In the Garmisch Hospital...nice teammates came to visit!
Here I am again. Flat on my back icing another broken leg. Sweet.
Just when things were starting to feel really good again after my first broken leg, after my first World Cup victory and when my skiing was at its best I managed to destroy my other (right) tibia plateau into 30 plus pieces. UGHH.
The screaming and crying and is over. Well, for the most part. I’d be lying if I didn’t expect a few more meltdowns before this whole thing is over, I’m a woman so it’s not my fault if I get emotional... Surgery was a success and each day the pain is a little less. Now it is the looming months ahead of physical therapy, gym time, return to snow and finally racing again that lie before me. It is no small task and is daunting I’ll admit. The thought
of returning from an even more severe injury than my last one scares me at times. Can I do it again? Can I force myself to maintain a positive outlook and never have any doubt in my mind that I will be fast again? That I will want to go fast again? That I will be ready in time for Sochi? All of these questions run through my mind daily…but there is only one answer and one choice. YES.
I will put myself through the grind of physical therapy day after day, and maintain the positive attitude. Yes, I will want to go fast again, finding the trust will be hard but I have
done it before so I know it’s possible. I will do everything in my power to be ready for Sochi, I can only hope and have the faith that I will be ready. The rest is beyond my control.
I hear from people every day that injuries “just happen” and it is a “bump in the road”, “you will learn so much about yourself”, “you can do this” yet it still doesn’t change the fact I am upset and angry that this has happened to me again. Not just a simple blow your ACL which I would trade for in a heartbeat for my pieced back together leg with 11 screws, a plate and 35 staples holding my flesh together at the moment. I always thought I had paid my ski racing “injury dues” by breaking my other tibia plateau and even then I did not think I would finish the rest of my ski racing career unscathed. I expected bumps and bruises along the way but nothing this severe.
But enough is enough, I could elaborate on my sad feelings for pages…but the reality is I am hurt, and I will recover, but there are people in much worse situations all over the world. I am sure some of them would trade for my broken leg any day compared to whatever they might be suffering through.
To educate everyone a little more on the injury it is thus: my right lateral tibia plateau was fractured into 30 + pieces while being pushed laterally 1.5cmm. I also had a fracture diagonally/straight down the tibia which required the plate. Lucky for me all my ligaments were intact. Some miracle I guess! I keep obliterating my tibia plateaus but both times my ligaments had been uninjured. Crazy… There are more medical terms and smaller issues as well but since I’m not a doctor I’m not going to get into those details since I don’t really know what I’m talking about.
For the next eight weeks I will be on crutches doing a whole lot of quad sets, wall slides and other unexciting physical therapy stuff while also melting my brain with numerous TV shows and Movies. Don’t worry I actually have some online college classes planned in the meantime so I’m hoping to keep the brain melt to a minimum. For now I am focused on the next eight weeks and will move onwards when the time comes to release me
from the crutches! Thanks for all the love and support...the kind words do lift my spirits when I feel they can't get any lower!
One day at time…
Post- op. Plate and 11 screws...
35 staples....ouchy again
I WILL BE BACK!
Bib draw at Schladming! photo credit: Mitch Gunn
It has been some time since I last updated everyone on my skiing
adventures so here we go…
The past month and half and been a whirlwind. After making short trip back home to the US after Cortina it was back to Austria for World Championships. Having been injured during the last World Championships I was very excited and had high hopes for my first World Champs. Unfortunately I left
Shchladming disappointed and frustrated with the way I skied on race day. Most days I feel that I am on it and even if I have a mistake that cost me in the race I can leave the finish knowing that my skiing was good that day and confident in the steps I have made to become a better skier. Schladming was not one of those days, I skied conservatively and my skiing technically wasn’t what it had been all season. It might have been nerves, the expectations of doing something great, or the huge build up during the three weeks since the previous race and waiting anxiously to finally race in the “big” event of the season. I could make a lot of excuses as anyone can when you have a bad race, what it boils down to is I skied poorly. Dang. Moving on though in the big picture it is just one race in my career and I can learn from my mistakes as we all try to do.
