Saturday, February 26, 2011

Scenes from the Road: Oslo, Norway Edition

My sister Kari dances with the statues in Oslo's Vigeland Park. The park takes its name from Gustav Vigeland, who put in a couple decades making the 180 statues that fill the place. Interestingly, all the creations are naked, save for Gustav's image of himself, which is fully-clothed. In the winter's white with the flowers are far from being in full bloom the park feels stark, but still quite beautiful in it's own right.

The first nights in Norway's capital were marked by incredible cold, high pressure weather, complete with clear nights and both the sun and the moon making appearances throughout the day.

Now the city is cloaked in an impressive cloak of fog. The trees and shrubs are all painted in a wind-blown white, and the snow's gotten both warmer and greasier. This photo comes from a hall of the triple-decker corrugated steel containers the Americans and Italians are waxing out of.

Friday, February 18, 2011

insurmountable opportunities

The last thing before walking out the cabin door for the race tracks in Beitostolen I found a parchment of paper and wrote the words "insurmountable opportunities." After the race ended with me fighting for the top spots at the Norwegian Cup and a dislocated shoulder, I've remembered these words. "Insurmountable Opportunities:" It's become a little mantra of mine.

After five days of lower-body centric skiing, today Scott and I headed to Sandvik, Norway for an appointment with the MRI machine some very nice people working for Norge's IdrettToppen- the country's high performance of sport center - helped set up for me. Ten minutes after I set foot in the hyper efficient clinic I was getting strapped down, and sent off on my way towards the blinking blue light of the several million dollar magnetic resonance imaging machine. For twenty minutes I lay there as motionless as possible while this giant white contraption whizzed and whirred, with sounds emanating around my head; the audio sounding a bit like a cross between a pinball machine and the old-school video game Astroid.

A couple minutes later I left with a CD for my doctor to look at. It seems the dislocation has caused a bit of fluid to enter the tendons surrounding my rotator cuff and there's bruising on the humurous head, but -and here's the beautiful part - there's been no tears in the ligament or tendons. I'm clear to race in a week's time at the World Championships in Holmenkollen.

"This is Great news!" writes my physical therapist Michael Hansen. "It is typical to see bone bruising like this after a dislocation on an MRI because they are so sensitive. And inflammation in the cuff is also normal being that those muscles hold the humeral head in the socket along with the ligaments. The key is no severe tearing or fracture of the bone. Yes, it is going to be sore, weak, and vunerable. But the good news is that it is a first time dislocation, it self reduced, you are young and healthy, and with proper taping/support, and avoidance of extreme positions, and rehab you can continue to compensate and compete. If you are too unstable, then stop. You will know. You are not going to loose much fitness in the next week for World’s. Train within your limits and go crazy when you compete. Let me know how you are doing. I want to help." Because of people like Michael Hansen, the MOD and people of this character and quality, I am doing a little better than alright.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Scenes from the Road: The Traveling Edition

Before bouncing out from Davos, Switzerland and making my back to Norway and the upcoming 2011 World Championships in Oslo I had to say goodbye to Bettina one last time. While I'll be skiing in Scandinavia with my newest training compatriot, Seppi the marionette, Bettina's going to Nepal to climb around on some of the biggest mountains in the World. Everest, anyone?

Ah, the view from the road, via public transportation. Learning how to read bus and train schedules...

Welcome to Norway, the land of Vikings and cross country ski trails.
Until a later time...