As my first on snow camp in New Zealand draws to a close I have been reflecting on
where the past six months have taken me and what lies ahead...
After making the incredibly tough decision to pull out of competition last season to give myself a real chance at healing and to be fully prepared to return to skiing I now know the decision I made was the correct one. Looking back to how I felt skiing last November and December and how I feel skiing now it is hard to make comparisons. The positive difference I now feel in my leg and joint is miles ahead of where it felt last year. That being said I am still finding out what my new “normal” is. Some of the damage done to my leg will be a constant reminder for the rest of my days and learning how to work
with my new “normal” and leg will be a continual learning process at what works
and what does not. It’s a new challenge and one that is both rewarding and frustrating at times, but seeing the forward moving progress lets me know that the challenge is worth it in the end.
The training in New Zealand has not been without challenges, we have had some of the worst weather anyone can remember with rain, wind and even power outages! It has been frustrating to miss days on snow when I feel like I have missed so many but we have filled the canceled days with ridiculous ways to entertain ourselves, I might just get off the plane in Denver in a few days with some pink hair... Not pointing fingers but it was an idea of a certain persons’ name that rhymes with “Gulia”. We also had a “team building/mental training” Nevis bungee jumping day. I had done the 134 meter jump before but it was still no less nerve wracking getting up onto the platform and heaving myself off the edge. It was actually terrifying, thinking you might actually plummet to
your death for the first few seconds of freefall…other than that it is a blast! We have a really brave team as even though the whole group of staff and athletes talked about how scared they were not a single person hesitated. So watch out next season! We are
fearless! Or just a little crazy/on the edge/out of our minds/reckless.
Overall I am very pleased with the training and progress I have made this camp, I have progressed much faster than I anticipated! I started out running ten gate sections of Giant Slalom to now integrating almost fully with the rest of the speed team in running almost full length Giant Slalom and even a few days of mellow Super-G! It was really fun to get on the long boards again and feel the speed again! It will certainly take some time to work back into feeling comfortable on speed skis again but every run is starting to feel a bit better and like I am “there”again. I can’t wait till we go to Zermatt in September and can really get back into Super-G and Downhill again.
After this camp I’ll get a few days in Colorado to celebrate my 25th birthday (yikes!)
and to hopefully get a few days on the river to put my fly fishing skills to the test. Then it is back to Park City to continue training at the Center of Excellence with a few of my teammates. I am looking forward to actually working out with my team, after working out so much on my own the past couple years focusing on one injury or another it will
be awesome to get some motivation and encouragement from the group. I’m also starting to get pretty bored with being on my own…turns out the antics of group environment are hard to beat!