• Maddie Phaneuf

Getting back into it

Well, the training season is back in full-swing here in Lake Placid! I've hiked, biked, roller-skied, lifted weights, shot many bullets, and have even done some hard intervals. Everything you need to build a biathlete! Unfortunately I have already gotten sick this spring, but am currently on the upswing and feeling much better. Also, huge shoutout to a few sponsors that have decided to continue to support me this season: Blizzard MFG, Adirondack Accents, and Adirondack Homes & Real Estate. Interested in becoming a sponsor or supporter? Click here. Thank you!

Here are some photos from my training sessions so far!

(Click on the photo for description)

I'm super excited for the summer, I just bought a plane ticket to Jackson, Wyoming for two weeks in July! I have a group of friends that live out there during the summer, and they invited me to come out and train with them. I've only heard great things about Jackson, so I'm excited to get the chance to explore it and be in the Tetons. I think I may also head down to Utah for a few days when I'm out there to check out the Uinta Mountains and Moab! I think this will break the summer up a bit and keep me motivated.

Grand Teton in Jackson, Wyoming

Photo by Dustin Ramsay

As I go into the 2017/18 (Olympic!) Season, I'm unsure on what I want to do with my life after this year. I can already feel myself struggling with the drive to train and passion for biathlon that I've felt in the past. It's hard for me to realize that I may need to take a break from training everyday and racing full-time in order to be happy. It's also scary thinking about all of the opportunities I have outside of this life I've lived for the past four years. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely committed to this season training and working towards making the 2018 Olympic Team, I'm just talking about my life AFTER trying to reach that goal!

I'm currently looking at the college route, and have narrowed it down to somewhere out West, whether it be in the Rocky Mountains or the Pacific Northwest. I know I want a change in scenery and get out of the East for a while. I'm still unsure on what I would want to study. I think Outdoor Education would be an awesome major and would really interest me, there are just not many schools that offer that degree. I also find Environmental Studies to be rather interesting, and I know many schools offer that degree which opens my options up a bit.

One of the colleges I'm looking at would be located in Durango, CO

I'm also looking at the option of just moving out West but still train for biathlon. This option is interesting because I'm not sure how well my training would actually be. I wouldn't have the pristine facilities I currently have, I wouldn't have world class teammates pushing me everyday, and I wouldn't have free room and board...meaning I would have to pick up a job, which would cut into training time. So this option is kind of unrealistic I think, it would probably just turn into me living out West and dropping biathlon rather quickly.

I also thought about joining WWOOF or a course with NOLS. I would choose this path in order to get outside of my comfort zone and do something completely different. I need to do more research, but I think going the NOLS route would be beneficial if I could get certified to be an outdoor educator for less money than going to school for 2-4 years. I would love to work for NOLS or Outward Bound in the future. Volunteering for WWOOF for a few months would be a really neat experience because I have never really worked or been on a farm. It would be interesting to learn through that process.

So yeah, that's about where I am right now with my life. Currently training again in Lake Placid in hopes of racing at the 2018 Winter Olympics this season, and then I have no idea what I'll do with my life. I'm sure throughout the year I'll start to figure it out, so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you'd like to support my biathlon career this winter, click this link and you can rep a Maddie's Phan Club shirt! You only have one week left to order one. Thanks in advance!

Currently listening to: Dissolve Me by alt-J

- MP