Monday, November 16, 2015

I can't wait for Christmas music!

Big snow flakes, Frank Sinatra playing at breakfast, and shooting guns.... No better way to bring on the winter than breaking in the race skis with World Cup Trials and dumps of snow! I had the pleasure of racing both Tuesday and Friday this past week at Biathlon Canada WC Trials against Canada's best. Polar conditions were an added challenge to Friday's competition as Tuesday offered bluebird skies and crisp corduroy contrast to Friday's offering of a blanket of wet snow. Naturally, the weather resulted in anything but a firm track (winning time was 6:40 slower over equal distance).
 I had a reasonable race on Tuesday, but spent significant time between Tuesday and Friday looking for spots to reduce the gap on course as I felt I had more to give! In the range I was looking to make up 2 targets and calculated a few seconds here and there on various segments that I could realistically move through quicker...

The preparation I put into Fridays race paid off in the form of confidence as I arrived on race site thinking, "What a beautiful day to race!" The sloggy track was no doubt a challenge but nothing I wasn't ready to embrace. At the end of two days, I ranked a spot out side the 5 man World Cup team. Not to be disappointed, I will use the result to motivate improvement and will have my first chances early December competing on the IBU Cup circuit in Austria and Italy! 

Happy skiing...Now... where did I put my passport?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Fall Addiction

The abrupt passing of a childhood friend 2 months ago triggered a need for change in my life. Nothing was seriously wrong, in fact everything was great...and that was presenting the precise "issue". I needed a kick in the ass. I had a complaisant attitude setting over each day as I passively slept in, I trained, I ate...but I needed a reminder, a passionate wake up for the value of life and the most important people in it. I celebrated his life on Sept 9 with an event I will never forget...a 332km bike ride which gave me exactly 11:12:53 in my saddle to contemplate whatever subjects, questions, or issues I chose.

I made a commitment during my ride to make monthly lifestyle goals in his memory. His life planted a seed in me and I wanted to find a way to use this opportunity after grieving such a crisis. I have incredibly addictive tendencies that have been present for most of my life, but that has also tested my determination and focus, and ultimately strengthened my character. In the last few months I have stepped away from some increasingly addictive dependencies...but picked up a few more.

One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of addiction is "an unusual great interest in something." So, yes, I am a guilty culprit. My newest addiction?? Take a look...

Truly no better high than taking a day in the most beautiful place on earth: the Canadian Rockies. 

Embrace the weather...

Embrace a friend...

...or two...

...or three...

Keep it simple, just your runners...

 Probably a rain jacket....

Definitely a snack (Egg Mc Muff at the top of Mt Bourgeau 2931m)....

....and never forget to look up... show gratitude...

...and take a break if you need it...

Skip some rocks on an icy lake....

 ...but rule number one in baggin peaks...

Get froggy...

Love what your doing... 

And have fun!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ride for Bax

Some highlights from my bike ride last week to Saskatchewen crossing from Canmore in memory of my friend Baxter Goertz. After the ride, most people were asking how my butt felt or how tired my legs were, but honestly that was only a small factor in my ride. I had a goal to achieve and my body brought me there no questions asked. For me, the ride was about the 12 hours of reflection on Bax's life and how it had touched mine. Love you buddy.

"Tomorrow morning I am setting out from Canmore on a 330km (ish) bike ride to Saskatchewen River Crossing and back (hopefully I make it). Only a few weeks ago we were celebrating at my wedding with my childhood friend Baxter and his brothers, joking around, reminiscing on over a decade of friendship, watching hockey, playing every sport you can imagine, movies, sledding, games, building forts, sleep overs, biking to the candy store and growing up. A few weeks ago his journey here came to an end and tomorrow I’m hoping to make it to the crash site to visit where this segment of his life came to a close. I’ll be thinking of our trips as kids on crappy bikes, fighting dogs, pedaling down Bendixon Road to buy 5 cent candies and wash em down with soda. A chapter of Bax’s life has come to an end, but a new one has begun. His life was a gift to us, and I am thankful for everything we shared. I pray everyone who knew and loved Bax can feel his impact on them as we grieve and how it will continue to be a part of us for the rest of our lives. God bless you Bax and family"

7 AM start in Canmore, not fully comprehending what I am in for... keeping my mind open to the emotions/elements/challenges I am about to face. Perfect timing as I receive my send off gift. The clouds were lit up for a few minutes as I rolled out in some chilly temperatures.

Half way up Bow Summit pass (about 4 hours in) was the first time my hands were warm enough to take a picture! Wet roads, on and off rain, single degree temperatures, and decent headwinds were making this day look like a long one...with no shortage of storm clouds lurking in the mountains.

