Sunday, November 15, 2015

Vermont is Home.

 Millstone, VT, Angry Gnome Trail
 We used the unusual temps to take the L.L Bean SUP for a cruise
 This is what a dream gym looks like with a dream strength trainer.  HP Sports. Philadelphia. 
Hiking in some of the first snow of the season!  Mount Mansfield, Vermont

It's been awhile since I have actually spent a good chunk of the off season at home in Vermont.  In the recent past, I unpacked my bag from the world cups and turned around to repack with tropical things for two months on Kauai.  This year is different.  I am staying at home for the majority of fall, stick season, and winter. If something says anything about my nomadic lifestyle, this story does.  I was walking through our local grocery store with my sister, and we ran into one of our highschool friend's parents.  The first question out of her mouth was, 'Lea, what are you doing here?'  Well, I live here.  And, I am actually living here.  I do have to say, after avoiding stick season for the past five years, I had a bit of trepidation about this year's stick season. Stick season is when all of the leaves have fallen off the trees in Vermont, but it's not yet winter.  So, mostly, it's a dreary, cold thirty five degrees with rain. But, the dreary weather has completely been brightened up by actually laying down roots somewhere for a long period of time.

As a result, it's been so fun to reconnect with my friends here.  I just returned from seeing my college roommate, Tyne, and meeting her new baby, Wilder.  This five week old is a little cutie.  I live with my sister, Sabe, and a good group of my Middlebury friends live in the area.  It's been so fun.  We have been hiking, riding, eating, and we even went to go see some music on Friday night.  I'm getting dangerously close to living a normal lifestyle.  It's refreshing.

I say the tell tale sign that I have finally settled is when my toiletry kit finally gets unpacked, along with the other packed luggage from the season of course.  I haven't fully settled into Vermont quite yet because my toiletry kit is still sitting on the counter.  Good thing though because I had to grab it last week and pack it away for a trip to Philadelphia.  I drove down to HP Sports in Philly to meet with my strength coach, Bill Knowles, and map out and prepare for the oncoming season.  Bill Knowles is an absolute genius when it comes to strength and injury recovery.  He is also like a 10,000 volt shot of electricity straight to the soul.  So much so that I usually come out of a meeting with him four days post surgery excited.  Now that is a challenging task.  So, it's saying something that this past week at HP Sports with Bill has been the most exciting one yet.  We dialed in a lot of new moves and strength circuits, and I'm thrilled about this freshness in the routine.  It makes all the different.  I am ecstatic to start training for 2016.

 The drive down to Philly was a pretty one
 Quarry Views in local mountain bike trails
 It SNOWED!  My favorite.  Getting amongst it. 
 View from Taylor Lodge, Mt. Mansfield
Meeting baby Wilder.  

Now, my whole family will be together for Thanksgiving for the first time since high school.  Usually either Sabe is away at a ski camp or I am on an island somewhere.  This will be great to spend the holidays together as a unit.  I'm really cherishing this time at home.

Enjoy it…where ever you may be.