In our Austrian garb....Halloween next year??
Racing the downhill in Schladming photo credit: Mitch Gunn
After Schladming I was able to make a solo trip to Venice and Verona while the rest of my teammates still had events to compete in during World Championships. It was a great trip and I am really glad I was able to see some of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It was also nice to get a few days alone away from all the ruckus of World Championships and reset my mind and body for the rest of the season. I think I took a couple years off my life withall the anxiety and anticipation I had before Schladming! I felt like a new woman by the time we got to Sestriere for our pre- Meribel training camp. It was quite nice to feel rejuvenated and relaxed again.
View from the Rialto Bridge in Venice
Meribel was such an incredible place. Wow. I have been to some sketchy places in France as far as accommodations (yuck) and on some of the ski hills but Meribel is not one of them. The free skiing and views were some of the best I have experienced. The race hill was also really sweet, lots of terrain with a couple big swooping turns and perfect hero snow. It was challenging race for everyone, coaches and athletes alike because the last downhill race that was held there was in 1992 during the Olympics. So finding the right line took a couple days and even going into race day I was running a line that I hadn’t skied in either of the training runs.
It was an extremely close race…being less than a second out I still ended up in a three way tie for 14th. Not a result I am ecstatic about but after watching video of the race my skiing was good, it was a couple turns where I didn’t hit the line right on and that cost me. I still left Meribel with a good feeling that my technique is getting more and more solid and that there are still a few more races to go…
Not having a spot to race the Super Combi on Sunday I was able to freeski 10-inches and more in some spots of fresh powder with my boyfriend. A couple of the steeper chutes we got into were honestly some of the best powder runs I have had. The great thing about Meribel is that most of the skiers are quite novice in their abilities so venturing off into the powder is not on the agenda for most of them. We were able to get fresh tracks at like 12pm, something that is unheard of at home in Colorado when powder days turn can into an all out battle to get first chair.
Onwards to Garmisch-Partenkirchen!
Shredding the GNAR with Pat...
Meribel...Nice place to look at in the starting gate!
Wow. What a weekend I just had in St. Anton, Austria. In our first race after our Christmas break I earned my first World Cup victory! Even writing these words it is hard for me to believe that it has actually happened. After all the years of hard work, dedication, sweat, tears, frustrations, injuries, wins, losses, and all different levels of ups and downs I finally
made it to the top. It was worth every second of work I put in to get there. I wouldn’t change a thing!
St. Anton is not a regular tour stop on the World Cup, every four years or so a race is held there, so like many of the younger racers I had never been down the track before. It is known as one as of the most difficult courses on the Women’s tour. It was designed for the Men’s World Championship Downhill in 2001. As one of my coaches put it later, “Alice you pretty much just won Kitzbuhel”. Well, not quite. Let’s be real here. For the Women’s tour though it is the closest thing we get to running Kitzbuhel. I guess somewhere along the line I learned how to turn, I have been known as glider to only do well on the flatter courses but I think I can safely say that I can put that reputation behind me.
Our first training run was quite eye-opening…for everyone. The course was in your face every second of the way and never let up with the most challenging section being the bottom six turns below the “eisfall” – a narrow chute cut through the trees that is too steep for even a winch cat to make up. You throw yourself over the edge pick up another 20 mph then head for the final six turns while your legs are screaming for you to stop and you are hanging on for dear life. Your legs feel like tree stumps at the bottom, pretty much totally useless. With the course being so bumpy it felt like you were rolling down a potholed dirt road on a Vespa. With no brakes. What a relief to finally cross the finish line!
The second training run was cancelled due to a foot of new snow. Powder skiing! I went and took a few runs with my Dad instead of staying cooped up all day. Pretty sweet skiing and the best way to take my mind of the race ahead.
