I watched my first ever men's 4man bobsled go down today. I filmed this from my phone so its not really clear - it was their second run of the day.
I came across this
http://bobsled.teamusa.org/athletes/jennebree-tollestrup-brown


 - Only three of the six rookies have their profile added to the site and I am one of them!I'm not going to get too excited until they OFFICIALLY announce it BUT....EEEK!!! Other than them spelling my name wrong, we're good. Anywho - tomorrow I am basically going balls to the wall against another rookie with Erin Pac. She said she wants to get times off of both of us going hard so I gotta kill it! I'm ready - I'm going to get a good nights rest and super stoked. What a great day!
 
So even after we are out at the track helping and sliding for at least five hours, we still have to workout. I hit the weights where the trainer has created a program for me. The first day I did this program I literally was dead to the earth. It took so much energy out of me that the next day I wasn't 100 percent. So today went a little better and I definately feel stronger all ready. The trainer said that I've made "leaps and bounds" so I'm excited for my weight lifting program.

The second half of my workout is for speed. We warm up on these bikes below and then head into the gym.
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The two things I worked on were the sled sprinting and the push cart - my form off the block
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sled sprinting in the gym - this gym is has 3 full court basketball and whats cool is the USA Wrestling practices here so right now you can kind of see the mats laid on the floor on the right-hand side of the pic
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working on my 'hit' with the push cart

We do have fun too!

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On the wrestling mats
 
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The Swiss are here! So all around the OTC we start to see more signs in different languages. They've come in to practice on our track since other than maybe 2 other tracks, Lake Placid is one of the most technical courses as a driver
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Where we wait our turn to go down the ice - Kristi
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Pushing with Shauna! It was really funny because while we were warming up, Shauna goes 'first Cougar Sled ever today - I feel a press release coming on' which is true and super cool. She's great and overall had a great day with the best down time of the day. I asked her how our down time can be so fast but our start wasnt the greatest and she said that the runners she has on right now create a lot of friction making it harder to push.... or because her driving is amazing ;) lol which from my limited experience it was
 
Thus far I have received 2 free items. Pink gloves to support breast cancer (October, if you notice even football players are sporting the pink) and the other is Amino Vital which is a sports supplement - Proud Supporters of the U.S. Olympic Team. Feel free to check out the quick commercial below these two images.
 
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5/6 Rookies
With Team Trials about seven days away - things are getting pretty tense. Unfortunately just like any other sport, mind games are taking place, drama is spreading, tears are shedding and stress is increasing. Even for me, this is becoming overwhelming. Whats important right now is just staying focused and understanding what I need to do to improve.

A few race offs will take place which involve two drivers and two to three brakemen competing. The first driver will go with each brakeman, and then the second driver will go with each brakeman. They compare and contrast the times with all the drivers. Obviously if there is a brakeman that was the slowest with each driver, its most likely the brakeman. I may have a race off, I should know by the end of this week.

Notice it's still daylight outside? Well this is called our crash naps. Working out 7+ hours a day is exhausting and the veterans reccommend a nap sometime  during the day. Here are my two roomies napping ;) We work hard!

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view of the ice from the start and you can also see the starting block at the bottom of the picture.
 
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Today we got to take our Bobsled pictures and fill out a short bio on ourselves. Upon making the National team, our pictures and bios will be posted to the website making us official! Regardless, this photo will be used for pretty much everything else related to me. This isnt the actual photo that will be posted - I asked my roomie Shea to snap a quick picture with my phone.
 

First Run - you'll notice in the video we took it slow. Jaz only wanted to run about 3-5 steps than jump in, you'll see I ran it down a little bit more just to give us more speed going down.

Second Run - was smooth, we blasted like crazy with a Start time 6.21 seconds  and our end time was like 1:01 seconds which was the best all day as far as an end time

Third Run - was rough. Our start was in the 6.15 range but our end time was slower. Jaz says "I crushed you coming out of curve 14" which I felt but I just told her "you didn't cursh me, I'm still standing" lol.

Fourth Run - was good. Start time in the 5.90s which was SICK! (meaning super awesome) and end time was 1:02. Glad we ended on that note rather than the third run.

