I have made my own website, and my blog is now located there. Check it out!!!

I will delete this wordpress blog soon, so switch over to and my blog posts will show up there. enjoy 🙂

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here in Russia

a sign in the village–aren’t Russian letters incredible!?

So I made it. After 2 hours of filling out a visa application, messing it up, and filling it out again, two days of travel, and plenty of security checkpoints…. I am actually IN RUSSIA! It is certainly a unique place, as far as I can tell. I’m not sure that it is exactly like the movies portray, but it is definitely somewhat similar. Everywhere you look there is another policeman, another guard, another security officer… I feel extremely safe and somehow a little uncomfortable at the same time. It is hard to be relaxed when you feel like you are constantly being watched. Our accreditations here mean more than a passport–in fact, you aren’t supposed to leave our hotel without one. Every single building up here in Krasnaya Polyana (the name of the village at the base of Rosa Khutor) is brand new, every gondola on Rosa Khutor recently built, and even the downhill run was cut within the last year. It’s crazy how this area went from barren valleys and vast mountains to a booming ski resort. The hotel we are staying in is brand new, and so are all the surrounding buildings. They all have similar layouts, identical colors, and indistinguishable accents and design. I sort of feel like I am in Disneyland–in another world, almost a dream-world, like nothing around me is real. It is an unusual feeling in a remarkable place: the venue for the 2014 Olympic games.

Apparently by the time the Olympics roll around in 2014 there will be some 40,000 hotel rooms here in Krasnaya Polyana. That is a difficult number rooms, nonetheless people, for me to imagine or comprehend. They are working constantly–day and night–on constructing hotels, restaurants, parks, bridges, different venues (x-country, bobsled, skier/boarder cross, ski jump, etc), roads and whole villages in order to have an unmatched and exceptional Olympic village. Sochi, Russia will certainly be the host of an extraordinary event in 2014. I cannot imagine what this area looked like 2 years ago when there were no buildings, no chairlifts, and no access to this valley. How they decided to cut the tracks for the downhill races is incredible–I want that job! It makes me realize that if you have all of the appropriate resources, building anything is possible. I am inspired to build my own ski resort on some desolate, rocky mountain somewhere beautiful and awe-inspiring. This place is going to be a zoo in 2014.

Anyhow, the last month has been a fun one. After Garmisch I got to spend some time touring around Italy–this time without my ski bags. I went back to Venice (!), explored a bit of Verona and saw a little Brescia as well. Having these last 10 days off of racing has been nice, though I am certainly ready to get back in the starting gate. The course here is pretty fun (from what we have experienced thus far) and I am excited to give it another go or two. Hopefully the snow lets up and lets us race this weekend! Yesterday there were strong headwinds in the first training run, and we were required to slow down before each jump…last night it snowed a foot on the downhill track and the training run today was cancelled. We’ll see what happens tomorrow and this weekend–apparently weather reports for this area are unreliable, so no one truly knows what is coming our way.

Like always, we will just have to wait and see–adapt, laugh and flow with the change. I get to start the training run tomorrow with bib 1…speaking of adapting!

More pictures and such will appear in the near future. Peace and love 🙂

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photos n’ stuff



I am honestly not a blog reader. I am sucked in purely by videos, pictures, and shiny things–especially when it comes to browsing the internet. Words only grab my attention if I am drawn in by something else…hence the reason why my blog is usually a photo blog. I truly enjoy writing; I could write and write for hours on end…but I know that it takes more than words to keep people interested.  And the “more than words” is what I have been lacking in my last few entries, so I figured I’d share a few pictures. All of these photos were taken within the last month: while hanging out in Sölden and racing in/exploring Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria and Cortina, Italy (Pictured above is a church in Cortina, with the race course and mountains in the background). Enjoy 🙂


riding up the “Replay” chair on the side of Cortina


Julia Ford showing some teeths


Tofana chute…such a neat rush


Julia’s nephew Jett, such a cutie!


yeah that’s kinda gross..but it’s my pinky



pretty self explanatory 🙂


…and Alice showin’ her teeths


I feel like I’ve seen this one before


walking the streets of Cortina at dusk


the bottom of the course in Cortina


a super g gate


Stacey in the dark…

Peace and love 🙂

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none of this has any relevance

Time passes, wounds heal, things change. I am adapting…every day feels different, new and fresh. I am working hard on a fresh perspective, because I have lately discovered that no moment is ordinary: nothing is regular, average, standard.

Perhaps my crash and the following weeks of doubt and fear were a blessing in disguise. I learned much about myself during the long days of contemplation and confusion. After dedicating much of my life to one thing, how could I consider leaving it behind because of one little mistake? Not being able to recognize myself in the mirror may have had something to do with it, but the truth is–I was scared. I still am. I cannot stand the thought of another season-ending injury, another tumble through the fence, another broken finger. But I have accepted it. These are just things that happen–risks that I take when I push out of the start, risks that are worth the feeling I get when racing. Besides, the things that have happened in the past are just that–past.

