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Welcome! My name is Michael Somppi and I'm a competitive cross-country skier. I developed this blog so sponsors, family, friends and fans can keep up to date with my life as a full-time athlete. You can expect regular blog posts about racing, training, and life in general. Check out other sections of my blog by clicking on the tabs above.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Another Day Another Dollar, Another Year Another 365 Dollars?


The 2014-15 season is well under way now but before I get into what’s going on right now I’m going to jump back and do a quick recap to wrap up last year.  National Championships were a great event again this year with Corner Brook and Blow Me Down Ski Club playing host.  Thank you to the organizing committee and all the volunteers!  We had a mix of weather conditions as to be expected in March, but thankfully nothing too extreme.  I had the chance to ski some of the rec trails on a blue bird training day and was impressed with the trail system.  Some really nice stuff further out!  As a whole my Nationals were mediocre with a few highlights.

After a crash and broken pole off the start line of the Team Sprint Final, Andy and I clawed ourselves back to a 4th place finish.  It would have been great to see where we could have finished if we hadn’t had the crash… hopefully we can find redemption at the 2015 Nationals.  I won a bronze medal after a really good effort in the 15km Skate event.  I also qualified 3rd place in the sprint race, but unfortunately missed out on the A-final by 2 hundredths of a second.

Top: Good feelings to be on the podium at Nationals.
Bottom: Made it big in the local paper!

 Post-Nationals I headed back to Canmore for a little over a week.  Had an awesome day downhill skiing in fresh pow at Sunshine, raced Sharkfest (3rd and 2nd place finishes) and partied in Banff.

Spring-time fun in the mountains!

 And finally it was time to go home.  Feeling worn out I boarded the plane with a sigh of relief.  Through April I enjoyed some low key days and spending time with my girlfriend, family and friends.  Snow was still prevalent so I did some skiing when I felt like it.  I competed in a few fun events (Run & Ski, Orienteering, Biathalon Balloon Toss) and joined NDC TBay for a 5-day volume skiing camp.  I felt like I was getting back to my skiing roots and I think I needed to rediscover that.

Last Big Snowfall of the Year in TBay
Beginning of May I travelled to Canmore to kick off the new season.  It was hard to leave home behind once again, but I got into the regular training routines with our first training camp right away and morning skis at Sunshine were spectacular.  Conditions were like mid-winter with fresh powder the first few days and we had some unbelievable crust skiing days as well.  Things were a little up in the air with a new coaching system being put into action, however the camp went smoothly and things started to fall into place pretty quickly after the camp.

It’s one week into June now and I’m feeling like I’m on the right track.  I had a solid month of training in May.  I’ve been able to implement my training strategies.  So far the changes in the system I’m working under have been positive.  I’ve been doing this ski thing for some time now and like any other career or job there are days when I wish I was doing something else, but the majority of the time I can’t believe how lucky I am to be living this life.  I love training, being outside breathing in fresh air, and working towards a big goal alongside likeminded people.


Top: Andy in a snow covered gondola on our way up to Sunshine and skiing!
Bottom: The TBay guys getting their skis ready for another blue bird ski day.

The photo speaks enough words on its own. 
Top: Summit of Heart Mountain
Bottom: Jana further up the ridge closing in on Grant MacEwan Peak

The Heart Mountain Horseshoe ridgeline

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