Somehow year after year, the 30 days of April whirl by so fast. With the upcoming summer of training already planned to the day on a spreadsheet, and the 2012-13 racing season being published on the fis-ski.com website months ago, April offers precious, and in my case, often elusive frivolous time.
Now back on January 1st 2012, I got a fortune cookie that claimed “A distant relationship could begin to look more promising”, which in turn became one of my New Year’s resolutions- to nourish and improve my relationships in 2012. So many caring people support me as I train tirelessly in hopes of an Olympic glory that many times, I feel I could never return back their kindness. I guess the best way for me to do so is to race fast, but I also chose to spend last month on an “Appreciation Tour” of my sponsors, family and much-neglected friends. First in Banff and Canmore, I went skiing, dining, and just hanging out with those who humbly offer me their support in so many ways. Then it was time for me to hop on the plane bound for London UK, where I had the privilege to witness my dear friend tie the knot with a man of her dreams. Natasha, my friend of 22 years, married Anu and for 6 days we were treated to an amazing traditional Indian wedding experience, complete with hand henna painting, Bhangra dancing lessons, authentic Indian curries, and in my case, translating all eight wedding speeches from English to Russian (or the other way around) for all the Russian guests and family. In between it all, I also managed to catch the bridal bouquet, so I guess it is now my turn to find myself a husband.
It was an unforgettable week of celebrating a new family union, which lead me perfectly into my next adventure back to my hometown Puschino, Russia. Even though my granny lives so far away, I feel closest to her in my family. In her typical loving and innocent way, my babushka is able to steer my endless energy into productive work and turn me into a gardening slave for 5 days straight. I still have to figure out how she goes it with my complete acceptance and willingness to comply to her every wish. I had a great time plowing her land, planting a field of potatoes, fixing small greenhouses on her cucumber and tomato patches, and enhancing the strawberry patch with plenty of manure and compost. I could tell that she was really happy with my speedy work and grateful to put those strong muscles of mine to some practical use. The only time she got grumpy was when I escaped half-way through the day of work for a jog and a soccer game with my old Puschino ski club. Thankfully I was able to win her smile back with a 1-hour neck and shoulder massage later that day.
The “Appreciation Tour” days went by too quickly and now I am on my way back home from Russia. It’s all back to business now, which is training to race really fast.
Thank you for reading and until the next month. In the meantime, I will be praying that the potatoes in my babushka’s garden will grow in abundance. Hopefully she will not complain come harvest time, that I planted too many for her to dig out.