13 Sep 16
How Safety Gear Helps An Aspiring Olympian Train
Allie Thunstrom is an Ergodyne employee training to compete in the 2018 Olympics in speed skating and ice hockey. She has won two medals – gold (2015) and silver (2010) – in the Four Nations Cup as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team and is ranked sixth in the country in speed skating. She will be documenting her journey as an occasional guest blogger.
People who find out I’m chasing an Olympic dream in speed skating and ice hockey often wonder how I manage to keep a full-time job as well. Trust me – with 30+ hours of weekly practice, it’s not easy! I’m constantly on-the-go, always busy, stressing to make sure my job and my training are each getting the attention they deserve. Still, it’s totally worth it. I’m also fortunate enough to not only work for an amazingly supportive company, but to utilize its products in my daily training.
When I started at Ergodyne and learned about the safety industry and our products, I didn’t anticipate ever using any of our stuff; I figured it was mainly for burly construction guys. Once I joined the elements pillar, however, I realized I could kill two birds with one stone – use our products for training, but also testing and adjusting them as necessary to better fit the needs of our customers and myself.
At work, we often talk about acclimatization to prevent heat-related illnesses. But summer’s intense humidity and the wide-ranging temperatures make it hard to adjust to the heat. It can be 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity one day, and 60 and breezy the next. Adjusting to those high heat, high humidity days is hard, and we don’t take days off. So I had to find ways to deal with it – and it occurred to me that I have a plethora of products at my disposal. I’m a sucker for the absorptive series – simple, yet effective, and the products keep my hair in check! On really hot days, I tie a microfiber towel around my head and I carry an extra one in my bag to wipe off my face, neck, and arms.
During winter, we skate outside in the arctic tundra cold. Until last year, I would layer up like Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story. Then, I started wearing the heated jacket during practice and ditched about 10lbs in extra clothing because it kept me so warm. I also sport the 6823 balaclava, a multiband, and the thermal flip top mittens. I may have looked like a walking Ergodyne ad, but I stayed warm for the first time ever – and that matters for someone who loves winter sports, but can’t handle temps below 70!