Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Gravity?

What a BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!! AAHH we finally got some snow (we were in desperate need) granted it was only 5 inches but it was of serious help to the mountain that continues to be plowed over by tourists. Today was sunny, warm, spring time ski weather and I had an AWESOME day in the pipe. Getting back from the concussion with freshly tuned skis, I focused on pushing my amplitude even further. I had some great hits and was getting out of the pipe 5-6 feet!!! I have to admit that it feels ssoo much higher when you are in the air but nailing that initial drop/ hit has my confidence and comfort in the pipe rising.

There is about a month left of season and I have a feeling that this remaining time will be dense with progress. I went over to work with the Vail coach, Dave, at Woodward this afternoon (and will be back tomorrow) and started off with my flat spins (they have proved to be quite the hurdle). Again the problem with this sport is relaxing and letting go, my tendency to over-analyze is the shock collar that prevents me from moving forward. Sooo, today was about letting that go, relaxing as I jet out of the pipe and trusting my body on the tramps and ramps at Woodward. After a good 2 hours I left feeling confident with my progress and lesson to really "take out the trash" and let go of all the inner monologue/ analyzing. All of which resulted in some SICK 5's and 7's and flat spins!!!!

Still finalizing plans for this summer in NZ and trying to organize my life for my return to Berkeley in the fall. Its shocking to think of how fast time has flown by. How am I almost a SENIOR IN COLLEGE?! In all honesty I'm having quite a bit of internal strife in terms of the future. Its aggravating when it feels like you are the only one who truly buys into what your doing and the plan you have set for yourself. I have been so fortunate with success in such a broad range of endeavors but I think that instead of seeing that as a sign for impending failure, I see it as motivation to continue to work towards a goal. So many people halfheartedly go for things and plan "back-ups" "just in case something happens", doesn't that seem like a premature raising of the white flag or expectation to fail?? We often define ourselves through our accomplishments, but true definition of character is established based on how you pick yourself up after falling and it may be the crazy competitive side of me saying this but if i fail I want to know that there was NOTHING else I could have done to succeed in that specific area. Everyone has run into roadblocks whether they are minuscule or gargantuan, I guess its my stubborn nature speaking but if I set a goal, there is nothing that can stand in my way and impede me from accomplishing it. At this crossroads (end of college) it is difficult to define whether you are "young and have so much time" or "need to start getting your life plan together". Frankly I am scared to death. But I know deep down that I do have time, and going off and getting married or bringing a corporate big wig his morning coffee in order to seal a comfortable future are not paths I want to take. At this point I think its about deciding what you want from your life and how many risks you are willing to confront in order to achieve that. Yes, things can go awry and failure can happen, but the greatest failure is cutting yourself short and fearing to take that jump. I know loved ones don't want to see us fail or get hurt but at some point you have to trust that everything you've learned and the person you have defined yourself to be will help you to succeed or adjust. Growing up... oh there just isn't anything like it is there??

I don't mean to go on a rant but I have been thinking a lot about the future and how fragile the plans we set for ourselves really are. I have a vision of where I want to be one year, five years, even ten years from now but there are so many events we don't see/ know about that can have such an impact on our future! (at age 10 did you think you'd be where you are today?) Heavy stuff for a Wednesday night, I guess I just wanted to verbalize what I have come to find; it may suck but it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks... the most crucial component of success is believing, with all of your heart/ every ounce of you, in YOURSELF (I'll be going out for Miss America soon).

This mountain air and alone time has obviously lead me to believe that I am the next Aristotle so again my apologies for any forced opinions/ tirades on life. I'm reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" (thank you Tori :) and have to say its an awesome book, great read for the summer for those of you literate folk. Obviously I am losing any social aptness so I am cutting myself off. Goodnight and congrats to the Lax Rats on the win over Drexel!!! (Mel 4 goals... really?!?!) Counting down the days until I see you all in April. More updates on skiing, less on life outlook, to follow.


PS. anyone have twitter?!
FOLLOW ME! @Allie_Welsh

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pinch Me!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!! Why is time flying by, I am in shock that we are already knee deep into March! Breck has been flocked by gleeful Spring Breakers and while the sun and wonderful weather have been amazing, it appears that mud season is getting an unwelcome head-start. Euro Xgames were this week and there was quite a bit of drama. Jen Hudak opted out after a bad injury to her shoulder and knee (she has had 4 knee surgeries too) during a 900 in her warm-up run. I have to say that after following her on Twitter (lame I know) and reading her blog, I have found a new hero. Her parents are college professors and she is a raging intellect with a big heart and determination to boot. It is so refreshing to read the words of an accomplished athlete who has such an unrestricted outlook on the world around her. She is a decorated pipe skier (to say the least) and had to opportunity to travel and film in Japan this year with the big mountain skiers. Reading her blog has been so refreshing and interesting, I feel like less of a tool sharing my outlook on things and throwing inspiring quotes at those of you brave enough to follow me via this blog.

