• Maddie Phaneuf

What's next?

I've been trying to figure out how to write this blog post for a while, mostly because I was really torn on what I wanted with my future. In the end, I've decided I want to continue pursuing biathlon this coming year and hopefully until the next Olympics, as long as I'm stoked on it! For those who don't realize, I've been on the fence with my biathlon career for the past year, so this is an exciting decision for me.

Since the 2018 Olymipics went so much differently than I expected, I wanted to quit right then and there. I ended up sticking with it and actually enjoyed training this past summer, but then when I moved to Colorado in the fall I discovered many other passions of mine that I wanted to pursue. While I was doing all of these other things in Colorado I started to miss biathlon again, but then as soon as I left Colorado I really missed the life I built there. A classic case of "the grass is always greener". After a lot of thought and writing up goals and plans, I've decided now is the time to really buckle down and get shit done - in terms of competing for biathlon.

I sent in an application to the Craftsbury Green Racing Project earlier this month, and will find out if I get in sometime in April. The CGRP is an elite racing team based out of Craftsbury, Vermont at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The team consists of some of the strongest nordic skiers and biathletes in the country (they also have an elite rowing team!). When the athletes aren't training, they're helping out around the Center through different projects, which consist of gardening, building projects, trail work, coaching kids, snow making research, lake health, and more. Everyone there tries to live a sustainable life and advocate for the environment, which I'm really passionate about, so I'd love to be a part of the team! I'll keep you all posted once I hear if I get in or not.

If I don't end up getting into Craftsbury, then my other option is to move up to Lake Placid and train. This is a great alternative because I already know all the roads for rollerskiing, I know where to do my uphill intervals, I can get access to Mt. Van Hovenbergs biathlon range, and I'd have a few people in the area I could train with. This option would definitely cost a bit more money in the long-run, but it's still a good option overall. I'm also trying to convince a few other biathlon ladies to join me in Lake Placid, because it's always better to be training with a group than on your own!

For now, I'm home in Old Forge living with my parents and training around the area. This upcoming weekend is US Biathlon Nationals, and I'm excited to race and see all of my teammates! I'm going into the race weekend with zero expecations, since I haven't been training full-on for the past 6 months while everybody else there has been racing and will be in much better shape. I'm just hoping my shooting speed and accuracy will be good, and that I enjoy it!

Following the races, I'll be heading to a tiny village in rural Alaska - Noorvik - to teach children how to nordic ski with the program Skiku! I'm so excited for this opportunity, as I've always wanted to do this trip and I think it will be an amazing learning and cultural experience. I'll try to take a ton of photos and videos to share with you all.

Thanks for dealing with my lack of updates this past winter! If you want to see photos from this past year, head to my Facebook page. I'll plan on writing a lot more from here on out to keep you in the loop. If you're in the Old Forge area, let me know and we can catch up!

Currently listening to: Apollo by St. Paul & The Broken Bones

- MP