Sunday, December 13, 2015

Snow, Rain and Shine

Sporting my L.L.Bean Downtek Jacket

For the past 8 months I have been living in sunny San Diego.  As the holiday season approaches it has been a unique climate change from what I have been used to.    I spent the majority of the past few years in the snow leading up to Christmas and became accustomed to the cold weather being an indication of the holidays.  I realized recently that I have not seen the snow since immersing myself in a summer sport and retiring from bobsled.  L.L. Bean creates a variety of reliable products that have kept me warm in the snow and sleet and now is keeping me dry in the California rain.  While bobsledding it was rare for a race to be cancelled due to weather.  In most cases I spend the hours leading up to the competition outside attempting to warm up for the race.  I was wrapped from head to toes in multiple layers and clipped yak tracks over my tennis shoes so that I wouldn’t slip on the ice.  One of the most difficult pre competition warm up sessions, I remember spending most the time sprinting with my eyes shut as to try and avoid the snow pelting in my eyes.

Today my training and training gear is much different than during my bobsled days.  Now living in San Diego I obviously do not run into the same snow problems that I had during bobsled, but instead deal with the occasional rain fall.  Recently we had a rainy day and I was able to rely on my In The Arena L.L. Bean downtek water repellent jacket to not only keep me warm but protect me from the rain.  The thought of running around in the rain did not exactly appeal to me, which made me laugh as I thought about snowy weather I use to be accustomed to training in.  As we suited up in our rain gear to hit the muddy field it brought me back to being a kid playing soccer.  Some of the most fun I had playing soccer was when it had just rained and I would find myself slide tackling my opponents trying to get the ball back.  Sometimes I think that those were the first signs that I had a future playing rugby.  I would come home soaking wet and muddy from head to toe.  I felt like I was showing off how successful I was based off how dirty I could got.  I loved the aggressive part of soccer and being able to tactfully take me opponent to ground.  The next time I find myself playing rugby in the rain I am going to channel the child hood version of myself and enjoy the opportunity to just play.  I of course, will then beam with pride as I march off the field covered in mud. 
My Teammates and I after a muddy training day