Ganong fired up to race |

Ganong fired up to race

Editor’s note: Travis Ganong wrote the following column Sunday while waiting for his delayed flight to Colorado for the opening race of the NorAm Cup season ” a giant slalom at Keystone Resort on Monday. Included in the first NorAm Cup race series are two giant slaloms at Keystone and two slaloms at Winter Park.

With 10 trips to the airport and about 60 days of ski training in the bag, it all boils down to Nov. 26 ” the first race of the year.

It might seem crazy to some, but as a ski racer I spend my entire summer chasing snow around the world and training as hard as I can, putting in countless hours and early mornings with one goal in mind: Being as prepared as possible for the start of the competition season.

I spent 14 days skiing in Mammoth, followed by 12 days on the glacier at Mt. Hood, a three-week free skiing pilgrimage to Las Lenas, Argentina, one more three-and-a-half-week “speed” training camp in Chile and a 15-day training block in Colorado. That was followed by a quick break at home for Thanksgiving and one last day of giant slalom training on Sunday.

That was my summer. It’s a good thing I love to ski.

Between the trips there was little time to rest, as I had a full-time dry land training regiment. Luckily, I live in Lake Tahoe, so biking, hiking, swimming and climbing made the sometimes monotonous “dry land” training awesome.

Looking back at my summer full of preparation, I’m glad I put myself through all the training. I can’t help but think that somehow it will all be worth it when I push out of the starting gate.

The only way I got through the painful road bike sprints up Barker Pass, or the grueling weight room sessions at the Tahoe Forest Hospital Sports Performance Center, was the desire to be ready.

I wanted to know, pushing out of the gate that first race, that I did everything I could to allow myself to ski faster than I could before. It’s good to know that I now can pull off that tighter radius turn because I did all those extra squats.

Before I made the U.S. Ski Team, I really didn’t think about all the down time conditioning that helps you get ahead in the sport. I would go out in the summer biking and hiking, and doing the things I love, but now I really appreciate what a full-time training program can do for you.

So here we go. It’s been a long summer of waiting to start competing, but now it’s finally time to race. I can’t wait to see what this season brings.

Until next time …

Travis Ganong is a 19-year-old North Tahoe local and a four-event ski racer on the U.S. Ski Team’s C Team squad.

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