2016 Reflections

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!

  Gorgeous view flying into New Zealand!

Gorgeous view flying into New Zealand!

 Hanging out with the kids of St. Joseph's School in Queenstown!

Hanging out with the kids of St. Joseph's School in Queenstown!

 Getting silly after training:)

Getting silly after training:)

 Sunset at the Lake Ohau Lodge:)

Sunset at the Lake Ohau Lodge:)