I think I have gotten in the habit of making my post titles rhyme snippets or silly words…so I’m gonna stick with it. Typically there is a purpose of the title, like fruit cakes are Christmasy and snow snakes are found below somewhere….
Anywho, I have returned to the bone-chilling area of Canmore and the Canadian Rockies! Hooray! Aside from the cold, I am thrilled to be in this beautiful place for a little time off and Xmas with the family. I got in late last night, delirious and disoriented. Alas! I arrived safely, figured out where I was, who I was, and where I was going, and finally got a good night’s sleep so that I could do my best at relaxing today. It was such a beautiful day, I couldn’t help but go for a walk and take a few pictures. Here’s one….
So I finally have some time to sit down and read, play guitar, and write in my blog after the hectic racing schedule in Europe. It’s too bad our Super G’s kept getting cancelled! But other than unpredictable weather and racing, the trip was relatively short and quite productive. I raced in the GS in St. Moritz (not my best!) and then headed to Val d’Isere for SG, DH and Super Combined. Though the SG was cancelled, the DH and Super Combi still got off. I was 23rd in the DH and 16th in the Super Combi, which was my best finish in a World Cup thus far! Check out my runs at: Universalsports: http://www.universalsports.com/video/assetid=1d6e70fe-1d15-4099-a8dd-853560739bc3.html
And here is a picture of me in the finish:
All in all, the season has been fun and pretty successful thus far…and it’s only just begun! This is my first year on the World Cup circuit full time, and I have gotten off to a decent start. With mistakes here and there, it makes me wonder what it would be like to have a perfect run…maybe one day I will find out. I have figured out one thing in the past couple of races, though…
Racing with nerves and adrenaline is normal and even necessary, but racing under pressure and feeling the stress of competition creates not only a bad atmosphere and negative vibes, it takes all the fun out of ski racing (and other scary or competitive activities). I have found that smiling before I go out of the gate helps me to relax and ease the tension and worry. Because skiing should be fun, and it’s no doubt that we all forget that sometimes, there is no reason to freak out and race differently than you would ski or train on any other day. This is unquestionably the tallest, thickest mental wall to surpass for all ski racers, especially at the World Cup level.
It’s extremely difficult to wake up the morning of an important race and view the day as any other–relaxed and with the intention of enjoying whatever comes your way. It takes courage and focus to realize that you are only a minuscule part of the world, and to understand how ski racing truly fits into the whole scheme of things here on earth. Appreciating what you possess (on every level) and experience is complicated with the high expectations that many of us have. I find myself having to step back, take a deep breath, and understand how lucky I am to be where I am at every moment. Sounds preachy and buddhist, but there are two ways to live: content and satisfied, or anxious and always wanting more. I hope I can keep focused on the former.
One way for me to unwind and enjoy my surroundings is by photographing them. So here are a few pictures from my walk today. Enjoy. Smile. Breathe. Merry Christmas!!!
(the Bow river and Canadian Rockies)