a lot. And that’s probably the most important lesson. That this is something that I have fun with. Cause when you´re having fun you´re working harder and better. That´s something that I believe will never change. Hard work pays off! So if you´re walking around somewhere on this planet, and you have a great idea in your mind. Or a feeling in your stomach that you want to create something. Explore that idea and see what´s possible. Don’t keep it a secret, cause trough sharing and conversations you´ll probably attract others with a similar mindset. And that is the first lesson I learned here. There´s thousands of great ideas and the competition is big. What can separate you is having a great team of people and being able to execute on your idea. I had good friends helping me out to get started. But I have met just as many inspiring people just staying in the area. The Nordic countries have put together a shared working space called the Nordic Innovation House. A great place were I´ve spent a lot of time. So if you´re from the Nordic region you´ll have a great start right there. And I´m sure other countries have similar projects. So if you have that entrepreneur spirit and you wanna give it a chance. Go explore! Only then will you know what´s possible. That´s my conclusion. But be aware, right now I might be under the influence of some of the best entrepreneurs in the world
Thanks to a lot of good support and some hard work I´m happy to say that the rehab training is going very well. This week I’m gonna loose this plastic cast that I’ve been walking around with lately. That means the achilles tendon itself is slowly growing back to be one piece. But its still not the same strength. But that’s an even bigger problem with the muscles in my leg and around the ankle. Even though I’ve been working them every day, that is still nothing compered to how you use your muscles when you´re just moving around without a cast on. So even though the cast thing is coming off, I suspect I still have to walk with the crutches for a few days. And that’s kind of a good thing. Cause once you get a good technique on those things they´re real fast. But even though I have a way to go I´m pretty optimistic. I do have a feeling I´m a little ahead of schedule. So lets wait and see what happened in the next few months. The achillies tendon is about double of what it used to be in thickness, so i´m gonna have to drop by the Head factory to get a new pair of boots fitted. Not sure when I´ll be able to take those boots skiing. But like I said, t looks good and I´m kinda optimistic.
Being a part of the best team is great when you´re having success and everybody ´s happy. But its even better when things don’t go your way. That’s when you really figure out what kind of people and companies you work with. I decided to stay in Sölden for the world cup races. Not to watch the races, but because I wanted to be with my team. These guys are great at what they do (athletes, coaches, physios, ski technicians…) but they¨re also great people and some of my best friends. I´m also a proud member of the HEAD ski team. Yesterday we did the annual world cup opening press conference with the HEAD team here in Sölden. Everyone else ready to kick ass trough the winter, and me jumping around on one foot… A lot of people said it must be really depressing to be here?? No, its actually exactly the opposite. I felt so much better after those hours spent with the HEAD crew. Being injured I feel bad because I cant deliver results and excitement on the race hill like I normally do. I will be back sooner or later to do that again, but in the mean time I´m on the side lines watching. Skiing is a risky sport and we´re all used to injuries, but it still feels great when you get the kind of support that I felt yesterday. So thanks everyone! And like I said. It´s good to be a part of a great team when things are good. But when things don’t go you´re way… That´s when being a part of right team gets really important. So tune in on television to watch your favorite sport this weekend live from Sölden. Not only because it’s a great sport, but because its full of great people!
This is what 100 kilos of downhill skiing looks like after running over 28 kilometers at the Wings For Life World Run last spring. Even if there is no smile on my face, this was a real fun experience. Sign up at wingsforlifeworldrun.com/no/no and come join us in Stavanger May 3rd 2015.
Let´s run for those who can´t!
Yesterday I wrote an update explaining different challenges ski-racers run into searching for good training. Weather being the main challenge. But I also mentioned the importance of the crew working on the hill. At the end of the update my conclusion is that we have had very bad luck and shitty conditions for almost the entire month of September. I never say the crew at the ski resort did a bad job, but I also fail to mention that they have done a good job. Leaving everyone with the impression they could be a part of the problem. That´s not fair. They have done a good job and they are of course just as frustrated with having a difficult season as we are.
I´ve skied my whole life. Skiing being an outside sport, it is also a sport that is effected by weather. Add being in the mountains and you´re effected by a lot of weather. During my time as a ski racer I have been to many camps where the weather and conditions have not been on our side. It´s almost normal that you lose a few days and/or get some days with real bad conditions. Bad conditions as a ski racers usually means that the snow is bad. It can be very soft. Or the snow is braking up into balls(we call it death cookies). Or its just hard enough for cruising, but once you push hard it breaks away under your ski. Or it is just very little snow. Very little snow means rocks. Since rocks destroy your skis, you can´t use your race skis. And training if you can´t use your best equipment is not the same. Snow in general is very sensitive to weather conditions. But you´re also depending on the crew that work the hill. That they know what they´re doing when they´re running the groomers. Basically there is a lot of things that can easily mess up your training. Imagine being a football player. One day the grass is just dirt and hard as asphalt , one day it´s half a meter tall and the next day its so wet that you run with water over your ankles. You can still practice, but its not very game/match/race like, you cant be your best and after a while that gets old. And that’s just the snow. Add wind(sometimes so strong the lifts wont run), rain, snow and fog. All normal in the mountains. There are just a lot of things that would make a lot of other sports easier when it comes to getting good training. If I go somewhere I like to stay for a long time. This way I feel you minimize the luck when it comes to weather. Staying long enough in one place you´re gonna get good stuff sooner or later. That´s why we spend the whole month of September(and then some) in Argentina. Like I said, going somewhere for a week you need some luck, and you could easily lose half of your days or more. But going somewhere for a month and having shit conditions almost every day!!! That’s a first for me. And hopefully a last… Coaches, ski technicians and racers are all working hard and hoping every day for good conditions. When you get disappointed by what the weather has done to the conditions almost every day you come up on the mountain… Well, it gets frustrating in the end. This September in Ushuaia most be the worst ski camp I´ve ever been to. We have just had real bad luck, for a month straight… Hopefully that will change for October and November, so we can get some quality training and be ready for another fun winter season!! And I think they´re right. If you´re frustrated about something it helps to get it out… Thanks!
A skier doesn’t get a lot of summer. You extend the winter as far as you can into the spring. Then you start looking for snow again as soon as August comes around. That basically means two months of summer. June and July. Good thing these months were both amazing in Scandinavia this year. In June I spent most of my time in Oslo training with the team. I a few short trips to Innsbruck and some days at my summer house in Sweden. But most of the time was spent with the team working out. Good times and good workouts. A win win situation thanks to great team mates!
We got three weeks of vacation from the team. The first week I spent with friends from New York biking trough the French Alps. We started in Annecy and ended up on the Riviera. That´s something I would recommend to everyone. If you like biking, beautiful nature and a bit of a challenge you should try that some day. Two relaxing days on the Riviera felt real good after climbing some of the most famous mountain passes in the Alps. I´m for sure doing that again!
Then I spent two weeks at my house in Sweden in the craziest summer weather I have ever experienced in Scandinavia. High 20´s to mid 30´s every day. Hot, but so nice when you´re by the sea and you can just dive in whenever you need to cool off. Perfect for recharging the batteries.
Cause the last week of July it all starts again. Physical testing at the Olympic center in Oslo and back training with the team. And now that it´s August it´s back on snow. A short week of skiing at Passo Stelvio in Italia and later in August we´ll travel to South America for a 5 week camp in Chile and Argentina.
The summer was great, but also a bit short. Cant believe it´s all starting again. It feels kinda early. But I´m hoping to catch a few more days in shorts and t-shirt before its all winter again for the next 10 months…