Another season has come and gone just like that. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was a rookie on the World Cup, the Olympics, and the excitement of my eyes wide open taking it all in. After struggling for the next two season that would follow, it felt amazing to have a year that I am proud of. Even though I was very inconsistent, it was a big step in the right direction. Looking back I ponder the question of why and how I can change that moving forward. It’s crucial as an athlete to recognize what I am doing different on days of success. I need to be able to harness and replicate the feelings in those moments to be able to ski to my potential everytime I click into my skis. Whether it’s physically or emotionally every athlete needs to have those triggers. I think as a human this is something that we might not fully learn, and continually develop as we grow.
Once the season finished my mind immediately shifted towards next season. While I’ve done a bit of reflecting/a lot of gym time, I noticed this abundant feeling of gratitude that I felt I must express. The support that I’ve had to this point still blows my mind. Even though it’s an individual sport, it truly is a team effort. As I would not be where I am without all the support all around me, there is one that sticks out a little more these past two years. The Lindsey Vonn Foundation.
It all started two years ago at a summer camp in New Zealand. Us ladies were all sitting around enjoying dinner, when the topic funding came about. The ski team used to be fully funded but over the more recent years some athletes have had to find the means elsewhere. Being one of them, my story came about that I was one of these athletes in need of help to keep pursuing my dreams. When Lindsey found this out she took it upon herself. She made me the first ever Ambassador to her foundation, and out of her own pocket generously funded my season. These past two seasons have been a massive learning curve and I gained so much more than just her helping my cause. She has really taken me under her wing and guided me into this professional athlete world. Having the opportunity to learn from the best female skier in history is absolutely incredible, priceless, and I’ve tried to absorb as much as possible!! On and off the hill she has not only become a great mentor but great friend. This post is about spreading the love of compassion and kindness to a fellow teammate in need. I give many thanks to the LVF foundation. Please learn more and donate if you can to help a great cause empowering young women through sport! www.lindseyvonnfoundation.com
Director’s Mortgage Camp Scholarship:
Through this process, I’ve been inspired to give back. Seeing how much Lindsey has helped me continue pursuing my journey, I hope to do the same to younger racers. This summer at my home mountain in Oregon, I will hold the second annual Jackie Wiles White Pass Ski Camp on Mt. Hood. It wasn’t that long ago that I was attending this White Pass camp with my friends. It is fun to be back skiing and having fun with young rippers, and my old coaches!
I am very fortunate that one of my sponsors Directors Mortgage is helping me give back this year. They are providing a scholarship for a kid to join camp who is in financial need. I am very grateful for the support of Directors Mortgage family and their generosity!!
Back to Europe I head once again tomorrow to start racing in the new year! I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two weeks at home in Portland, Oregon with friends and family. This was a much needed
holiday break after the sub-par start to the race season. After my DH let downs it was nice to get one solid SG result with a 10th in Lake Louise. I am still trying to find my race day speed in Downhill right now but I know it will come. I am skiing well in training and soon will connected that into race mode. I am looking forward to the many fresh new opportunities with much more racing ahead this season:) Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and let’s go 2017!!!!!!
Another camp has come to a close and I find myself once again reflecting. It’s in these moments at the end of trips that I always feel extra grateful for the life that I am living. Constantly on the go, living out of my suitcase, ever changing airport terminals, excited for the next adventure that’ll lie ahead. It certainly takes its toll constantly being on the go, but then I remember this is what I dreamed of doing as a little girl. Of course it’s tiring at times, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
This last trip was three weeks in Chile. The first two spent in Portillo with the full speed group. Then a couple of us younger gals headed
for one more week in Valle Nevado. We slipped down to Santiago in between blocks and were excited tourists during Chile’s Independence Day on the 18th of September. We immersed ourselves into the culture by attending a large festival. After a couple days recovering at low elevation we headed back up to over 9,000ft to continue our training.
This year I didn’t ski that well most of the time which was pretty frustrating. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that sometimes you
need to struggle a bit before you progress. I am testing different setups with my equipment and I think that will really help when it all comes together. Not skiing to my potential can be rough, but I still got a lot out of the last week, and I’m looking forward to skiing again come November in Colorado!
Until then it’s more gym time to get stronger! I’m excited to be heading home just in time to get antsy for my upcoming adventures!
Another year is quickly approaching, and I couldn’t be more excited. Since my last post, so much has happened and I can honestly say that I am the happiest and most prepared as I have ever been, as I enter my 4th season on the US Ski Team.
Coming off last season’s deflation was tough. I had set such high expectations and was ready to conquer my goals, unfortunately fell a bit short. This sport is so tough and it teaches you many lessons. I think determination is a quality that a successful athlete must acquire. Falling short of expectations many more times than not, can hurt. But being able to learn, grow and move forward is a tremendous asset.
