Have you ever agreed to something without knowing what exactly it was that you agreed to? This in combination with my colleagues recommendations to apply, as they knew how much I wanted to fall in love with Norway and the winter, is how I came to be a competitor in the 2019 Visma Ski Classics.
Neverous, bruised, excited and determined are just some of the words that I would use to describe my experience so far. I am very much looking forward to being one of the few Australian’s to successfully complete the 70km Ylläs-Levi race in Finland.
If you don’t fall down you are not trying hard enough
We are now in our third week of training and if I am completely honest – now that the butterflies in my stomach have started to fade and I am dusting myself off from my 60th face plant this month, the fear of becoming a less inspiring Adrian Salano is growing stronger.
I am standing on the track under the banner at Lyn Ski klubbhus, while our trainer Eirik Thurmer Ombustvedt yells at my team mate ‘if you don’t fall down you are not trying hard enough!’ (using my most recent encounter with the ground as a motivational pep talk). This is the moment that I realise the depth of what exactly it is that I have signed myself up for. It is at this moment that I look left at the road back to the train station (4 minutes if I walk, 1 if I run as fast as I can away from this track) where I can swiftly place an add on Finn.no and try and make my money back from my newly purchased ski gear, but then I look right, back at the track and remember why I signed up for this challenge in the first place – to push myself to fall in love with winter and Norway.
My Fitness Transformation
I like to think of myself as a fairly active person however, Cross Country Skiing is not a sport that I could have prepared for, I have gone from feeling like a strong ‘Sarah Connor’ to a newly birthed bambi during this experience so far – so I am having to re-train my entire body and focus my training on endurance and upper body strength. Each week I will complete the following training schedule in hopes of slowly reducing my face plant per session and increasing my endurance.
3 x 10-17km runs (Endurance)
2 x Megaformer Pilates (balance)
2 x Upper body workouts
1 x training with professional ski instructor
2 x 10-15km Ski (hoping to increase this as time goes on)
I will continue to post my journey on Instagram (Projectyllaslevi) and hope that you will follow and encourage me along the way.
Until next post!