High point on my ride 2088m along the Icefields Parkway at Bow Summit. I believe this is the 2nd highest paved road in Alberta to Highwood pass (2206m)... All downhill from here baby!

Cheers to Bax! This was where I sat and had lunch at the crash site just North of Sask crossing. For me, it symbolized riding to the Pineview General Store with Bax and our brothers as be rewarded with candy. Ride was a little longer today, I guess that's part of growing up! Love you man

Kickin my ass Bax! And I wouldn't have it any other way. You shaped my childhood as we grew up together and those stories are with me for the rest of my life. This next chapter you are as present as ever as you continue to shape my character as I evaluate my own life, value and aim to be present in every precious moment, push my limits (thanks for the inspiration) and love this God given time on earth. Your life was a gift to everyone who loved you!

Potable? Probably!

332km averaging 29.6km/h. (longest ride I had ever done by almost 100km)

7pm: 332km, grieving, conquering, accepting, reminiscing, and goal setting all to touch the surface. Here's a cold one (Jerkface 9000) for you Bax!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Matt Neumann- Profile

A short video I put together profiling Matthew Neumann who trains full time as a biathlete in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. I shot this video over the course of a month and was fortunate to be invited to a film a number of international races for the project. Special thanks of course to Matt for all the hours he put in to helping me with this project and to Justin Brisbane at the Canmore Nordic Centre for hooking me up with the access I needed

~Jordan Dahl

Check out the link below!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Canmore VS Everybody

The classic home court advantage! The pressure to perform in front of a home crowd, the knowledge and experience of all the little aspects of the course, familiarity with food and lifestyle... Team Canada was fortunate enough to have these advantages for the final IBU Cups of the season!

Momentum can also be a confidence builder! I had my best Biathlon race this year at trials one week before the IBU Cups. I had "perfect" shooting (10/10) and secured a spot on the Canadian Team.

Only one spot was guaranteed with the rest of the team being selected off of discretion.

Ta da! ~reppin the maple 
leaf going thru equipment control pre-competition

Unfortunately I got sick the day after trials and came into the first race a little under the weather. What a momentum killer:P

(cool shot of the last paddle falling up before getting out of position)

Some good shooting along the way always helps. My prone was super solid in the last half of the season and I finished with 92% prone shooting average in IBU races after Christmas. Now that standing eh?

We had a hard working team of wax techs out grindin' to give us every edge possible! A perfect race needs so many variables to come together: some in your control, some not so much...

Getting sick wasn't exactly in my control but I felt a little obliged to get out and give everything I had on each day. Fortunately fast skis helped make it a little easier!
I was a pretty bummed on getting sick. I had based my entire years training around performing at these races... but like I said, some things you control, some you don't...I felt I did everything in my control to prepare and that's what counts.

My big personal accomplishment from these races was having a clean trials race the weekend before. My skiing was looking back in form at National Championships the week after and I just  missed being healthy when it counted. I'm looking forward to continuing my pursuit for putting together a perfect race.

Next season Canmore will be hosting Biathlon World Cups for the first time in my life (last one was 1987 I believe?) and never know, maybe I'll have another home course advantage story!

*thanks for the pics Justin Brisbane, Jane Pindroch

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tour Life

Tere Paevast! Or "good day" to all my non-Estonian readers! I am settling into a new routine, new hotel, new ski trails, and new country. I have recently traveled from Ridnaun, Italy and am currently in Estonia with part of the Canadian National Biathlon Team preparing for some international racing. It's easy to go on tour around Europe and be so focused on racing you forget to look around! So lets start off with some fun Estonian facts!! 

1. Inventors of skype
2. Connected! Internet speed and access is always an issue on tours through Europe! Good news for us Estonia is ranked 34th in the world for percent of population with access to the internet (1 007 020 of 1.3 million). Unfortunately they didn't make the list for internet speed (average connection being somewhere less than 1 Mbit/s). Can you believe South Korea's average connection speed is 23.6 Mbit/s?? Canada sits at a comfy 9.7 Mbit/s according to wikipedia. 
3. Online voting. Estonia actually has an online voting platform! kinda neat
4. Top literacy rates (tied for 10th in the world at 99.8%, slightly ahead of Canada 99.0% and the US 99.0%)
5. Host of 2015 IBU Open European Championships in Otepaa!
I will keep you updated as the week goes on, but for now some highlights from our travels!

IBU Cup 5 Ridnaun, Italy...still getting over some nasty jet leg!

Race ya down!

But first... lets take some selfies

ok and on the red sled, reppin the maple leaf 

Ich mochte eine tasse kaffee....bitte!