It’s finally here!!

I’ve been waiting a whole year with much anticipation for this upcoming weekend. Saturday is my favorite day of the year. It’s the American Birkebeiner, north america’s largest cross country ski race. This will be my 19th Birkie, and I’ve done 3 Korteloppet’s which is the half Birkie.

The finish line in downtown Hayward

Why do I love the Birkie so much you may think. Because I put my heart and soul into training for this event. I see people who I’ve developed friendships with over the years and I get to see them this one time a year for sure. It’s also a great celebration of the cross country ski world where people come in all shapes, sizes, and ski abilities.

The start of the Birkie!

I love the anticipation of the last 30 days. I do a lot of imaging as to how my start looks, those Birkie power line hills, the high point of the trail which has a major hill climb to get to the top, all the other climbs that I used to dread now I’ve embraced them knowing that it will only hurt this one time a year.

I love seeing the thousands of people at the start and the massive waves as they take off every 5 minutes.

I love to see people on their snowmobiles out cheering us on, people cheering us on at OO which is the half way point, and the bitch hill crew is always fun.

I love skiing up 77 hill which is the last hill on the course, then it’s straight down to lake Hayward. You can see a string of skiers ahead of you as you are hoping you can make it to the finish without bonking. People are lined up on the lake partying and cheering you on. When the winds blow out of the west you can hear the birkie bells ringing from main street.

I love skiing down main street Hayward. Friends are screaming your name as you try to concentrate the last 30 yards to the finish line.

Beer and Brats outside Anglers in Hayward


And then you are done. It’s over! Wow, if it’s fast conditions everyone is excited and giddy. If it’s slow snow and you are grinding it you look and feel whipped and you just want to get a beer and a brat in you.

Many patients are doing the Birkie, congrats to all of you!!! To do this race takes a lot of commitment whatever the level of skier you are. You have to put the training in or it can be a nightmare out there. You have to be in tune with your body, and it’s a great for your spirit.

As much as I love the Birkie, I actually love the process of everything that leads up to it. It means you have to get up and out and do the training. You have to eat good foods(anti-inflammatory diet-see previous posts on this subject), and take the best care of your self so you don’t get injured or sick. I’ll be 49 next week and it’s the one sport I can still compete in which I love to do. I hope I can get another 30 Birkies in if my body holds up.

Monday night 7pm I’m presenting my “The Unresolved Thyroid” class which if you feel still bad inspite of your normal labs you better be here so I can give you some answers as to why you feel the way you still do and what can be done to regain your health once and for all. Email me steve@dredling.com or call Mary and tell her how many people are attending.

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