Monday was full of progression and set back. I have started to work on my 5’s in the pipe and believe I am ready for some flairs as well. Monday was the big day where I bit the bullet and just went for broke in terms of putting together the amplitude I have been diligently working on as well as the unknown territory that is spinning!!! I fell quite a few times but had some moments of brilliance who’s glimmers of hope may have blinded my rationality. On a few hits I over-rotated, landed too far down the pipe and in most cases caught an edge causing me to repeatedly snap down onto my head (thank god for helmets, I wear my religiously). Needless to say the repeated trauma, thanks to my stubborn nature, was not the best thing for my head and after a little regurgitation episode I decided that it was smart to call it a day and call DAVE! I’m feeling a lot better today and much less concussed. I went to the gym to sweat for a while and I will be getting back to those damn spins tomorrow, I think staying off of the green, alcohol, tourist infested mountain today was the best decision for my healing noggin. I will say though, watching Jen’s practice run crash really made me understand that this sport is really about focus 100% of the time, if you are not completely committed its not a question of maybe getting injured, it’s a guarantee 100% of the time. Even the pro’s deal with it, Simon Dumont hurt his shoulder, girls are getting collarbone surgery, knee surgeries, etc, to say the least this is a really tough sport.

I talked to my mom on the phone yesterday and of course she was worried about my head and reminded me that if this doesn’t work out than its ok to put down the ski’s and go back to a more leisurely side of the sport. I obviously snapped back and became emotional at those words because that thought has been a plague to my mind since I decided to come out here. I agree that there is a line and some point where we have to be able to let things go that aren’t working out as difficult as it is, whether that is something like your respective division 1 sport or a crazy dream to throw yourself out of a 22ft tall ice block. But as athletes we push ourselves to the point where that path that leads us away from that sport we love, is the only one in sight. If you love something with all of your heart and it consumes your mind, body, and soul then the only one pulling that rip cord should be you. Everyday I think about how crazy this may seem, how hard it is, how slowly I am progressing, how likely it is that the future I see for myself in skiing will not work out. But that is exactly what brings me back every day. While the world may be against you (or at least it may feel that way) your aspirations have NOTHING to do with anyone but YOU. Its so easy to get caught up in the negative green monsters claws and wish ill upon someone else or become wrapped up in the drama of being doubted and throw the towel in… but “nothing worth doing is ever easy”. This journey I am on continues to surprise me. The personal growth I have endured is unlike anything I can put into words, and being a part of an individual sport and away from the comfort of a team sport has taught me so much about my own mental toughness and determination… call it being stubborn but I have embraced it as a positive quality that has lead me to this mountain of a challenge (muhahaha PUNN). I still live by the quote “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”, taking life as it comes a day at a time and learning to love where I am and who I am. This is where I am supposed to be, this industry is where I am supposed to be and I’m not going to stop until standing a the top of that Xgame’s podium (lets not kid ourselves I wont stop unless my legs fall off and my knees explode). There is no failure except the failure of trying, and at this point I don’t have to push myself anymore, the vision of traveling to world on a pair of skis pulls me out of bed every morning.

Catie Tilton “tilt”, Annie Stookes and the BU lacrosse team are coming to play DU this weekend so I will escape the tourist trap that is the mountains and return to Denver for the weekend to see my best gal pals (hahaahahah) and hang out with the fam. Tommy is a varsity lax bro and a dominant long pole defenseman… I’m ssooo proud!!! My cousin Lizzy is in town and last weekend our family went downtown for dinner together, we’re talking aunt, uncle, mom, bro, gma, cousins, you know the whole shebang! Dinner was awesome and the city was brimming with hammered hooligans for the St. Patty’s Day parade. Gma Lou was a trooper walking by girls vommitting and guys literally passed out on the sidewalk. Family is so important and I am so fortunate to have the best one in the WORLD (no offense to anyone else). I couldn’t do what I am doing without their support and love! My other grandma (Dad’s mom in Kansas) is in the hospital with a collapsed lung so please send positive thoughts/ vibes/ prayers (whatever your into) her way, she is an incredible woman who has never missed a birthday! Safe travels to the Cal Lax team for their spring break!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Daylight Donuts

This is only the BEST place on earth... for breakfast at least, lets not kid ourselves I'm not going to discount Taco Bell that easily. It is also the place that started my week on a great foot. Ames and I dropped in for a wonderful dish of hashbrowns and green chili when who walks in.... Justin Dorey and Simon Dumont (TITANS of the superpipe). Of course I had just had PT and was in shorts and a longs leeve Cal shirt (yes I still rep old Berk) so I was not in a presentable state, BUT I pulled a Vail and made sure my legs looked long and luscious thanks to one more roll of the shorts for my walk past their table, and proceeded to RACE home to get my skis on and get on the mountain (miss you Vail!!). The rest of the day I spent hiking and sharing the pipe with 4 of the top pipe skiers in the world. While they were perfecting their flat 5's and a couple were throwing some doubles, I continued my patient work getting out of the pipe, staying relaxed and varying my grabs. Holy ego check... and may I say that trying to focus on skiing while being in the midst of guys like that, boarder line impossible. I was more starstruck than I would have been had Br-Angelina walked through the door.

