Last year was the start of this crazy world and what we know would change the lives of millions. Oslo banned all the spectators except for the few that camped out in the forest to illegally watch the events in true Norwegian style, and the rest of the competitions were cancelled sending everyone home early. I went home and tried to figure out what was next for me, and how training was going to look during a global pandemic.
We have all heard the saying “fortune favors the bold” or something along those lines. My close friends back in Park City, Utah were all making moves to be successful and to make sure this wasn’t going to affect them like the millions of people who unfortunately lost their jobs or had a major change. I know I had to do something as skiing was anything but certain given the travel bans, spikes in cases, and facilities closed across the country. My whole life has been focused on my goals of skiing for the most part, but I have always known there is life outside sport. Over the last couple years, the personal setbacks I have faced truly made me realize that I can’t be purely focused on skiing and that I needed to develop my career outside of athletics. For some that is very hard to realize, as how are you supposed to work and train, when training is realistically a full-time job.
Rewind a couple years ago, I had just bought a house, didn’t make any money that year skiing and was looking at an uncertain future. Something needed to change so I could either continue skiing or not be struggling to make mortgage payments. So, I started looking for a job that would work with my skiing, something that could also allow me to advance my future, so I am not starting from nothing once I am finished with Nordic Combined. What I found was a perfect fit, something that goes hand in hand with what I have done my whole life. Athletic Republic offered me job as a part time trainer. Besides a few occasions, I have never really coached or trained athletes or had my say in what they should be doing. This allowed me to train in the mornings and work in the afternoons when I didn’t have another training session. In reality it really helped me become organized as I needed to have my weeks planned well in advanced to create the days that I could work. When I needed to go for a team camp, I could put in for time off and come back and resume working after. That was the same for the winters up until this spring when the pandemic forced our training center to close for a month as the virus was running rampant through the state. During our closure, I was thinking how I could continue to build of my career and how I could continue to work. During the course of my whole career, I have been going to school, while it may only be one or two classes a semester, it is something that I have to do. I am going to the University of Utah for Business Marketing and wanted to start utilizing what I have learned. Fortunately for me, marketing was something that was put into overdrive at work and the CEO of Athletic Republic transitioned me to help out with marketing. I was nervous but excited as this was a great step forward outside of sport but was going to be something completely new for me. Right away I was tasked with creating a partnership for all of our training centers, so they had access to better recovery and general health. Creating something during the pandemic isn’t easy and I felt like I was running into a wall throughout the process.
When I finally launched it to the network, it felt like I had just finished a massive training block just in time for the bulk of the summer training. While we didn’t do our normal training with a few training camps in Europe to ski jump at “Low Altitude” we made the most of it in the hot summer weather in Park city. Having been on the national team for over a decade, I felt like it was important to try to do most of my endurance training solo but be there with the team for intensity. This allowed me to focus on what I needed to do but also gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do. This meant the summer flew by and we were getting ready to hop on the plane to Ruka, Finland for the first competitions. Over the course of the summer, I had built a role for myself and I was excited to have this opportunity. Athletic Republic knew I was going to be gone all winter but wanted to find a way for me to stay engaged with the business.
Gyms were one the hardest businesses hit during the pandemic. A few large franchise-based businesses lost dozens of units or went out of business altogether. The team came up with a great idea to get people in the door when the doors reopened. The only issue was they needed people to run it. That is where I have stepped in during this season. Lead generation is a very effective tool when run correctly and my co-worker and I have been splitting the hours effectively to capture the leads as soon as they come in. As he is based in Park city, Utah he is eight hours behind me. That means when he is turning off the computer, I am clocked in within four hours to make sure I reach the customer as soon as possible. This had to lead to many of our franchises staying open and having some of their best months to date. It is something that I am very proud to do as I am able to share my knowledge of sports performance training with people across the country and to help them find the become elite athletes to give them the best future in athletics.
While this can be a very stressful and demanding position, I have been able to take my mind off skiing as that can be a very daunting aspect of sport. Yes, there have been days where I am tired, but at the same time I am enjoying the breath of fresh air when I step out the door for the next training session. When you are enjoying training, it always seems to go better. Better training means, better competitions which yes, that means a better season. Now my teammates and I are about to head to Oberstdorf, Germany for World Championships. I am beyond excited and know on a good day anything is possible given that this is my sixth World Championship appearance.