Lake Placid, New York has a lot of Olympic history and there is definitely something magical about the small town tucked away in the Adirondack mountains. On October 13th the best Nordic Combined and Special Jumping athletes in the nation gathered in Lake Placid for National Championships. It does seem a little strange to have a national championship event in the fall on a summerized hill and roller skis but it is nice to have the championships before everyone gets busy with competitions overseas.
Going into the competition I was in a bit of a slump jumping and was a little nervous with how I would do but I remained confident and ended up jumping into 2nd place. I was thrilled with my starting position in the race and I knew I could hold my own against the big guys. Unfortunately I had some severe equipment malfunctions during the race (broken rollerski wheels). By the time I received a different roller ski I had already lost too much ground on the entire field and just treated the remainder of the race as training. Needless to say I was bummed out but when something as frustrating as an equipment issue presents itself you have to take away the positives and look ahead to the next competition. 

The day after National Championships the team packed up for our final "summer" Europe training camp with US B team in Planica, Slovenia and Ramsau, Austria. Our time in Planica was amazing. We were able to take full advantage of the brand new jumping facilities jumping everyday. At first I struggled a little bit to find the rhythm of the hills but I was able to turn it around and have some very productive training sessions. During our stay in Planica we had an inter-team competition with the US B team. The jumping went pretty well for me and put me in 3rd place. That afternoon we drove to Villach, Austria for the race and I was fairly pleased with my race ending up 6th overall on the day.

After our final day of jumping in Planica we traveled to the nordic paradise known as Ramsau, Austria. While in Ramsau we were lucky enough to go up on the Dachstein glacier every morning and enjoy our first days of skiing on snow. I was happy to rack up some distance hours on snow and work on my technique. With close to 16km of perfectly groomed trails I couldn't help but smile and remember how grateful I am to be following my dream. 

Overall it was a very productive training camp. I am feeling super confident in my fitness right now and the training hours I've been putting in. Jumping will always have its up and downs but I am starting to get more and more consistent making even my mediocre jumps solid for competition. Needless to say I am ecstatic about how close winter and the competition season is. 

All I do wouldn't be possible without an amazing group of supporters. The National Nordic Foundation has been a huge help to fund the trips that will ultimately get me to a level of competition I need to be at to excel in international competition this year. Currently the NNF is in the middle of its biggest fundraiser for the year, The Drive For 25. This fundraiser asks each fan of USA nordic sports to chip in $25 or more to help fund Development athletes like myself all over the US, and then spread the word to everyone that would like to be a part of supporting the next generation of Olympic and World Champions in the US. Take a look at the NNF website and donate to the Drive For 25. Any donation big or small is greatly appreciated. https://www.grouprev.com/nnfdrivenc 

"Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible." 
        - Anonymous
A lot has happened since my last update. After an amazing month long training camp in Europe I returned to Steamboat to train. After two weeks at home the team packed up for an intensity camp in Moab, Utah. Some people may ask why Moab for an intensity camp? Moab sits at just above 4,000 ft elevation. Which means better recovery and more speed with more oxygen. It also helps that we were greeted by blue skies everyday. 
After a week filled with 6 interval sessions it was back to Steamboat for a week and a half before Nationals in Lake Placid, New York. After enjoying 80 degree temperatures in Moab it was a little bit of a shock to come back to Steamboat and have a foot of snow fall over night. Despite the climate shock it's exciting to see winter is "slowly" returning. 
Next week we fly out to Lake Placid, New York for National Championships. It feels a little strange having nationals in the fall with zero snow on the ground, but non the less I am excited to compete against the best in the US.
After Lake Placid we will be jumping the pond for a final training camp in Europe and joining forces with the US B Team in Planica, Slovenia. 
Stay tuned for more on this exciting time of year. In the the mean time enjoy some more pictures from Moab.