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Janyk: Summer training in Whistler

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The women's team has just wrapped up a 10 day training camp in Whistler... and we had a blast!

The camp started off with lots of action and it was full of fun activities. We were 12 girls, plus physios and trainers, and everyone joined in.

We have been training very hard for the past few months and just prior to this training camp we had four weeks in the weight room and doing very specific cardio training and interval training. It's part of getting stronger and better but it can get a bit monotonous going to the gym every day for three hours plus.

The goal of our latest camp was just to be in Whistler, to be in the Olympic town and to enjoy the valley and get outside to do our training. We went mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, paddle boarding and yes, we still logged a lot of hours in the gym!

Our mountain bike rides took us down to Function and around the trails there - nothing too crazy, we don't need any injuries right now. We also biked all the trails around Lost Lake, most of which I hadn't ridden in a long time, so that was very fun.

Our longest mountain bike ride was all the way down to Brandywine Falls, where we stopped to check out the waterfall, and then over to the Whistler Bungee bridge where we went bungee jumping. Everyone jumped, and with all of us in our bike gear it was quite funny to see.

The hard part was getting back on our bikes afterwards and pedaling back into Whistler, but being the competitive athletes that we are we couldn't just cruise our way back, we had to keep a good pace (mainly because we didn't want it to take any longer than needed). I really enjoyed riding the Sea to Sky Trail, with all the twists and turns and ups and downs it was definitely my kind of mountain biking. I'll stick to the downhill skiing and leave the downhill mountain biking for others.

The atmosphere of the whole camp was fantastic, and everyone had a great time; we trained hard, pushed each other and had some laughs. We also hiked up the race hill, right to the top of the downhill start where we connected with our Olympic run. We followed the hike up with a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams on the weekend. I hadn't done that in years and probably wouldn't have done it had it not been for our camp. It was really great to do some things around Whistler that I don't often get to do.

Everyone has returned home now where we have two more weeks of training in the gym before taking our new muscles to the ski hill. We will be going to New Zealand on Aug. 7 and will be spending five weeks down there training on snow. It will be mid-winter there and we'll miss the summer weather, but thankfully we have been having some fantastic warm weather this month and I have been enjoying every moment of it!

Training is tough during the summer months, but it's our hard work now that carries us through the long race season. It's also important to remember to make it fun while still putting in the hard work.

I have been reconnecting with Whistler this summer and reconnecting with myself.

I just want to finish by touching on my article from last week in the Pique and note that without the support from my family, my loving and fantastic family, it wouldn't have been possible to feel this strong in my own skin.

I have missed Whistler but have also been able to see and make wonderful friends across our country and have felt the amazing support from two great communities, Whistler and Collingwood. Canada is a big country but it is amazing how connected we are and how supportive all our little communities can be. And for that I am very thankful.

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