We are just finishing our Switzerland training camp in Zermatt and Saas Fee, it has been an awesome camp and I am very excited on the progress I have made! We got in several days of Downhill (yippee!) and even more days of full length Super-G. Being my first camp of being fully integrated with the team I had to make some big steps to jump back into training with the rest of the team. The training in Zermatt was challenging with the snow conditions (gotta love that frozen glacier snow, eeeek!) and with some of the other athletes that trained with us…having some of my first days back running top to bottom Super-G and comparing my times to the likes of Lara Gut, Anna Fenninger, Tina Weirather and of course all my teammates was both overwhelming and exciting at the same time. It felt so good to feel my competitive edge coming back; sure, I don’t mind being a bit behind for a couple days but after that I really felt the desire to win some runs coming back again!
One of the tough things about returning from an injury is breaking through that threshold of when it’s ok to be a bit behind, skiing conservatively and just working on the fundamentals and to when it’s time to step it up and really start analyzing each turn and movement and to even be hard on yourself and demand more out of your skiing and performance. There comes a point when it’s not ok to lag behind and it’s time to race like yourself again. I feel like I am at that threshold and even the last two days of Downhill training I started to feel more like my old self again and was attacking instead being “safe” and conservative. It is amazing the difference of what your mindset is and how it correlates to your training times on course, it’s like flipping a switch from slow mo to full speed.
After the first block of training in Zermatt we missed some days of training due to weather so we spent a few days in Thun, Switzerland while we waited for the storm system to pass. It was a refreshing break to see a different part of Switzerland and explore a new city while still enjoying some summer weather. We did a lot of biking around the city which was fun and terrifying at the same time as the bikes we had were electric bikes and would go up to 40km an hour… I am not sure how many times I accelerated too fast and almost hit a car, a human, a tree, a fence or another bike. As a group we were a pretty sweet biker gang, very intimidating and tough looking. Sort of like a Swiss version of the Hells Angels. On electric bikes.
We are finishing up camp in Saas Fee, a town I came to when I was 10 years old, which was 15 years ago! It’s a little frightening to say things like “oh yea I was here 15 years ago” I feel like my father saying things like that…like I might be getting a bit older and I’m not sure how much I like how fast each year goes by. The training was excellent and we even got a few turns of powder one day during Super-G training, a little awkward trying to turn the Super-G skis through powder but I imagine I looked like real pro…
Once I am back in the US I have a few days off, hopefully squeeze in a trip to Moab then back to work in Park City for a two week training block where I will surely get my butt kicked in the gym and come home every afternoon and curl up in the fetal position for an hour or so while I regroup mentally and try to physically. Always good times at the Center of Excellence…
It will be worth it though as I get to ski again in less than four weeks in Colorado! Pretty excited about all the skiing I am getting in this prep period! Then it’s the last training block in Copper where it will be time for me to break through all my barriers mentally and physically and start being competitive and fast again. A camp and feeling I can’t wait for!
That’s it for now…Chow chow!