December 15th 2011
We trained on the course this morning, qualifying is happening tomorrow. I have lots of mixed emotions – excitement, eagerness, nervousness, confidence, tentativeness, slight anxiety, lots of adrenaline. Its important to take what I want out of each of these emotions and channel it into something productive, something that I can actually work with. I feel it’s the anticipation that’s the worst…not knowing what is going to happen, not being able to prepare for exactly what might happen. I’m confident in my skiing and I know all the work I have done this summer is just going to make it easier for me to accomplish what I am setting out to do, which ideally is to win. At this moment, my fingers are even shaking as I am typing just thinking about what the next few days have in store. I’m glad our first race is in Italy, in an abstract way, it feels like home. The town is small and quaint, and I have already picked out my favourite pizzeria to eat at and a favourite coffee shop to have a little afternoon booster.
I wrote that note to myself the day before we qualified for our first world cup race of the season. Its funny looking back now after the races have finished to reminisce exactly what I was going through at the time.
I just got home from Europe, jet lagged of course but still running off adrenaline from my eventful weekend. Once I got into the start gate on both race days, all my nerves and doubts faded away. When I am racing my head is clear, I focus on each feature and on the competitors around me. Even though we are moving quickly over jumps, around gates and through rollers, everything moves is slow motion. Its almost as if I am a third party watching the race…I can anticipate the movements of my competitors, where they are trying to pass or block. I can set up a pass from four turns away, skiing tight to catch a draft to slingshot by. When I start racing, things just feel easy. Not easy as in I don’t have to try but easy as in natural. All the hard work I have done over the last summer and years before is falling into place. This sport was made for me, and I was made for it. Its as easy as that.
I’m still in shock that I came home from our first World Cup events in Italy with TWO first place trophies. We are heading back to Europe to continue racing on the World Cup circuit in January and my focus will be simple. Stay clear, stay in the moment, and have fun!! Happy kids ski fast.