It has been a long while since you have heard from us juniors, but we are back and catching you up with all we’ve been up to over the last too many months…
Hello! I’ve been doing a lot of orienteering stuff recently. If you didn’t know already, I went to Ukraine in the beginning of Summer (around May 20th?) and since then I’ve been orienteering and chilling. My favorite part of the trip so far has been the WOC Selection Races and training camp which I did with the Ukrainian team. That was so fun and I miss it so much, but I look forward to doing more training camps like that hopefully with the American team. I didn’t do so well in the selection races since I was totally new to the terrain, but afterwards I felt pretty confident and got a lot of good trainings in. Looking forward to WOC, although I’m going to be taking it pretty easy. Still tired from the Training Camp so I think I overdid it a little bit. Training is suffering because of it but I’m happy to rest and do some sprints at WOC and focus on having a good relay result. I’m mainly super looking forward to US nationals since us Juniors are renting a place together and I cannot tell you how much I miss training with the team. In Ukraine it’s great, but with the language barrier it’s hard to make such great friends like I have on the US team. I’m also looking forward to JWOC because I get to see David (and also Jessica but whatever). Hoping to have a good summer of orienteering and get some good JWOC results. For now I’m just trying to fully recover before I get back into any hard training.
Life has been pretty fabulous, but man do I miss running. Without it I’ve had a lot of time to think about my trajectory and how I’m going to accomplish what I want to do. One big piece of the future I’ve been thinking about is fall sports; I’m thinking that I’ve finally reached the point where I have to quit volleyball because I don’t think it’s realistic to do a varsity sport, junior year, and effective running training all together (though that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on that possibility – I’ve got to learn time management for college, right??). It’s a necessary change because cross country will be so valuable for me, especially coming off a year of little to no running training.
Middle school track practices were pretty lame this year. COVID precautions meant that girls and boys practiced on alternating days, so as a result I only had practice twice a week. My sisters, on the other hand, were practicing every day at their high school. Plus they do hurdles, which are not offered in middle school. One afternoon I went with my sisters to practice and thankfully the coaches welcomed me. I enjoyed it a lot more than middle school practices. Plus, hurdles are great cross-training for jumping over streams, rocks, and the occasional snake. I am looking forward to continuing my training with the high schoolers.
During the past year, I tried my hand at event directing for my club, DVOA. I hadn’t recognized just how much work went into an orienteering event until I was the one responsible for it. I think many of us take for granted how much time volunteers put into making these events happen. We can all make the event director’s job a little easier with the smallest bit of volunteering, whether it be picking up a few controls, checking some people in, or monitoring the download station. Even though I have not yet tried course setting, I have gotten a glimpse of how much work that job entails, too. If I could stress one thing to everyone, it would be…. volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!
My spring has been pretty good and eventful for COVID. I got into and chose my college. I graduated from high school. I got vaccinated. I even went to prom which really surprised me. In May I also started going to school in person for the first time since last March which was really nice. I only was in person for about 3 weeks but those 3 weeks were quite fun because I had very little work to do. The entire time I was in school was basically just spent socializing, catching up, and saying goodbye. We also got to have a pretty full track season this spring which was amazing. We got to practice normally, race other teams, and even go to invitationals. Another thing that made this season so fun was because I did very well. I was consistently the fastest person on our distance team and ran races faster than I ever thought possible. In the end I managed to run a 4:28 mile, 9:59 2 mile, and a 2:03 800. I have also been doing quite a lot of sprint orienteering which has been super fun as well.
I have had an eventful spring season to say the least. I went to college in late January and, despite being very careful about COVID, I was one of the few unlucky students that caught it. It was a rough couple weeks of symptoms, and then I had all sorts of health issues from there that really put a damper on any training. As frustrating as it was, I got the opportunity to learn how to throw javelin which allowed me to score points for my school track team in the two meets that we did manage to have (one virtual, one in person). After 5 months of basically no running, however, I had an operation and now am back to training, more motivated than ever. I am headed out to California for the US Champs in August which will be interesting after only one and a bit months of physical training, but I’m very excited to see what I’ll be able to do despite my lack of fitness (and also soooo ready to see teammates after two years).
Hope you’ve enjoyed a little catch-up with some of the team members, and keep your eyes peeled for more blog posts headed your way!