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Winter Showers Brings Spring Flowers

I’m recently home from training in New Zealand. This year we went a little bit later the usual; when we arrived winter was already shifting to spring. There wasn’t enough coverage to free ski and explore the mountains, but the training hills (well, the training itself) was decent and challenging. Thin coverage meant aggressive terrain changes and icy surfaces. In Mt. Hutt we regularly made visits to our favourite coffee shop, Primo, not only for their great food and drink but to play dress up with their collection of vintage clothing and accessories. Here we had questionable conditions for our first day on snow in New Zealand. Too soft yet heavy and not enough visibility for gates so we just kicked it for a few runs and then bailed.

After our time training on Mt. Hutt in Methven, we packed up and headed for Coronet Peak near Queenstown. One morning we woke up extra early (5 am) to drive to Cardrona for some GS training. Up to this point my camp was going well. I really buckled down, narrowing my focus and making some pretty decent improvements in my approach and performance. Showing up in Cardrona, I just felt different. My body already hurting before I even stepped into my skis, my mind adrift. Instead of listening to the clues my body was giving me, I tried to rally and push myself to be faster. I shifted from a technical focus to a survival focus, just trying to finish the course fast but with a sloppy approach. I fell once, simply tipping over onto my side. Yet another clue I wasn’t in the right space. Then the following run, I exploded! Skis loaded, I caught an edge and cartwheeled over the break-over, sliding down the pitch, breaking a pair of skis and ripping my suit. It took some TLC to get me back, mobile and skiing, thanks to the hands and brains of our team physio, Jenny. I didn’t miss any skiing due to excessive rain, but I did miss some quality dryland training. Sometimes it is frustrating when you are forced to take a step back for a moment; I even caught myself thinking ‘What have I done wrong?’ or negative things of the sort. Then I reminded myself that it is nothing that I have done or didn’t do, these things just happen. We work hard to minimize mistakes and to be able to bounce back swiftly when they, inevitably, happen. I find peace in knowing that I have done the best that I can do with everything that is available to me in order to prepare myself for the demands of alpine ski racing.

Next, I’m on my way to Calgary for some more work in the gym with our trainer, Matt Jordan, a little bit of testing and just general touch-ups before heading to Switzerland again. This time I’ll be clicking into the long boards and looking for even more wind on my face when I get to Zermatt.


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