A message from Megan Imrie to CWG athletes

Hello to the 2011 Canada Games Contingent. Congratulations on being named to the team! The Games are a super exciting event to be a part of, and memories will last a lifetime (or so I’m told- mine are still going strong at the ripe old age of 24.) You are likely in your final stages of preparation for the races out east. Now that all the hard work has been done, you finally get a chance to race hard and celebrate your training. Sweeeeet!
As I am totally out of the loop these days, I don’t know if you still have a pep rally to go to, or if that’s all over by now. If you do- I highly recommend going. I was once the one doing the eye-roll at this comment. In reality, it ended up being tons of fun, and gets you stoked for the trip.
In terms of providing you with invaluable advice: I am not a wise sage as you may have been led to believe. Rather, my simple accumulation of biathlon-esque experiences has provided me with a few insights about sport that you can choose to take with a grain of salt. The main item that comes back to me year after year, tour after tour, day after day, is attitude. HELLO BIG TICKET ITEM! Each time I talk to one of the athletes who has won a major event, it was their great attitude that got them there in the end. Having a “no matter what, I’m doing my job the BEST I possibly can today” attitude is unsinkable. You have already conquered half the field before the race has started. Too cold today? For who? Not Manitobans! Is the course to steep/flat/fast/slow/awesome for someone else? Too bad! For you it’s perfect! Having a NO MATTER WHAT attitude is absolutely, without a doubt, the best way to go into a race. Focus on what YOU can control, and you’re golden. Nothing else matters. Now go out and get ‘er done! 
Megan’s On-the-road Checklist:
Headlamp- comes in handy for rummaging through your bag at night, reading after hours, or knitting while on a long night drive
Flip flops- for those two words that give the me the shivers…Communal Showers
Eye mask- for those with roommates who love to read all night
Ear plugs- for those with roommates who love to snore all night
Camera/phone/music player/whatever fancy device you keep can’t live without
small thermos or anti-spill travel mug- I use hot water in my feeds and sport drink, and always have a mug of herbal tea on the go when I travel
Handwarmers- the unsung heroes of my winter existence
Small notebook or journal
pens and pencils
Watch with alarm, or small alarm clock- You are responsible for you! Sleeping in on race day = major stress case!
Playing cards
Hand sanitizer- before and after playing cards, eating, shaking hands, opening doors, etc. Our team goes through litres of this each year. I’m not even joking.
Snacks for the road- nuts, dried fruit, healthy energy bars, dried soup mix, tea, etc. Anything to ward off the HAngry’s between meal times or long airport waits.
Extra ziplock bags- see below
Toiletries- pack your shampoo and conditioner and other spillables in a heavy duty ziplock. Spills= not cool
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Clothing- race clothes (bring more than you need in case it’s really cold, or you have to change everything b/c of rain)
-gloves, mitts, overmitts, buffs or neckwarmers, toques of every shape and size. Extra points for pompoms.
-small rain jacket
-runners, ski boots, casual shoes/boots
-casual clothing- don’t go overboard…biggest lesson- you will have just as much fun, as good results, and look just as awesome if you bring 2-3 casual shirts instead of 10. Same goes for pants, sweatshirts, shoes- less is more…for everything except underwear and socks.
-your sweet new Canada Games Schwag!
A couple things to keep in mind at Canada Games:
1) label your clothes once you get them
2) don’t leave things anywhere but on your bed or in your bag- there are a million peeps around and things get stolen, picked up by accident, etc.
3) make friends with people, it’s way more fun
4) plan your race like you would for nationals. It’s easy to get caught up in all the hype and forget why you’re there in the first place
5) watch other events- it’s part of the experience…boxing, figure skating, synchro, get out and see something you might never otherwise see
6) the final day is when the trading of items happens, so chat with people to arrange for trades before this day!
7) You are awesome, have fun!