November 15, 2010

The changing seasons - by Curt Tomasevicz

Note: This is the first blog post written by Olympic gold medalist Curt Tomasevicz. Every few weeks through the international bobsled season you'll find an update from Curt here at Nebraska Corn Kernels.

The 2010-11 World Cup bobsled season is just around the corner. Our first race is back on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, British Columbia on November 26. Being on the bobsled team for the last seven years has forced me to adjust to an “autumn-less” year. Let me explain.

During the bobsled off-season (April through September), many of us choose to train in the warmer weather. It is not possible to keep ice on any of the bobsled tracks, so our training consists of weight room training and sprint work. I spend my off-seasons training in Colorado Springs where temperatures in the Julys, Augusts and Septembers can reach the mid-90s. Once the beginning of October comes, all the athletes gather together in Lake Placid, N.Y., or Calgary, Alberta, to begin our pre-season camps and training. That forces us to endure a drastic weather change. Obviously, the cold weather is necessary for bobsledding in order to help keep ice on the bobsled track. So I’ve grown accustomed to a fast summer-to-winter transition.

In Nebraska, there are definitive seasons through the year. Winter, spring, summer and autumn all have distinct characteristics. Some Nebraska farmers would say that the seasons in Nebraska are winter, planting season, irrigation season and harvest season!

I know that most people would say that their favorite season is summer, but as I grew up in central Nebraska, harvest season became a part of my life. Every year I remember the landscape slowly opening up, field by field, as the seven foot corn plants became one foot stalks. The hot August and September weather slowly turned to a cool fall before going to a cold November and December.

It was something I took for granted and now, as a bobsledder, winter comes extremely early every year. I’m around snow every year by at least the second week in October. I know, I know, it’s the sport I chose. But that doesn’t mean that I have to enjoy cold weather! I miss harvest season and the slow summer to winter transition.

I know the weather in Nebraska seems to be unpredictable and uncooperative. But while Nebraska farmers were finishing harvesting their corn and everyone was enjoying temperatures in the seventies during the first week of November, I was in Lake Placid, N.Y., enduring my fourth snow storm of the year!

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