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!