Lydia Lassila - Blog 4 - AIS & Motocross
Wow, I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. October was a jam-packed month and was an important month for me as I officially started back training again. As a professional athlete, training never stops, but this month, I joined the team again and I guess I felt like my journey to Sochi Olympics was really beginning.
I spent most of the month on a fitness camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. I had never actually stayed at the AIS before but I kind of wish I had spent more time there in the past. I suppose my schedule of living a life on the road training and competing most of the year hadn’t enabled me to park myself at the AIS, but this year we could allow for it. I spent about 3 weeks there off and on with Kai, Mum and Lauri for support and help. Yes more plane trips for Kai!! I’ve got to say in 3 weeks of dong 2 fitness sessions a day, I made huge gains. To me, the AIS is like being at Club Med – ok maybe not as fancy, but no cooking, cleaning or other distracting errands. It was just training and looking after Kai – bliss! It really has everything you could ask for as an athlete– medical support, fantastic food options, swimming pools, recovery pools, biomechanical testing, gymnasiums… the works. A one stop shop… and a shop I’ll definitely make an effort to go back to more often!
It was good to rejoin the team again, although, the team has changed somewhat in the time I’ve had off. My long time teammates and friends retired after the 2010 Olympics, so I’m the only one left from that generation and a clear veteran of the group. The ‘new’ girls are a great bunch, but I’ve got to admit, it felt strange without my old teammates around.
One of the highlights of the month was the Suzuki Motocross day. Yes, me, on a Motocross bike. Did I mention I’ve only ever ridden an automatic bike?? Wow now that was intense! I had no idea what I was doing and learnt from scratch with a great instructor and the thumbs up from the Suzuki staff (you know who you are!!). I definitely was thrown straight in the deep end because I learnt how to ride the bike on an actual Motocross track. No, not a straight dirt track. A Motocross track with banks, hills and turns. I was way out of my comfort zone, but at the same time I LOVED feeling scared again and the feeling of adrenaline pumping through my veins. I was concentrating so hard , trying not to crash the bike…but I did, several times. I just got back on, determined to make it around the track without crashing. NOT an easy task, but I managed. I had so much fun…so much so, I’d love to do it again soon!
Another highlight that you don’t get to brag about everyday day was attending a reception for the Queen at Parliament House in Canberra. I was honoured to be invited and delighted to get up close and personal with such an amazing woman. She is very little (even compared to me) with amazing skin, and I’ve gained a certain respect for her and her unwavering commitment to the duty bestowed upon her. Remarkable lady really.
Well, good bye October, hello November! Stay tuned, it’s going to be an exciting month as I return to jumping. I can’t wait to be airborne again….it’s been way too long.