Now I am here in Sölden, sitting on the couch in our apartment, typing away on my computer, enjoying a day off. A day of physical idleness, filled with emptiness. With potential for ideas, quiet, joy and stillness. I am letting my thoughts form into words in order to depart from my head. I am trying to leave the past behind and let the future create itself without worrying about or trying to control it…

Because external occurrences attempt to intrude and influence my mind and disposition–and as I become more aware of how often they accomplish this, I realize how my attitude is constantly affected by things that are beyond my control. I realize how crazy I let silly instances drive me. I begin to see where anger, frustration and fear come from. Understanding this concept is helping me to see more clearly: to know that I have control of my outlook and emotions, to let go, to relax, to breathe. It’s not easy to be carefree–I have to continually step back and consciously remind myself to let go…because nothing is constant, there is no sense in being moved by change.

Maybe the key is in laughter–I am learning to laugh at myself, and not to take things so seriously. Perhaps it is all in the breath. Maybe it’s all garbage. But I do know one thing: everything is changing. Nothing is consistent, steady, or usual. The only thing we can rely and depend on is change–that the things we rely and depend on will change. It’s a strange concept, but I’m starting to become more and more comfortable with it. Once these thoughts are through with me, maybe it won’t drive me crazy. Maybe nothing will drive me crazy, because nothing will stay.

Yeah, maybe I’m the one that’s crazy. Hopefully the craze will eventually be calming and enjoyable. Until then, I’ll continue to ponder these concepts that are becoming my friends. Perhaps I’ll figure out the meaning of life, the key to happiness, the way the world works. Poof!

Perhaps I’ll run around all crazed and naked like a headless chicken wearing a cape and combat boots.

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thrilling frightening enlightening

It has been one week. One week since I came careening down snow at 75 miles per hour, a bit out of control yet completely in my element—calm, crazy, and contented. Now I’m sitting at my dining room table at home; wondering if my black eyes will be better tomorrow so I can go out in public, hoping my face will stop oozing and bleeding so that I can start sleeping on my stomach and sides again, expecting the ghost riding on my shoulders to quit pinching me in the forehead. But I am lucky…so very lucky. I have not a single bruise on the whole of my body, aside from my face. My injuries could have, and probably should have, ended up being a whole lot worse. There was something out there helping me, although I’m not sure what…and for that I am mighty grateful.

But it is so easy to turn around and see things from the other viewpoint; to feel unlucky and accident prone, to feel like the crashes happen to me, to accept that I will usually be the one in the fence, the one in the sled, the one in the hospital…because it has happened so many times before. I was not skiing recklessly—I didn’t even fall before I ran straight into the fence. I simply hit a bump in the middle of a turn, as racers often do, and was regaining my composure as I looked up to see a b-net fence 20 feet in front of me. And when you’re going 75 mph on 215 Downhill skis, avoiding any sort of obstacle that is 20 feet in front of you is practically impossible—especially when it is a long, lifeless fence.  So I accepted the fence helplessly, and barely had the time to think, “it’s just a fence…it will cradle my fall. I am not even crashing!” Ha! Cradle! At 75 mph! That was a silly, naïve thought. The most dangerous way to crash is to go from a very high speed to a complete stop in a matter of seconds. I haven’t yet watched the crash, but I believe I stopped within the matter of 1 second. It was so fast, I don’t even remember what hit me in the face. I do remember the pain, though…and that is something I surely wish to forget.

The pain. The blood. The fact that whatever sliced my forehead to the bone could very well have cut my eyes, my throat, could have killed me. These are things that often return to my thoughts and make me want to return to my bed, to college, to my guitar, to something other than downhill ski racing. I question my choice of career, feeling sorry for my body and for the stress and harm it does to my mind. There is surely something out there for me that is painless, peaceful, and still enjoyable. There is something that is less scary, more predictable, and certainly safer. There is something still. But the more I think about it, the clearer I understand that that something is to come later. I have already reached that point of no return—of fracturing my pelvis in five places, of already slicing my face to the point of needing over 100 stitches, of dislocating my shoulder five times, of tearing my ACL…the list goes on. But each time I have healed. I have returned to the deranged sport, regardless of the repercussions—hungry, antsy, and in search of something greater—something greater than before, a speed faster than before, a more perfect run than before. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else at this point in my life.