Tomorrow is my off day, but I'll still be up at the track "sled dogging it" as they say which means, helping move sleds, equipment, getting the sled on and off the trucks and ice, etc

 
I hate competing on the Sabbath. It's just always been are really uncomfortable thing for me. I strongly feel Heavenly Father has blessed me with enormous amount of athletic ability and I feel like I'm slapping him in the face when I compete on that ONE DAY that should be structured and centered around him. It always reminds me of back when I did USA Track and Field and one of the other moms confronted my parents asking "do you think we worship God any less than you do just because we run on Sunday?" Its not that at all. I just have alwasy felt bad about it. So I try real hard to think of Him and read a conference talk or something out of the Friend. There is a branch here with about 20 people and a set of Elders. And two of the guys are LDS which is awesome - so perhaps I could have them bless and administer the sacrament to me...just a thought and I just don't want to miss out and I dont want Him to think I'm not grateful for everything I have. Because I am.
 

This video was filmed and edited by Amanda Bird the Marketing & Communications Manager

This was my second EVER run (filmed by coach) - I actually ran this time...not so scary after you get that first one out of the way

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Lake Placid Course map issued to the entire team
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Burn Vest. Very simply vest that protects us from burns in the event of a crash. Strapped on by velcro which I'm displaying with my left hand
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Loading the truck. Most the sleds are stored in the Race Shop which is at the bottom of the course. The process is, once you're sled is ready to go - you load it onto the truck and then ride up to the start line. These truck do all the transportation of the sled. Because once you slid down and cross the finish line, the truck will either take you back to the start or if you're done - back to the Race Shop.
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Simply rain that became snow right after our first run. Another pic of the Race Shop as we were finishing for the day and heading back to the OTC
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Start Line - the opening on the left hand side is where the trucks will back up and then we haul the sleds off. You can see more on the right sleds tipped over - that is how the sled lays prior to going on the ice.
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After sliding is done, the sled go back to the Race Shop and are flipped over so they can dry. In some cases, the pilots will want to sand the runners, which is what you see here
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Fellow rookie Colin displaying the sanding form haha.
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There are a few things we've learned in the whoppin 2 days of sledding....put your hair up so in the event of a crash, your hair wont get caught on anything and tear it right out of your skull; You will get bruises and to stay positive!

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Kristi braiding Katie's hair
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Other Roomie Katie's bruise from we think a bolt constantly hitting her
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Roomie Shea and Me!
 
Readers,

Today was the first day of many where I slid down the icy slopes in a bobsled. What a rush!!! Coach filmed our start and one of my teammates took a few pictures...however I haven't got them yet so I have nothing but words to share tonight. I did take a few pics just around the areas because right after our first run, it started snowing. (will add later)

Pre-sliding: I was pretty calm. I've always been that keep to myself, silent competitor which came into play because I've never done this before so I had no idea what to expect.

Sliding: We get up to the line and once I see Bree is ready, I'm supposed to say "Back Set" then she says "Front Set" and we're off! BUT, not only did I have a mouth guard in but also ALL the nerves that were hiding for weeks came to the surface and so instead of a firm "Back Set" ....I mumbled quietly "back....ssss......" and started pushing. Bree noticed the sled moving and figured we were going. We didnt run too far or too fast the first run. I made it in the sled, no fault. We get going and it's so smooth. Bree is one of the best technical drivers PLUS she's was a skeleton athlete prior to bobsled so she's literally seen the course up close and personal. As I'm sitting there all the sudden I feel something hit my head so I look up - its Bree letting me know its over and to get out and push the sled. So I hop out the back and Bree gets out the side as we push the sled to the exit (felt like 50 meters, but that could of been cause I was shaken up a bit).

Post-Sliding: I wasnt dizzy and didnt feel sick. I really liked it and yeah there are transitions that are rough but oh well - its part of the sport.

I'm really lucky to have my first bobsledding experience be with an Olympic driver because it felt great. We did go again and that time Bree said we're going to turn up the energy! So I felt more of that one and there was a point where my but lifted off my seat - we obviously were going faster.

Anywho - tomorrow I slide with Erin and she said she wants to do two runs as well so stay tuned!