OTC living and Balance
We got to the OTC here in Colorado Springs on Monday. Most of the team flew in from SLC, but I was asked to drive the AA team’s bikes and luggage out from SLC. It was a nine hour drive, which really is not that bad. Plus, I also had to opportunity to stop and meet Chris from Rudy Project in Denver. It was really nice to grab a coffee with him and talk about some of the things they have planned for this Olympic year.
Since then, we have been in nearly non stop meetings with USS and USOC. Now you may be wondering what possibly can you meet about for 8 days. (Believe me, I thought the same thing.) But we need to go through medical testing, functional movement screenings, hear about the latest research on nutrition, learn about USS’s philosophy for training this year etc etc. Everyone needs to be on the same page going into the Sochi Olympics.
While we have been out here, you hear a lot of USS athletes talk about how they would love to live permanently at an OTC. The food is amazing. The training facilities are right there and world class. And you rarely have to worry about any of your needs, since the USOC is already one step ahead of you.
I, personally, go back and forth about whether I would like to live in an OTC, regardless of the fact that none of them have a 400m oval. While everything is here is amazing, I think this discussion comes back to what most things in life come back to- balance.
Balance is essential in almost every facet in life. If something is too much it is invariably taking away from something else. I don’t know about other athletes, but if I was surrounded by other athletes and sport 24/7, I would go insane. I need to do other things, for a few hours each day, to have some normalcy and then be refreshed for the next day. That’s not to say I am not focused on skating, because it is in the back of my head all the time, but I strongly believe that in order for me to be successful on the ice I need a few distractions, such as work.
The best solution I think for utilizing an OTC is what we are doing now. Shoot in for a few weeks of really focused training and then head back to our homes afterwards. Michael Phelps and others used OTCs this way and obviously had a bunch of success with the model.