This is easily the most frustrating part of this process thus far. Yesterday I spent a nice long afternoon/ evening at Woodward; the guys that work there are amazing. I am making a move to start training with the Vail Freeride team after working with one of the coaches, Dave, for those 6 hours at Woodward. About 4 of those hours were spent on the tramp, learning flat spins, rodeos, flairs, corks, and some sick grabs for my misty 5 (sorry, most of that is a different language). The coaches there are so patient and laid back but are the best teachers when it comes to attempting to explain these tricks to an overly analytical person like me. While I hate how gradual this process is, the life lesson of patience is something that I am trying to really embrace. Felt like I got lots of the tricks pretty well dialed in and am finally starting to have awareness of my body while in the air trying to throw these crazy tricks. Its aggravating because if you execute the parts of a trick out of order it becomes a different trick entirely. For example, a rodeo 5 is 90 degree turn into a backflip finished with a 90 degree turn, but if you dont do the initial 90 and instead throw the backflip and then a 180 its a flaire. If you head isn't spinning then props, it took me 6 hours to finally begin to understand it. Now add skis and a jump/ foam pit to the equation... well lets just say this is like a 20 step math problem, it doesn't matter how comfortable you are with one little piece because its impossible to be successful without every part being executed perfectly... you have to really know EVERY part to get the whole equation. Holy lame metaphor but hopefully that gets the point across. Got back on the mountain today as the temperature finally broke above Zero and did some laps in Vail on the slopestyle course, its much less crowded so if you try and trick and fall there aren't 8000 people falling on top of you.
Tomorrow will be another full pipe day with a night session back at the "barn" (Woodward). Its insane that the season is half way over already, I'm putting energy into taking advantage of each day and enjoying the experiences I am having and the people I meet while taking care of and listening to my shins. It is such a different dynamic up here, open, blunt, laid back, super honest which rocks; being upfront isn't "dramatic" and mistakes happen, are repeated until that perfect run where you feel like you could float off the mountain. So much support, even people you don't know cheer if you land a trick that had kicked your a** all day. I think the competitive drive I have has been a help especially in overcoming this shin problem and persevering through frustration, but its been nice to embrace a side of me that is much more laid back. I'm discovering that people will come and go in your life whether its on a chair lift or friendship that hits a fork in the road, the only thing you can do is embrace who you are and accept those ups and downs. This book I've been reading called "The Places that Scare You" is by a Buddhist woman and it has been so enlightening, and refreshing. Its about facing adversity and instead of putting up walls, being vulnerable, compassionate, understanding and accepting. I sound like such a hippie but I'm loving every page.
The days are flying by way too fast and its even more overwhelming trying to plan the summer and the next steps. I have not been amazing at staying in touch with everyone but those I have talked to have brightened my days, I can't begin to express how grateful I am to have so much support. Its hard not wanting everything to click right away but the more I'm up here the more I realize that this is what I love, this is what I want to do, and I am not quitting unless my legs fall off. Here's hoping for a productive weekend and finally getting an edit together!!