I have been delaying updating my blog for quite some time now. Before this moment I had been searching for an excuse as to why I haven’t started on this post. Truth is, I wasn’t sure what to say. This season has been by far the biggest roller coaster ride I have ever been on. I don’t mean that in an emotional way, sure, emotion was a part of it; we would not be human without it however this was more of a roller coaster of experiences. I didn’t have anything to say because I had so much to process, in order to express truthfully and thoroughly in a logical way I had to catalog and organize it all first. I am glad that I waited; if I had posted a few blogs prior to this I can assure you they would be non-sensical off the cuff ramblings. I can’t guarantee that this post won’t ramble on or be logical, but it will be genuine!
It’s hard to imagine that another Olympics has come and gone, another season is on the cusp of closing, and yet I find myself dumbfounded that I am still living this dream. In 2006 I remember myself saying to a teammate that I would ski until 2010 and after that I would close this chapter of my life and go to school to start the “real world.” I was naïve in thinking that would be the case. 2010 was only the start of my career in skiing a perspective that only hindsight can give you. Reflecting upon my youth years there were so many moments that I thought would make or break my future in skiing. I thought it would be the good results that determined the path to future, my potential, little did I know that it would be the disappointing results that mattered. Each one of those results, no matter how mundane they may seem at the time, changes you. They are a chance to learn from yourself, a chance to learn from your competitors, an opportunity to learn what did and did not work at a particular venue etc. I have taught myself more from these experiences then anything else in my career. Good results come easy! Everything just aligns, in my world that means good jump, paired with a good race, the hole shots are easy to find, 30 seconds gap to the next pack feels like 2 seconds and with a blink of an eye your sprinting to the finish. Confidence, and experience points in the bag, I move onto the next comps hoping to repeat. Success is fragile for every competitor because it’s hard to learn from, one can simply hope to manage it for as long as they can, however when the tower comes tumbling down everyone must rebuild from the foundation in order to achieve such heights again.
That said this season was the best learning experience I have ever had. Having both successes and failures, the reason it was more valuable than any other season is simply because they were so close together. I went from not qualifying in Kuusamo, Finland, the opening world cup, to a top 10 finish the very next weekend. The last World Cup I competed in before leaving for Sochi, I had 3 top 10s in a row, and at the Olympics I didn’t crack the top 20. I was very capable of being on the podium at any given point this season, even at the games. I am not blissfully ignorant either. My results at the games ended the way they did because of succinct mistakes on the jump hill despite my best effort to fix them. The mistakes took me out of contention in the race. As successful as I had been in the weeks before, I found myself rebuilding from the foundation multiple times throughout this season. Chances for me to repeat the building process, ingraining it into memory so the next time it came easier to rebuild. I believe everyone has the blueprint for his or her own success, but until the time is taken to learn why each piece goes in its rightful spot, it’s hard to properly construct a resilient tower. The thing about sport is that tower is never finished. I will constantly be building and rebuilding until the day that competitive skiing is out of my vocabulary.
I am not going to go into detail about each little thing I learned or realized this season. Frankly that would just be painfully long and extremely boring to type. Instead I am just excited to say another season is in the books and the future is coming!
I will always argue the offseason is too short, but then again who wouldn’t. I am enjoying it as much as I can alpine skiing, and spending the days with my dog Sochi, and Fiancée Nikki doing absolutely nothing! It’s the perfect way to recover from the season.
Looking forward I anticipate a busy summer. While I am certain I will be training hard, I am looking to shake things up a bit and break out of my routine. Try some new things and find a new rhythm. I am also very excited to train with our future stars, the team now has a solid crew of up and coming athletes and I am excited to see if we can push each other to the next level!
I owe a huge thank you to Madshus, Rudy Project, USANA, Elan, Blendtec, Steamboat Resorts, Beet It, and Honey Stinger. Without great supporters like these I would not be still skiing today. I am very grateful for their long lasting support and as I move into the future I am excited to continually have them supporting me! They are the best of the best and I encourage you to check out their products/services. If you want my expert opinion on my favorite products/services don’t hesitate to ask!
Outside of skiing the biggest news is I am getting married on Sept 27th. So I am using what little time I have not in school or training, planning and prepping for the wedding! Definitely exciting to know that is just around the corner. Nikki and I have enjoyed the process so far, she has done most of the work, but don’t tell her that.
Well there are only 3 days left till I start testing on the treadmill again so instead of writing this blog I am going to get out and get skiing!
See you in 2015!