Finally race day was here and it was bluebird. I had an early start number and my main
focus that day was to start skiing like a dude. No more ladylike, passive, pretty skiing. Brute force and commitment. When I finally kicked out of the gate it was like I was possessed by a crazed devil woman. Sending it as hard as I could and skiing my heart out. I had the best run of my life, no doubt. It was AWESOME! Such a great feeling. As soon I as I crossed the finish line I actually did think to myself “I just murdered that course”. I spent the next hour watching the rest of the top women race. It was the most agonizing hour of my life. Sweating, shaking, crying, cottonmouth, desperately trying and failing to play it cool. Generally it was very uncomfortable and I was barely able to watch any of the other ladies race. Finally it was over and the win was mine. Unbelievable.
Standing on the top step of the podium hearing the national anthem has to be one of the best moments of my life. Something I have dreamed about since I was little. Having my Dad there for my first win was so special. As with 99% of all athletes I would never had made it this far without him and my sister Kendra. Ski racing may be an individual sport but it takes a team of people to get to the top.
We now head to Cortina, Italy for races this weekend and then I return home for a short break before the World Championships in Schladming, Austria. Thank you for all the support everyone! All the kind words I have been hearing really mean a lot. It is almost still too much for me to believe. So thank you all.
On to the next one…
It has been a busy three weeks full of ups and downs! A few more days of GS training in Solden then home for Christmas. Yay!
Starting off in Lake Louise I had one mediocre training run where I reverted back to all my old bad habits for some reason…maybe nerves. I don’t know why, but it was ugly. Second training run was going great but then I decided to get a little back and inside (danger zone!) got compressed and sent it into the A-net head first. Ouch. Luckily I was mostly uninjured, just have one rib that still likes to pop out of place whenever is feels like it as a result of that meeting with the A-net. I had to miss the final training run due to swelling and pain in my knee, so after one and a half training runs it was time to race! Finally!
But then… the fog, the falling snow, the hour long course hold before me, the one forerunner who went after the hold before me, and then I ended up being five seconds out in the first Downhill race of the year. Uuughhh. Gross. While I was standing in the start for my run it continued to snow and with only one forerunner I really had no chance. The track was so sticky with the new snow. So I’m writing that race off.
Second day of Downhill racing was redemption time for me, came down with the lead for a few racers before eventually being bumped back to 11th place. A solid result after such a frustrating day the day before. Still by no means what I am looking for this season but a good place to start.
I finished off Lake Louise with some really great sections of skiing in the Super-G race and some sections that really cost me. So no result for me that day. Still, a step in the right direction after struggling so much with Super-G last season.
On to Europe! St. Moritz! Time to get another try at that tricky event Super-G…then...start stop, 10 min course hold before me, then gale force winds decided to blow sideways while I was on course. I was blinded for a gate and half, I couldn’t see anything in front of me or even the ground. So I naturally threw in a couple stivots just to have something to do till I could see again; and blew all my speed. It was a strange day, barely windy most of the day but I got the one gust that decided to show up for the race. Annoying. Write that race off too.
On to Val d’ Isere! One of my favorite places in Europe, such a fun place to ski. After the first Downhill training run Jules, Laurenne and I went out for a few runs and had fresh powder! It was so awesome. Nothing like a few powder turns on a bluebird day with friends.
By the time race day for the Downhill came around Mother Nature decided to be annoying AGAIN. It was too windy on top so we started from the reserve start cutting off the first 30 seconds of gliding.
I had a good race run with two mistakes, and ended up placing 8th. It was little bittersweet knowing that if I had been a little bit better that run I could have been on the podium. Just 0.37 from the podium. Hundies really do matter. Every. Single. One. Still a really good result that I am happy with and moving in the direction I want.
