Noah Hoffman is an NNF-supported U.S. Ski Team member competing on the World Cup circuit. Hoffman will also be representing the United States at the FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti, Finland February 23-March 5.
For the past 16 days, I’ve been holed up in a hotel room in Davos, Switzerland battling influenza and possibly pneumonia. I got sick after traveling to Korea for five days to race in the Olympic test event. In Korea, I had trouble adjusting to the time change and wasn’t sleeping very much. After racing the 30k, I departed early the next morning for the 16-hour trip back to central Europe. In retrospect, it isn’t hard to see why I got sick.
However, I knew what I signed up for when I decided to go to Korea. I wanted to keep the schedule exciting. I wanted to race. I wanted to do something new. I’ve been on the World Cup for a long time, and without Korea, this year’s schedule only included one venue that was new to me.
Even with getting sick, I’m glad I went to Korea. It was an amazing trip, and it was certainly new and different from a normal World Cup weekend. The food was interesting and delicious, the landscape was unique and the racing, without the fastest guys there, was fun.
The other reason I wouldn’t have stayed in central Europe if I could do it over is that I’m not convinced that this sickness was a bad thing for me. I have not had the season that I dreamed of having. I have not shown that I belong on the highest level. I’ve struggled to absorb the huge increased training load that I did last summer and fall. Given that, this “reset,” spending ten days off my feet, may have been exactly what I needed to race fast at the end of the season.
I don’t know what kind of form I’ll show at the World Championships. I certainly haven’t had a typical preparation period, but I’m not convinced that I’m going to be awful because of the illness.
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