GMVS Agility Camp: Day 2

by Tim

The day started out with an excellent sunrise and some morning stretches on my own since I, for some reason, woke up at 5:30 AM in the summer. The morning run wasn’t until 7:10 AM, so my first morning of GMVS camp consisted of sitting outside on the stairs watching the birds, which was quite enjoyable I must admit. In fact, I got so caught up in the moment that I almost missed the group run, but fortunately an army of obnoxiously neon nordic skiers and broke the trance. The run was short but well done, and woke up my body a little bit more before breakfast.

Breakfast lasted a half hour or so and those not on kitchen detail were released to get geared up for the morning agility ski at Sugarbush Resort. I gathered my skate gear: brother’s roller skis, poles, my banana boots, and helmet, and met with the rest of the group outside the auditorium. We watched some short agility videos and departed in the vans. My van and another pulled over 5K from the resort and the coaches said that we were skiing to the Sugarbush parking lot from there. We arrived a short while later and started our agility immediately with a game of basketball. On rollerskis. This went well and no blood of my own was painting the pavement yet, but we had just begun.

FB_IMG_1466290293562Following our basketball, we switched groups and were coached by JB, a very extreme roller skier let’s say, where we would practice skiing OFF of the road. Now understand this wasn’t simply skiing off the side of the road, this was skiing off the edge of the road down a steep grass hill. We tried this many times and somehow went from skiing off and down the hill, to sprinting off the road and down the hill, to sprinting and jumping off of the road and landing on the downhill. I went 0 for 5 on that station but it was terrific fun in any event. Station three was the slalom station and this was where I knew I was going to have a physically abusive relationship between the road and my knees at least once. I was correct in my prediction; the slaloms were tight and required very fast feet to avoid failing the course and not only were my feet moving too slow but my boots were folding. To describe the level of flex my boots had laterally, let me say that if I was standing straight up on rollerskis in those boots, I could roll my ankles so that the outside of my feet touched the ground while my legs stayed straight. My boots were the same color as a banana and offered as much support as a banana peel, hence the reason for the name “The Banana Boots.”

The following stations were no less brutal on my knees and boots, but they did help me feel more stable on my skis. The 360 station was the best for my backwards skiing while the jump station was best for my balance. The last station was nameless as I recall, so I’ll just call it the slalom gone horribly wrong. It consisted of random full turns in different directions in a slalom format. This is where I needed to be; it was a great calf and shin workout. I did have an early lunch during that station though, comprised mostly of minerals found in asphalt. (I don’t recommend that particular diet.) We finished our morning agility with a swim in a river, which felt very soothing on my slight sun burn, and quickly headed back to the campus to get lunch.

After we had some down time to digest we went out for the last session of the day. The afternoon session was a slow easy run on some singletrack that ended with another swim in a nearby pond. It wasn’t too intense or exciting, but it was good to just shake out the legs from the morning beat down. The run lasted about 64 minutes, not including the swim, and ran right until dinner, which was leftovers from last night’s dinner. This, for all intents and purposes, was the end of Day 2.

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