After a agonizing few weeks of trying to decide if I should continue pushing the limit and try to reach Sochi or take a step back and look towards the future I have chosen to look towards the future. This has been the toughest decision I have ever made with my career, it was painful and still is. At times I thought I had decided fully what I was doing only to have doubts about that decision 45 seconds later.
I have pushed everything as hard as I could to get back on snow months before anyone anticipated, pushed myself to get back in gates and racing but one thing I can no longer push is my body. I have reached a point where the issues in my leg caused by the plate and eleven screws in my leg are preventing me from reaching the level of skiing I
need to be at to be a contender this season and to be part of the Olympic team.
As much as I want to continue racing this season and risk everything I have realized that my career and life isn’t just about Sochi. I have many years left ski racing and a career I hope to have in the ski industry when I retire, and it does not make sense to put everything on the line for something I am not ready for.
“What if” has run through my mind constantly the past few weeks, driving me to tears
and sleepless nights. The “what if” choice I have decided upon is thus: WHAT IF
I get healthy, for the first time in three years I actually have a full prep period, I am able to train like my teammates instead of playing catch up, I get stronger than ever instead of just barely reaching the number I need to be at to ski, and finally what if all these “what ifs” end up making the difference in my career? Maybe if I am healthy, strong, and prepared after a full summer of training I will end making that next step and become a consistent contender for the podium…that is my hope and goal by stopping for the season. That I will be able to make gains, make the changes I need in my skiing if I give myself the chance instead of pushing it too far.
I have no regrets of what I did this summer and this season, I worked as hard as I could and did everything possible to make my goal of competing in Sochi happen. People might think I am “giving up” and if they were in my position they would make a different choice, but no one else is in my position so they cannot know the difficulties I have had in skiing and in making this decision. I am sure there will be people that are going to question why I pushed things so hard in the first place, question if I did all the right things, and question if my coaches and I made the right decisions. The reality is that no one can know the complexity of all these choices and decisions but me, my coaches, trainers, doctors and my family. I would not change anything given a second chance.
For now I will take a few weeks to myself and do some of the things I have wanted to do for years but have been unable to do, freeski as much as I can, do an overnight hut trip in the mountains of Colorado, take a trip with my sister, allow myself to relax for a few weeks and even take some time away from the gym, unheard of for me in the past three years. Then I will get surgery end of January to remove the plate and screws from my leg, get started with my recovery and aim to get back on snow in May with a camp solely focused on fundamentals and technique through drills and freeskiing.
I need to thank my wonderful sponsors who have stood beside me through it all, Coldwell Banker- Mason Morse, Atomic, Shred, Leki, and Aspen Snowmass. My family and friends have been great and I could not have made it this far in my journey without
them. Last but not least I need to thank all my fans, the support from people across the globe that I don’t even know always amazes and inspires me.
It aint over yet… onwards to 2015!