A lot has happened nice the last post. The past two years has been a whirlwind of life adventures and learning experiences. The summer of 2010 was the summer of my second Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) in Aalborg, Denmark. Having improved on my results from the previous year I was even more hooked than before. It was then off to my first ever World University Orienteering Championships (WUOC) in Borlange, Sweden. This was a major eye opening experience as it allowed me to compete with elite orienteers older than 21 and helped me see into where the senior level was. Although I was low on the results list and had some frustrating times it just made me hungrier to improve.
The academic year of 2010-2011 I spent as a freshman at University of Colorado at Boulder studying chemical engineering. I met many amazing people and had the best roommate I could imagine! Classes took up a lot of my time and the work was hard, but to be expected from a top university and a rigorous engineering course. I enjoyed the year in Boulder, however sad I didn’t get out and fully appreciate the environment I was in, but the course work had to get done! During the fall was the first time I was really trying hard to put in the base miles to build my training. Although a struggle at the start and needing quite a bit of motivating by my mentor and boyfriend it happened slowly. I was missing the weekly orienteering events though. I got to as many RMOC meets as school work would let me though and they were great! It was a nice challenge to orienteer in a different terrain than the North East forests. The year in Boulder I will never forget and allowed me to really figure out who I am and what I like.
This past summer (2011) I spent traveling. First to Ireland where there was orienteering, a 6hr Rogaine and sightseeing. It was then off to Poland for my third and last JWOC. At JWOC I could tell I hadn’t been on maps as often as I would have liked as places my confidence in my map reading skills was lacking but I was feeling much stronger physically. After regaining my map confidence during the training week I was ready to tackle my last JWOC. I had a blast! Putting in a few solid races I was quite pleased with my performance but was still in awe by the winners and determined that this wasn’t going to be my last elite race! After JWOC it was on to Scotland. I spent a few weeks with my grandma, which was lovely and even more so since she passed away this Christmas. I then went on to race at the Scottish 6-days placing 8th in W20L. It was nice to see my training over the year was paying off but still loads of room to improve.
The end of the summer brought a big change. I decided I wanted to stay in Scotland and went to apply to Heriot-Watt University again for Chemical engineering. So this fall I have been a first year student at Heriot-Watt! Although I miss Boulder and all my friends there, Heriot-Watt suites my learning style much better and I feel more confident studying here. It is also not as big of a university and I have found it easier to connect with people and be a part of clubs such as Athletics. Being in Scotland has also allowed me to join the Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC) and train with some of the best university runners in the UK. I have been able to get on maps more often and to high quality events. So not only has academics improved but so has my training! It has also been nice to be in Scotland and closer to family members I normally only see in the summer when visiting. So I have made stronger relationships with them, which has been nice.
So my days lately have been spent studying, training, and immersing myself into my heritage culture.