As a ski racer there are many things that I have come to accept: I will crash, I will probably break some more bones, tear some more ligaments, and incur serious injuries to my body that would otherwise be avoided. These thoughts are scary but they simply come with the way of life, and every single ski racer knows this. I am learning that I can find peace within the chaos of my life, by calming my mind and accepting what comes my way. I have learned a few things about myself in the past week: I am emotional. I need a better mattress. I am a loud yoga breather. I desperately need this time at home with friends and family. I love skiing. To death. So I will get back on my skis as soon as I can…maybe it will be scary, maybe it will be perfect. Either way, I know the risks I am taking and I know that I need to treasure the time I have because there will soon come a day when I will have to obey slow signs on the mountain, get a real job, and lead a more steady, quiet life. If I can cannon into a fence on the fastest part of the fastest course on the women’s World Cup circuit and only suffer some cuts and bruises, I can handle anything else that is thrown my way. I have experienced the worst…so it can only get better, right?

Besides, ski racing wouldn’t be as entertaining, interesting or fun without the flailing, high speed crashes. At least I don’t have to run the Hahnenkamm…


I am home now until December 29th, when I will hopefully depart for Europe with the rest of the speed team. If everything works out accordingly, my next race will be in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria on January 7th and 8th. Until then, I will be recovering, making music and movies, taking pictures, enjoying Christmas at home, and hopefully working out and getting strong soon! Stay tuned for videos and more posts, as I will certainly have the time to create both. Peace, love, and happy holidays 🙂

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naturally, maybe…

Since I have gotten sick here in Colorado and taken plenty of time off of the snow, I have been contemplating a few ideas. As I look out the window of my living room in Copper Mountain, I constantly wonder how much water and energy is used to power all of the snow blowers we need to ski this early in the season. I marvel at the physics involved in living at 10,000 feet as we are here—how it contributes to the awful cough that has situated in my lungs, and why it caused Chip’s birthday cake to cave in slightly during the baking process yesterday. But what currently intrigues me most is how I feel safe, warm, and cozy inside of the walls of our condo…how I can look out at nature and feel separate from it; protected from the cold, wind, and snow that is blowing as I type. After finishing the book, “The Story of B” written by Daniel Quinn, I have been pondering my interpretation of the word ‘nature.’ It’s interesting to think that we, as a human culture, have separated ourselves from and view nature as it’s own, separate entity—that we have come to consider it apart from us instead of a part of us. I find this intriguing because nature is not only a part of us, but is us; it is where we came from, where we belong, and where we reside, regardless of whether we realize it or not.


We as a species and like every other species ever existing on earth came from the earth, from what we refer to as ‘nature.’ We, essentially, are nature. I wonder when our culture came to use the word ‘nature’ to describe the outdoors—the uncontrolled, uncivilized world outside of the concrete, industrialized world we live in now. What does ‘natural,’ in the rarest form of the word, truly mean? It’s as if we’ve built this huge, invisible wall between the natural world and us—a wall consisting of the thoughts and ideas that we are distinguishable from nature. This wall protects us from the silent forest in the darkest night, predatory wild animals, and many other frightening (and some life-threatening) things that exist ‘out there.’ What’s strange and fascinating is the fact that we used to be one of those predators in the dark forest in the nip of the night. We used to sleep in caves, hunt and be hunted, and live wildly—the way we consider animals to live now. We used to run through the forests, shoeless and unclothed, yelling and bellowing at other animals with spears in hand and adrenaline in our blood. OH how mysterious, magnificent and terrifying it sounds!!! And then came the discovery of farming and agriculture…


Not until the last 10,000 years have we even attempted to take control of or conquer nature—until the farming agriculture trend swept the earth. Since this agricultural breakthrough, we have understood the natural world to be ours: ours to control (farming, species extinctions, wildlife control, etc), ours to take care of (‘green’ ideas, environmental concerns, wildlife habitats, etc), and ours to behold. The natural world is at our disposal. We take what we want and what we think we need from the earth, and we believe that we have the right to it. Unfortunately, these habits and beliefs are causing us to drain our resources, and it’s mostly due to overpopulation—a touchy subject that I will not venture to explore today. Though it is our inherent instinct to reproduce, the agriculture/farming industry has begun to create an overpopulation obstacle that we are seemingly not going to be able to hop over.


We have gone against our natural animal instincts and have moved inside…and we are taking our children and future generations with us. It is now us against the rest of the world, the rest of the living things. If we can’t conquer and control them, we distance ourselves from them.


And here I am: indoors, looking out of the window, warm in my faux-fur slippers, with tea and my MacBook Pro. Hah! What an animal. You could certainly call me a hypocrite for what I am proposing, but I say we get back out there: take off our shoes, take down our hair, destroy all the concrete, and run around all naked and crazy-like—hunt and gather our food, become again hunted back, and get back to our deepest, instinctual roots. Some day, I believe we’ll return to these undomesticated, uncivilized origins…if not by choice, by force because of depleting resources. For now, I want to build an igloo, pick my apples off of a tree, climb that tree, tackle a squirrel, go romp around some mountains, and sleep by the fire. Outside. In the wild. In nature.

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I finally finished my Chile edits….check it! enjoy 😛

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