Moving forward, I feel it is important to shed light on the ups and downs this journey realistically entails. There would be no reward if it was easy to achieve. I want this blog to be more inspirational, yet honest about the hard work and perseverance necessary to be a successful ski racer. You need to own your journey wherever you are in that process and be proud of it.
Here is a run down on how this past season played out.
The season started off great with momentum rolling after Lake Louise and Val-d’lsere. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t seem to carry that into January and throughout the rest of the season. It is challenging, both mentally and physically, to underachieve on expectations. I finally hit a breaking point at the end of the season. I was tired of skiing. This was a new feeling and one that I had never felt or experienced and it was terrifying. I love skiing. I love racing. I love the sport and all that it encompasses. Reconstruction of how the season played out was difficult. As many of you know, there are so many variables in our sport, which makes it challenging to decipher the reasoning behind results. In reflection, I believe I over-skied, not allowing my body and mind enough rest. I knew I had it in me to ski fast as I felt like I was skiing well in training, but just couldn’t put it together on race day. There again, I had to analyze if I was trying too hard on race day. Who knows the exact reasoning. But, once things in January didn’t go my way, I panicked. In response to that, I decided to stay in Europe longer to train in an attempt to get something going so as to finish off the season strong. I felt fine at the time, and it seemed like I would be able to handle the load. In the end, my mind and body abandoned me. In my attempt to keep trying harder and pushing myself more, I learned an important lesson: sometimes less is more and strategic rest is the answer.
The moment you struggle, fall down and realize everything will be ok, is when you learn from your experiences and with fortitude and determination, form a new plan to bounce back – tougher and stronger. While outcomes may affect my career, in reality, I am just blessed to be doing what I am doing. That said, by experiencing and appreciating the lows, I am able to enjoy and cherish the highs.
With much needed rest this past spring, I am in a positive state of mind. In July, I was excited to be in New Zealand and back on snow again. The training was awesome and it felt good to be back with my teammates, coaches and all the staff. New Zealand is by far one of my favorite countries. The natural beauty is absolutely gorgeous, and I would recommend New Zealand on everyone’s bucket list. The opportunity to spend it with my ski family, made it that much more special. Now after a break at home, we are headed to Chile. Its time to strap on the long boards and let’em rip. YEEEEHAAAAAA – I love this sport!
Hello family, friends, and encouraging supporters. Life has been wickedly fun and crazy since the season ended. Being home for a little bit after the season is always a must. Decompressing and relaxing after a long winter on the road is stupendous!
Mid-April my teammates Stacey, Alice, and I took a PSIA clinic at Snowbird in Utah. PSIA stands for Professional Ski Instructors of America. I am now a fully certified level 300 ski instructor (never thought I’d say that, haha). This was a great opportunity for us athletes to look into the fundamentals from a coaching perspective. I learned a lot from this program and have seen it pay off in my own self-reflection.
Our team spent a good amount of time training together in Utah with our strength & conditioning coach Eirik in May and June. I was fortunate to have some quality time at home in July.
BIG NEWS: During my time at home, I finally signed my contract with Nike. Being from Oregon this has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember. I am proud to be a local athlete of this powerful company and love the opportunity to showcase their products. I believe it is important to empower women through sport and I intend to advocate that. #nikewomen #justdoit !!!
While being home in July, I coached for my old program, The White Pass Ski Club at Mt. Hood for a week. It’s always fun to go up to the mountain I grew up on, and I coached alongside the coaches who helped get me to where I am today. It’s fun to hang out and goof around with the young girls. It feels nostalgic and I see a lot of myself in them. I feel deep gratitude to be able to give back and inspire young racers. It wasn’t all that long ago I was in their ski boots making laps on the slopes with my friends (aka the gaper gang we called ourselves). I feel that it’s my part to help in any way I can.
Come end of July, it was off to New Zealand for three weeks to get back on snow with the whole team. It was the first time since our season ended. Our coaching staff was mostly new again, so getting used to each other and the way we work together is a must. The first ski block of the summer tends to be more technique based, so a lot of gs was our main focus. Fundamentals and volume are important. This camp was very productive and I even figured out some issues with my setup towards the end:)
After being home for two weeks working hard in the gym, we headed south again for more winter skiing (summer in the Northern Hemisphere). This was my fourth trip to Chile and first time to Portillo. I was in awe of this place and the rich history of skiers who have come before me. Walking around the hotel are pictures of past teams who made Portillo their training hub. It is the best place for
speed training, with the firm snow, tough terrain, and fast speeds. Even though the second week consisted of a massive snow storm that left us going stir crazy, it was an extremely productive camp. One of the factory guys from Rossignol canted my boots to fit my body alignment better, and now I am feeling so much stronger and in balance over my skis. It has made a huge difference, and I am skiing the best I ever have! It’s crazy how something so minimal can make a huge difference.
