My baby girl is flying home today. She has been skiing for the Mid-Atlantic nordic team in the Junior Nationals at Donner Summit in Truckee, California.
Her races were disappointing to her. She (and many other eastern competitors) were badly affected by the altitude. DH had cleverly pre-planned a business trip to overlap with the competition for a few days, so he was there. He passed on to me a report from a coach from Stratton Mountain School, a Vermont ski academy, which told of their girls fainting on the course. There were a handful of DNFs — skiers who Did Not Finish — in each race. Lucy finished all her races but the altitude would cut her engine halfway through. It wasn’t until the last day that she felt somewhat more like herself.
Another complication was the weather. Truckee is legendary for its snowfall. (You will remember the Donner Party, snowed in for months and having to resort to cannibalism to survive.) This year, however, instead of foot upon foot of snow, they’ve had scant inches. Snow was trucked in and rolled on a small track. The temperature soared into the high 60s. Skiers had to be worried about overheating. By the last day, both boys and girls had removed their snug uniform tops, the girls wearing their race bibs over their sports bras.
So, Lucy did not earn the exciting results she had hoped for. Still, she learned valuable information about how her body responds to altitude (it needs a week to acclimatize) and she had a wonderful time with a great, healthy group of high school friends. She also beat her secret rival in her last race.
Now I will be happy to have her home.