I need to of course mention Stacey and Leanne! We see Lindsey win all the time and that certainly is exciting and I am always psyched when she is up there on the top step but it is something you come to expect after awhile. Seeing two of my teammates get their first podium results was so incredible and exciting. I am still so happy for both of them. They both earned it with all the hard work they have put in. It also makes me smile to know that in a sport where people always obsess over the next prodigy child that someone who has been at it for awhile can make it happen… yea Stacey! That’s you!
I am more motivated than ever to go faster and get better after seeing how possible it is to make it happen. Seeing some of your closest friends finally earn it makes it seem so much more possible. I have improved so much in the past year and I know I still have work to do but I know that anything is possible at this point. Onwards!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
It’s almost time! The first World Cup Downhill and Super- G races
start next week in Lake Louise and I am super excited to get going. It has been
a long prep period full of ups and downs but I now feel ready and enough is
enough. Let’s race.
We finished up in Copper last week and were able to dial in all
the new skis and figure out what’s what and decide what to race on. It was a lot
more work this summer with the new skis deciding between different lengths, models
and even dabbling with the men’s ski a little bit.
It was a great camp and the whole team is ready to race. I think we can
take the nations cup in Downhill once again this year! Go AMERICA!
For now I am enjoying some time at home and recovering from the
Thanksgiving eating extravaganza...I also get to watch the World Cup in Aspen
this weekend which is always a fun time. I never get to see the tech girls race
in Europe so it is great to be able to cheer for them on home turf!
Looking back on this summer I was able to fit a lot of things in:
surgery in the spring, lots of time in Park City getting my butt kicked in the
gym, tons of mountain biking to get my legs and lungs strong again after chillin
on crutches for four weeks, camping adventures, slaying fishes, family houseboat
trip to Lake Powell, weekend in Vegas (broke even, feel pretty big time about
that…), USSA Snow Ball in San Francisco, Moab weekends, hunting excursions this
fall (success! I was back up but still, success!) and of course two training
camps to the southern hemisphere jammed in there as well. Busy, but only a warm
up for the upcoming season, it’s about to get a lot busier and more
I’ll be updating regularly through the season so stay
Attempting to be "Lax Chicks" in Park City this fall!
Lookin fancy at the San Francisco Snow Ball
Hi everyone! Welcome to my new website! I decided to upgrade and create this new website, so after ripping my hair out designing it myself it is finally done. There is a reason I do sports and not web design...web design hurts my brain. So I hope everyone likes it... and if not...well that's too bad because I'm not going through that process again.
I am currently in Park City for one last block of intensive dryland training, and I'm getting work done. I'm tired, sore and a little cranky from all the time in the gym but I know it will pay off when we start racing in less than two months. I am feeling stronger than I have in awhile and more prepared for this upcoming season. Last year I was a little weak going into it after being hurt the previous season but I made do with what I had and did pretty well. It gives me confidence that I can push things more and my body can handle it.
This summer I was able to go to both New Zealand and Chile for some on snow training. New Zealand was a slow camp for coming off a second surgery this spring to remove the plate and screws from my leg. I "eased" back into things by jumping on the new GS skis and not being able to turn them. At all. I spent two days trying to figure out how to finish a brush course. Some athletes have had no problem switching to the new stuff but Ill be honest, I struggled for a little there. Yikes. I have figured out the new GS skis, they take a lot more effort to turn and are less forgiving but in the end I do like them and haven't thought much about it now that I have been on them for two ski camps.
Chile was a really good camp even with the limited amount of snow. I was able to get on the new speed skis and thankfully I didn't have quite the challenge with them as I did with the new GS skis. I was able to jump right into running full length Downhill (yes!) and Super-G which was so MUCH fun! As much as I love summertime and having a change of routine there is nothing like getting back on skis and ripping.
For now till I can start ripping again it is back to the gym…physical testing is next week and we are having a team dryland camp in Park City after which will be a lot of fun and also really exhausting. Looking forward to some snow!