The summer is winding down and fall is knocking on the door. The excitement of the new season is flowing through me and I can hardly wait to start racing again. All of our on-snow prep period is finished until we head to Colorado at the end of October.
Now, it’s back to hard gym training and mentally preparing for the race season. It is quickly approaching and I anxiously looking forward to it!
Our trip to New Zealand this year was a blast as well as productive. With it being our first on snow camp since busting our butts in the gym all summer we were able to put our increased strength to the test. We also have a good amount of new staff joining us so it was all about getting on the same page and learning to work together. It was a solid block of technical training before we get into higher intensity speed training which is coming up at the end of the month in Portillo, Chile. This video is a compilation of different types of skiing we were fortunate to experience while in New Zealand. Sometimes we get to play as well as train. Lot’s of pow-pow!!!!!!!! Hope you enjoy:)
After my last long journey in Europe, I am now finally back in the US. I sit here reflecting on my races pondering what I could have done differently to have had better outcomes. Did I not prepare enough, was my focus lacking, or simply was my skiing just not good enough?
I can sit here and beat myself up in my head debating my reasonings. My conclusion is that I must not focus on the past and what I cannot change. Instead, let it go and focus on my future and what I can do differently. Ski racing is brutal with all the ups and downs that come with the sport. It seems inevitable to have more downs than ups. I have found that in order to be successful you have to find a way to make a positive in every every situation. Learning from your past is a big aspect of moving forward and evolving. You benefit from every experience whether you realize it or not, positive or negative.
Looking back what bothers me the most is the promise and hope this season held. I was skiing the best I had and more ready than ever. The expectations were higher and I was ready with full force, eager to make a big splash. Not living up to my expectations and accomplishing my goals, I feel that I have let people down who were supportive, and believed in my abilities. I am grateful for my family and friends who love me no matter my results. I truly tried my best and that is all I could have done. I am comforted by knowing as long as I keep working hard, the results will come. I need to no longer be the young rookie who is wide eyed. After my first full season on the World Cup tour it is clear that there is nothing I can’t handle and should be intimidated about. At times, I skied bad, others conditions were not in my favor,
as well as young mental errors I need to fix. After being frustrated countless times I know it is momentary and I can’t be hard on myself. Although I am not proceeding in the path at the moment I had envisioned, I still have more racing ahead of me. I had hoped to make it to World Cup finals in Mèribel, France, but now I must give it my all and finish the season strong at Nor-Am finals/US Nationals in Sugar Loaf, Maine. I am committed to ending the season strong and giving it every ounce that I have left. I’m excited and looking forward to more opportunities to compete. Racer Ready…GO!!!!!!
This past month of racing hasn’t gone quite the way I would have like it to. Like many sports, ski racing is full of ups and downs, many factors swaying the outcomes. Weather won out at times, and we weren’t able to compete. My skiing wasn’t what I had hope for, but I had to stay positive. I am a true believer in good energy and positive mental power, the power of one’s mind. I had to stay confident in my skiing if I wanted a chance. Finally, St. Moritz, Switzerland provided
new opportunities. I was skiing very fast in training and finally once again everything felt right. Race day I gave it my all but caught an edge, propelling my body into the net at 60 mph. You win some and lose some, and I was lucky to have only suffered a knee sprain. Forgetting the crash, I will take the confidence into my next races. When I would get down on my non-existent results, I would remind myself just how fortunate I am. The life that I am getting to live is amazing, my love for skiing and the places and experiences it has provided for me.
The men’s ski team lost lost two amazing guys who skied into an avalanche in Austria. Hitting us all hard, we had to take a step back and reflect on their impacts they have made in our sport. Ronnie and Bryce were two of the nicest, loving boys around who had such a
passion for skiing it was contagious. This left us wondering why things like this happen. Sometimes we get caught up in our sport and forget the true reason we ever got involved. These boys will never be forgotten, and we will all be ripping down mountains in their honor!
Now I am in the USA reflecting on the roller coaster my trip was, at times throwing my hands high screaming while enjoying the ride, other moments feeling sick like I wanted to throw up (caught a cold at one point). In the end, even scared at moments, I still had a heck of an exciting ride. Next up is World Championships in Vail/Beaver creek, Colorado. I am beyond grateful and blessed to get this opportunity to join in the festivities and represent my country, competing among the best in the world! Stay tuned!!!
