Sometimes thinking can destroy you. I know this over-thinking concept all too well as a professional athlete. In alpine ski racing, as in any other sport, success is all about results. If you ski your best and get 30th place, nobody is going to notice. Thinking about results before thinking about executing a plan typically leaves you feeling frustrated and under accomplished. Trusting yourself and feeling confident are things that we all strive to achieve, but all too often doubt and fear get in the way to bring you down and make you feel worthless and terrified to face a challenge.
I recently raced in the Alpine Ski Racing World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. It was not only my first time on the course in Garmisch, it was my first time at World Champs. I drew bib 1 in the Downhill race, which means I would be the first racer down the course—basically the one to test the conditions, hill, and set. As frightening as this was, I was excited for a challenge—I knew I could do it. I had confidence in my skiing and that this particular downhill was going to be a fun one. This mindset alone made the race not only one of my best finishes, but one of the most fun races I have ever competed in.
There are many situations in which it may seem insane to have confidence and to trust yourself. To me, these are the best kind of situations. When it becomes a challenge to not just perform well but to mentally push past huge blocks, it is the best time to trust yourself. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but believe in your ability and know that, though it is a scary one, the challenge you face will be thrilling and will help you grow into a stronger person. Every time you overcome a test it helps you to understand that anything is possible. There are no limits to my or any other sport…boundaries are continuously being overcome every day by brave people. I aspire to be one of those people… someone who is always up for a challenge, for a chance to prove themselves and to overcome boundaries that were once thought to be indestructible. It happens every day…someone breaks down a wall and takes their sport to the next level—whether it is in slack lining, mountaineering, or professional ski racing. It is hard to be the person who takes a chance of falling and being defeated, but when you can overcome something you thought was impossible is when you are living life to the fullest. The only way to succeed is to trust yourself and to overcome doubt and fear. Don’t let these mental blocks stop you from pushing yourself to the next level….because there is always a next level, even if no one has ventured to it yet.
Well, that’s it for the philosophical stuff. I have been home for 5 days now (yay!), and I fly back to Europe tomorrow morning….at 530 am. Hopefully I don’t miss that flight! hah! I am heading to åre, Sweden for some more World Cup speed races next weekend. I am really, really excited as I have never been to Sweden before! Whoopee. Then we head to Tarvisio for another speed race the next weekend. Lots of racing ahead, even though it feels like the season is coming to a close.
This week at home has been truly amazing. During my time in Oregon it snowed 60 inches at Mt. Bachelor….and I got to ski it for two days! It was not our typical heavy Pacific snow, but light and fluffy–what I consider perfect conditions. I am not sure I have had a better powder day. Ever. So hells yeah to that…I get to race at 70 mph down ice and then come home and get face shots in 5 feet of new snow. Literally, FIVE feet. It was almost too much….but not quite. Had to keep it in the fall line! All I can say is…what a perfect break. Now back to my wonderful job!
Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks. I wish I had pictures of the incredible powder, but it’s all in my head. Enjoy. Peace.
skiing the slalom portion of the Super Combi at World Champs…didn’t exactly turn out as I had hoped…oh well!
until next time…. 😀