times non-existent Internet access, dirty clothes,
inconsistent food, and the general exhaustion
that comes with being on the road for months at
In February, our team traveled from Deer Val-
ley, Utah, to China, trained and competed, then
immediately returned to Utah for a few hours of
sleep before heading back to the airport to travel
to Austria. This trip included more than 24 hours
of travel on either end of a short nap at home. On
this past leg of travel we thankfully had a relatively
simple trip from Utah through New York’s JFK air-
port to Moscow. Still, the 10-hour time change and
20-plus hours of travel made for a difficult first day
of training on the massive downtown scaffolding
My routine to prevent jet lag and feel rested as
soon as possible is to sleep overnight on the air-
plane and, upon arrival, do whatever it takes to
stay awake until late evening. Since this event
was a night competition, my natural 4 a.m. wake-
up made acclimating extra difficult, but after a day
or two of forced sleep, my body began to feel rest-
ed while I was training and competing during what
in the U.S. would be the middle of the night.
We all have our tricks to combat the sleep de-
privation and inconvenience of being away from
home. Some do laundry in the bathtub; use eye
masks and ear plugs on the plane; bring food from
home; or even, in the extreme, travel with a mo-
tor home or rolling kitchen and gym like the U.S.
The aerials team gets settled in the
beautiful town of Voss, Norway.
alpine team. Our team has adopted a new routine
of traveling in suits. We figure we can at least look
good while running through airports. However, no
matter how we each try to feel comfortable while
abroad, living life out of a duffel bag for months
and traveling around the world can be wearing on
the body and mind. When high performance is the
goal, we must do our best to acclimatize to a new
culture and time zone as quickly as possible.
Our team recently arrived in Voss, Norway, next
season’s World Championships site, and my first
move was to unpack my bags, find the closest
thing to a gym, a quiet space and a grocery store.
To me, these are the essentials. To feel at home
and comfortable, I always bring a pillow, my favor-
ite tea, a good book, a yoga mat, and, of course,
my computer for working and communicating with
friends and family. I also do my best to try to find a
comfortable local spot to write, rest my mind and
reflect on a day of training or competition. The lo-
cal Voss library, which overlooks a dramatic lake
and mountain view, has proved to be that place
for this week.
So despite feeling exhausted from long plane
rides or sore from hours of sitting in a team van, I
am constantly reminded by different cultures and
friendly locals of how fortunate I am that sport
brings me to such incredible places in the world.
Often times, in places as stunning as Voss, the
memories off the hill can be as remarkable as
those big competition wins.