Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Holly Party

In the cross country ski world, and particularly in the Pacific Northwest, Holly Brooks is a bona fide rockstar.  She has lots of fans in the Seattle area, so when we heard that she was going to jet through here on her way from the US Nationals in Vermont (after five months of racing in Europe) back to Anchorage, it was obvious that a party was called for.

So last night a large group of family and friends, all of whom have supported and admired and cheered for her over the years, gathered at Rune's beautiful Bellevue home to eat and drink and watch her slides and listen to her stories.  We had so much fun, hearing the inside scoop on some of the European ladies, the fun of being with teammates you train year 'round with, the less glamorous side of trekking heavy loads on trains and vans and planes, the ups and downs of a long season, the thrill of awesome results, and the pure joy of a good hard day of racing.  She shared with us her thoughts on why those Norwegian women are so darn good (hint: the fact that Marit Bjoergen is the John Elway of Norway doesn't hurt, but training and working and skiing together as teammates and pushing each other to higher levels is part of the secret, and that makes me think exciting and positive thoughts about the US women's team for next year!), and talked about her plans for the next year.

Many thanks to Joy for organizing the get-together, to Rune and Celeste for the fabulous hosting, to Holly's mom Chris for making three (three!) pots of delicious hearty soup, to everyone else for bringing all kinds of delicious treats, and mostly to Holly, for being generous with her time at the end of a long hard season and for being such a bright star for us to admire!  She invited me to come to Anchorage and crust ski with her in May, and my heart skipped a beat -- I yearn, I crave, to try crust skiing, but my workaholic winter and spring have not left me in good enough shape to enjoy such an adventure right now.  If the invitation still stands next spring, I'm totally there -- and I promise to learn to skate!

PS. Trail updates I heard at the party: there was a fire on one of the power poles along the Iron Horse trail, and a fire truck drove down the trail to put it out, totally demolishing the trail.  Darn.  But you could still access the trail from the Crystal Springs end, and either Jim or Paul will get out the snowmobile and track sled and groom Cabin Creek this Saturday.  Yay!

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