Senna Leith here checking in from Saas Fee, Switzerland! If you don’t know me, I’m a professional snowboarder on the US National Snowboard Team. I race snowboard-cross on the FIS World Cup tour, and I’ve been partnered with CoTZ for over a year now. I love CoTZ because I am passionate about safely protecting myself and the environment by using a clean, mineral sunscreen.
I am currently in Saas Fee, which is a gorgeous little town tucked in the Swiss Alps. There’s a high alpine glacier here, which is one of the most popular places in the world for winter athletes to train during this time of year. The elevation of the town is only a few thousand feet, but where we train on the glacier is all the way up at 12,000 feet! We have to take two large trams and a train through the mountain to get to the glacier, but the hour-long commute is definitely worth it!
Our days on the glacier are incredible. I walk out of the train terminal building and look out above the clouds at the alps spanning into the distance. It is absolutely breathtaking! Every day before training on our course I love to do a solid warm up as I look out over the scenery. Lunges and stretches are easier to do with a view of the alps! Since we are so high up, and since the glacial snow is so reflective, it is even more imperative to always protect my skin up here. I have mainly been using CoTZ Face Prime and Protect SPF 40 Non-Tinted each day. Not only me, but my whole team has been using it! I have also been loading up on the lip balm because it is super important to protect my lips up there!
Getting back on snow at this camp has been more interesting than usual. That last time I was on snow was back in April – which is the longest I have gone without snowboarding in probably 10 years. I usually always snowboard at some point during the summer, whether that is in Argentina, Australia, or on a glacier in the northern hemisphere. My summer snowboarding ventures got cut short this summer because I unfortunately snapped my clavicle in half while downhill mountain biking in Whistler mid-summer! I had surgery to put in a plate and 8 screws and was then solely focused on my recovery. Instead of competing in Australia in August, I was laid up in bed recovering from surgery. Even though this totally sucked, it allowed me to focus on lots of stuff outside of my snowboarding career which was actually quite refreshing!
My recovery has been tougher than I thought it would be. Just a week before flying here, our team doctor cleared me to get back to my normal way of life – pushing myself to my limits. It was tough to lose a lot of my strength since I was limited in terms of what I could do physically for the last 2 months. Only a few weeks ago was I able to get back into the gym and start to play catch-up. My strength has been coming back quicker than I thought it would, but not quite as fast as I want it to – if that makes any sense! During the first couple days here it was easy for me to realize that I had a lot of work to do getting myself to a place where I am competitive with my teammates. My sport is extremely physically demanding, and none of my muscles have been used to these crazy, fast, aggressive, and straining movements that are a part of every single run that we do here.
So far, each day I have been the last person on my team up on the hill training. I have been putting in that extra work, and quite frankly all that my body can handle in order to get it moving how I want it to. I have been up on the glacier long enough that I need to re-apply my CoTZ sunscreen; the sign of a tiring day in the sun! After our first block of intense training, coaching, and physical therapy to tie it all together, I am starting to feel pretty confident with where my riding is at. Yesterday I ran heats with almost every single one of my teammates and got into some tight head-to-head races. Getting in there, going fast, inches away from my teammates, all while grinning ear-to-ear is a hell of a feeling, and I really did miss it! It sure feels good to be pushing myself and riding how I want to.
I couldn’t really ask to be in a more beautiful place to get back to my on-snow routine. After our training sessions on snow, we usually end up eating lunch at the local restaurant near our hotel. I routinely eat the spaghetti bolognese because it is one of the cheapest things on the menu. If you have ever been to Switzerland, you would know that everything is practically twice the price you would expect it to be! Because of this, I am pretty stuck in my ways with the spaghetti for this camp, occasionally splurging on schnitzel.
After lunch, our afternoons usually involve some form of workout or recovery exercise. I have been going on some recovery walks around town and the scenery is so incredible. For my afternoon walks I usually put on some CoTZ Face Moisture SPF 35 as I leave our hotel because the sun is still pretty strong in the afternoons here. Walking through the old streets with the scents of the local restaurants and bakeries… all while looking up at the snowcapped 14,000-foot peaks from the warm valley below where the leaves are starting to change. Yup, it’s as insane as it sounds! Afternoon activities are usually followed by physical therapy sessions, video review of our on-snow training, foam rolling, stretching, ice baths (yup), dinner, and then time to go to bed to do all over again the next day!
Throughout the entire day here I always have some CoTZ on me. We are constantly exposed to the elements, so it is crucial to protect ourselves in the healthiest way, and that’s why I always trust CoTZ to do the job!