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Grasping the Moment

Wed, Dec  10, 2008 - By Alexa Turzian

Alexa Updates From Silver Star, BC
Alexa Turzian
USST
Team Today Blog

As we all live our separate lives from the moment we wake up to the second our eyelids fade away to sleep, we often forget who we are, where we are, and what we have in those moments in between. Each of our unique daily routines consume us day in and day out, until our bodies and mind act as robots always knowing what lays ahead and needs to be accomplished with no surprises along the way. It is very rare that anyone, especially the audience to whom I am speaking, ever has a chance to stop, breathe and clear their head of all the daily thoughts and reminders that constantly run frantically through our heads.

Silver Star

I admit I’m a victim to this kind of life style as much as anyone else. However, today was one of those rare days in my life where everything just seemed to slow down, where all my bodily senses seemed to take in the world to a much greater degree and clarity and where my life itself and what it consists of made me feel like the luckiest person alive.

I am currently in Silver Star, British Columbia chasing the snow and the races with the best of the best North American cross country skiers. As summer passes us by and fall arrives we can’t help but get anxious for the snowflakes to fall, to pull out the boards and hit those freshly groomed trails, beginning with West Yellowstone, Montana. Just like any ordinary skier I too couldn’t hold back these feelings and though there was no snow in the town of West Yellowstone as soon as my skis hit the snow for the first time on the upper plateau I felt nothing but pure happiness.

That first week of training flew by in a flash and the first races of the year soon approached us. Racers grew nervous, but excited as they all prepared themselves and their skis for the best performance possible. Days before the race, I too thought this would be me, that I would be among those to preview the race course, prep my skis and reach for my start bib as the coach hands them out in the pre-race, pump-up meeting. However, due a recent surgery on my hip it looked as if I wasn’t 100% ready to race, without risk of an additional injury. It was hard as any skier can imagine to sit back and watch all your friends and teammates race, when you feel as if you’ve waited centuries through the summer months to show your fitness and feel the pain. 

However, the days passed and once again I was like any other skier, training and enjoying the snow. So here I am now in Silver Star, British Columbia and yet again everyone is getting ready to push it to the metal and slap on his or her racing suits for a great weekend of racing ahead. I felt I was ready to race and expected to compete in the 10km. Classic, until once again I was told by doctors and coaches that though I felt “ready,” it just wasn’t time yet. So as you can imagine the frustration inside me was practically fuming out my ears. I couldn’t help but feel angry on the outside, even though I knew inside that these people were only looking out for me, holding me back because they cared so much for me and knew the potential I had for the future.

So today has arrived, and as I mentioned much earlier in the story it’s been a day like any other. For the first time since those races in West Yellowstone, I’ve accepted what I am dealing with. I’ve learned there are no shortcuts in the games of healing and that time itself is the best cure for any injury. These thoughts came over me today as I woke up and walked out the door to find myself surrounded by enormous Log Pole Pines in a magical village among the mountains of British Columbia. I then clipped into my skis and felt throughout my entire workout as if I was only flying up and down each hill, gliding effortless along a roller coaster in the woods.

I walked back from skiing in a heavy snowfall, breathing in the cool air and cherishing every weightless snowflake that brushed the tip of my nose and caught my eyelashes. At these moments suddenly the thought of not racing was completely ejected from my mind and I couldn’t help, but keep feeling as if I could quite possibly be one of the luckiest people alive. I told someone the other day, how hard it was for me to just keep training day in and day out when the purpose of training is to race and to show all you’ve worked for. But then I thought to myself, though racing is why we train, training is a part of me as much as my feet are a part of my body, and even if I couldn’t race another day in my life I would never give up being an athlete, training the way I do and living the amazing lifestyle I live. I will never be able to explain to anyone the opportunities’ skiing has given me and the places it has taken me. 

So, as the day comes to an end I remind you that from time to time as days like these flow into your life, let them slow you’re busy lives and sway your daily routines so that you too feel like as if life suddenly makes sense, that it is an unbelievable thing and that you feel like quite possibly the luckiest person alive.

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