12.10.11 Olympic Training Center | Lake Placid Sliding Complex
After a Holiday respite in New York City, my first week back in Lake Placid has been productive on several fronts. To begin, I’ve finally become comfortable with the idea of living in a perpetual Winter scape. Now, you may be wondering why this is an important hurdle –one big enough that I should spend a moment discussing– but I must remind you that I’ve lived in both the Arizona desert and Florida swamp over the past seven years. The one exception was time spent living in Central Pennsylvania. After a Winter of shoveling snow drifts and de-icing roadways, I swore that “never, never, ever, [would] I ever live in a cold climate again!” Well, here I am. It is currently 16 degrees.
The first month living at the Olympic Training Center [OTC] was an interesting one to say the least. As a new developmental athlete in Driving School, I was learning constantly, sure of nothing –unsure of everything. I am happy to say that I’ve graduated and have now found my place here amongst the other athletes, coaches, trainers and foreign federations. The most important thing that I’ve perceived is that one must find external creative or intellectual outlets. It is quite possible, in my opinion, to become all-consumed with sport and socially stagnant. With the help of my friend Tanya Cohn, I am currently learning Russian. спасибо. Spasibo, Thank You.
I neglected to post video of my first run (jog) from Start 1 or, the top of the track. During Driving School we steadily made our way “up the hill” from start 4 and upwards. We first learned how to navigate the track by being pushed down it. At the Start, we sprint about 30 meters and then jump on the sled at speed –this is called the Push. This video is from November 7th and, as you can see, I was a little tentative, choosing to jog instead of run all out. The helmet cam is an amazing way for you all to share in my daily vantage. Enjoy!
We have begun to race with other and veteran athletes every Friday to help temper our competitive muscle. Skeleton is so intricate. There are so many working parts to manage in under one minute. Curves, straightaways, pressure points, speed lines, grooves, body positions, steering. It all comes so fast and I’ve struggled. I am now working to mentally perceive time differently. Drive slow homie. Inhale, exhale. Eye flutter. Slow. Steady. Chopped and Screwed, shout out to my Texas friends! I have yet to run all out on my Push and my start times don’t reflect my natural speed. But it’s coming and I look forward to the day when my athleticism and intuition override my technical and controlling brain.
There’s an Ice Box where my heart used to be. Thanks for title inspiration Omarion. Skeleton Ice Box is prep space used to cool sled runners before racing.
I wore a speed suit for the first time. It looked good, you’ll see.
Posted a new fitness video: Let’s Move! Harlem, can I play?
The NCAA Regional Mens Hockey Championships are being contested here this weekend. I saw a Drake look-a-like in the cafeteria.
Rhythmic Gymnastics athletes may have the most amazing sport bodies that I’ve ever seen. Simultaneously incredible and grotesque. You’d have to see them moving in person.
Tiger Woods won a golf tournament.
I had a morning boardroom meeting with a major magazine in NYC. It was fresh.
Oh, and I must tell you: I experienced my first crash on the track. My sled finished the race before and without me –that’s an 81 and we’re not talking NFL Tight Ends. More later.
Until next time, I was never in the box! –Andia