I feel awesome this week already!!! The time off working on the hip and core strength paid off, my muscle memory has kicked in and I feel great in the pipe! Hit up the park Monday, Tuesday and today. Conditions weren't so hot today so it was a short day in the park and I cruised for a bit to clear the mind and pick my head up to remind myself what a beautiful place I am in. I've started to go for little walks at night, the stars are so bright here its like swimming in a pond of diamonds. (cheesy i know) Its a great way to end long days too, the quiet is wonderful and refreshing. "The ability to honestly and quietly reflect on one's life is one of the most powerful tools for personal growth." - Richard Carlson. Tomorrow will be another sunny day so all-day pipe sesh followed by a Woodward training sesh will make for a great Thursday! Here's hoping for a painless and successful tomorrow! Spring Break is upon us, things are bound to get busy up here so I'm trying to progress as quickly as possible before the mountain becomes a tourist amusement park. All my love to the laxers, good luck with the upcoming games, as always positive vibes being sent your way. Safe travels and stay healthy!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mardi Gras & March Madness

MARDI GRAS! I swear to god this is the first legitimate/ justifiable party week in Summit County; these mountain folk research for the sole purpose of finding any excuse to drink excessively, make poor decisions, and not work. With that in mind I sincerely apologize for my lack of update, it seems that this leisurely lifestyle is rubbing off on me, and no… I am still overly competitive, stubborn, and working my rapidly growing butt off. Onto the important things… SKIING. The snow is back which of course brings the many incompetent tourists who clog the mountain into looking more like an ant farm than a place for real athletes. Ok I’m sorry, I’ve been watching Tosh.0 and I think his cynical/ blunt humor is rubbing off. Back to business, weekends are a bear, tourists think that the half pipe is built for amusement and proceed to “pizza” their way down the center with blatant disregard to the many of us trying to be somewhat productive. Therefore I have been sticking to errands and fun with the fam on the weekends and training during the week. Things are continuing to go well, my hip is healing quickly thanks to my BEAUTIFUL physical therapist… we’re in love… no, he does not know yet. So three days a week with him and two days a week on the pipe from sun up to sun down has become the current routine. I hit the pipe last week after a week of mandatory rest and was surprised at how easy it felt to be in the pipe. Muscle memory you never cease to amaze me… proof that progress IS being made.

Ames came up this weekend with Burke and we all went out on the town last night with some of Burke’s friends, I was the responsible DD. #maturity (ps we ran into my PT at our last stop bar… thank you sweet 8 pound 6 ounce baby jesus)
Ames and I had a great chat about judgment. No, not in a court with an annoyed and overweight judge or at The Pearly Gates, but snap-judgment. The people I have met up here are great people, talk about street smart, some of the stories are astounding but I have found myself realizing how vastly different the culture/ people are up here compared to those I have been surrounded by. Yes weed is abundant (ssooo me… not) and jobs are held for the sole purpose of having enough money for weed, rent, booze and skiing (not that I’m mad at any of that). But it is such a different mentality; being happy and being around people who make you happy are things that people base their lives around. Initially I could not deal with the overly laid back mentality but the truth of the matter is that the welcoming, non-judgmental vibe is really teaching me how to let go. So many people have hit roadblocks and f’ed up their records but their positive outlook on whom they are and what they want to do along with their openness to those around them is eye opening. Oh life lessons… isn’t growing up fun!

Played tennis today with Ames, I’ve decided to broaden my sport horizons again after a long and very exclusive relationship with lacrosse. I have to say this experience has become so much more than I could have ever imagined. Still have over a month of season but with the whole patience on the mountain and letting go of social bull isht off the mountain, I feel liberated. I am so blessed to have support of the people I love and care about and am even happier to be doing what I love!! All the pros are flocking back before Euro Xgames and a friend of mine is doing a photo shoot in the pipe at Copper sooooo I will DEF be scoping out that scene. Promise to be better with the updates (Gina don’t kill me I will call you). “The path to success is to take massive, determined action”… Back to work tomorrow, life is good let the March Madness begin!!!


PS. Breckenridge and Winter Olympic shout-out in Tosh’s stand-up… and for that we thank you