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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.

Monday, 28 December 2015

No Regrets

I tried really hard.  I gave it my best shot.  Multiple races I went out harder than I normally would, pushed my limits and hit my max early on, hoping to find the willpower to hang on.  In the end it didn’t pan out.  I wasn’t able to achieve a notable World Cup result.

From another perspective, my trip was a success.  I had three objectives aside from my results based goals:
1) To soak it all in, relish the experience and enjoy myself.
2) To ski like myself, unrestricted by nerves with no worries about how others perceive me.
3) To give 100% and never back down from the challenge.

I’m happy to check off all three!  There were times in several races when I hit my max early on, was suffering and the temptation to pull out of the race presented itself.  I never gave in.  At times the race-course or competition level was intimidating, but when I hit the start line I forgot my worries and skied to the best of my abilities on the given day.  In the past I’ve struggled to overcome nerves in World Cup races.  This time around I was able to zone out my surroundings and focus on skiing like myself.

Maybe my biggest trip accomplishment was checking off number 1 on the list.  I’m my biggest critic.  I’m hard on myself.  Never settling and always pushing for more is how I’ve made it this far in skiing, but it’s often not the best approach.  I’m probably showing my age saying this stuff, but as I mature I understand sometimes it’s better to just enjoy the experience.  I always give 100%, but if that effort doesn’t reap the result I’m looking for, beating myself up about it doesn’t help any.  No matter what the results, I didn’t want to waste my time in Europe being down.

Above: Davos 30km Individual Start (photo credit: Nordic Focus)
Below: Enjoying World Cup life in Davos on a sunny training day

Watched HC Davos play downtown.  We earned ourselves some delicious
melted gruyere on toast for being the most raucous fans in the stands haha!

As far as race feelings go, there was one race I felt like I was on my A game for.  I had great feelings in the Toblach sprint qualifier, for sure the best I’ve felt so far this season.  Unfortunately our team’s skis didn’t match my good feelings for the race and that’s just the way she goes.  I don’t feel like I put it together completely in any distance races, however I did have some solid days.  Certainly as good or better than anything I did before Christmas last season.  I have very rarely had outstanding performances before Christmas and as hard as I tried to make it happen this year, it didn’t work out.  Good news is there’s a lot of racing left this season and when March comes around, I will be ready to take another shot at the World Cup.

No snow in Central Europe.  This was the set-up in Dobbiaco Toblach.
I don't think anyone minded the above zero temps on race day.
A last minute decision to classic the distance race rather than DP left me using my pursuit boots, not that I mind at all.
The extra support was nice on the downhills. (photo credit: Nordic Focus)

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