Happy New Year everyone, as it is quickly approaching! It is the time of year to reflect on the past 12 months, whether it was good or bad. Most people scheme up fun/silly ideas for their New Year’s resolutions. I remember mine last year was to give up deserts…didn’t last long as we headed straight to Europe and into enticingly mouthwatering treats. Maybe my will power will be stronger this year;) More importantly, instead of making resolutions a daunting job, I think we should look at it as a time for a healthy new habit. Eventually, the habit becomes a normal part of your day. Then you’ll start to think in terms of every day as fresh start and not just once a year. As humans, we grow, get older year by year, and evolve. Being able to reflect is crucial in learning and growing. Whether we seize them or not, the New Year is sure to bring new challenges as well as new opportunities. This is exciting because it proves that no matter what life throws at you, the power is in your hands to make what you want of it. As long as you keep your mind open, work hard, and embrace it, anything is truly possible.
That is sure to be the biggest lesson I have learned this year. Looking back at the year in skiing for me, it proved that having big goals, dedication, and hard work can get you anywhere as long as you believe. I just saw the new movie Unbroken, about a man named Louis Zamperini, who through all odds fights the toughest obstacles. He came out stronger from being an Olympic runner to surviving a plane crash, 47 days drifting on a raft in the Pacific, and being tortured as a prisoner of war at a Japanese Prison camp. If he could endure that, I feel I can conquer anything. It was so inspiring, and I would highly recommend it.
This past year I was able to accomplish so many of my childhood dreams, from starting in my first World Cup to representing my country in the Olympics. It truly was incredible and I am grateful I could share it with my family. They have shown me so much love and support, helping me reach my goals. Especially my Uncle Jim, who saw me race in my first World Cup at Beavercreek before passing this summer. I would not be where I am today without my family and I am truly grateful to have them in my life.
This past first month of racing has come and gone so quickly. Seems like yesterday we were training in New Zealand. I’ve had some racing ups and downs. I did really well on my first race in Lake Louise, but since then have struggled to put one in there. I know my time will come as long as I keep a positive mind set and continue to work hard. I strive to become better every day, and therefor am not worried.
Let the New Year be a symbol as a new chapter in our book of life. It is just waiting to be written, growing as the story goes on with age. We can help write that story by setting goals and being proactive. Get out there, experience life, and have no regrets. There is so much to see and learn. I am just finding out that I have only just touched the surface…
The one thing I know for sure is that with a New Year beginning, it brings plenty of glorious snow-storms of white promises.
Welcome everyone to my blog! This is my first official post, and I am very excited to write and share my experiences with you all this season. It should be eventful, and I will try to keep you up to date and I will do my best to elaborate on all this season has to offer! All the ups and downs, seriousness and goofiness, and everything in between. I am home briefly now for Thanksgiving break, enjoying family time that I am always grateful for. I head to Canada to begin the race season on Cyber Monday (the day I will do my online Christmas Shopping).
So much has happened since last year and the time has flown by. As a high note, I have had one of my best off-season preparations ever. I was able to get more time on skis this summer and feel more technically prepared for the tour. We went back to the basics which is just what I needed. No doubt I will still be all out, pedal to the podium medal;), on the edge charging again… but at least this time around I’ll be slightly in more control (you’re welcome Mom & Dad).
As a low, I lost some very important family members that crushed and devastated me. This 4th of July, Uncle John, my mom’s brother passed unexpectedly. This was heartbreaking to our family. He was an amazing guy and we miss him terribly. Then on my dad’s side we grieved the loss of my Uncle Jimmy on Oct. 8th. Jim was very special to me as he and I were very close. It has been very hard. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. Jimmy was one of my biggest fans and he will definitely be with me every time I push out of the start this year. These tragedies have really taught me how precious life is, and to love and cherish each other everyday. I have learned so much from them that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
This past month we have been putting on all the finishing touches, tweaking every little thing to make us fast. Colorado has been all over the place, from no snow to too much, but we were still able to get a lot done. Copper Mountain is a great place for us to get in some valuable speed training before we start racing. Confidence is huge in our sport, and I feel our whole team is skiing well and in a good place going into the season. We are down one lady, Leanne, at the moment but she will be back soon attacking in no time.
So many emotions fill my mind as the the first races are quickly approaching. I am coming off an incredible season last year that took me farther than many had anticipated. It all happened so fast, but I knew it was possible from how hard I had worked. Although I am grateful, I don’t want to be satisfied and content. This year I strive to go even further and am excited to see what it brings. Working countless hours in the gym and out on the hill, I feel that I am ready to kick some a**!!!!!! Let’s get this season started!!!!!!