I find it really funny to see how things in life come full. It was a neat feeling to know that I was going back to the site of my first World Cup outside of Canada, back in 2006 in Kreishberg, Austria.
I met up with the team in the Toronto airport to fly to Germany. There we drove three hours past Salzburg to the middle of nowhere in Austria, where our hotel was.
We stayed forty minutes from the resort, the same hotel as the Aussies since we share a coach.
It wasn’t the most convenient location, between a rock and a cow, but the people were nice at the hotel and the food was very good, so I guess I couldn’t complain.
The first night of training went well for me, I pulled together my run that I had difficulty with in my previous training camp in Calgary. I ended up hiking almost the whole three hour practice due to long chair laps…I thought it would be tough doing so, but I guess my stamina was better than I remember for that type of training. It was really fun to train under the lights.
I was able to train alongside the Russians, who my old coach Crispin is now training. They were very kind and generous, and I got a few tips from the old coach as well, you know just some reminders.
The second training was during the day and I was able to put some final touches on my run and I left practice feeling as prepared as I was going to get. It really makes a difference landing your run in practice for the confidence builder. Still, competing will always make be a bit nervous.
I had a restless sleep, the kind where you are up before your alarm goes off, and mine was set at six-thirty in the morning. Going to the contest I got caught up in the contemplation of what the contest means to me. Getting another year of funding, holding a quota spot for Canada and really just losing focus of what was important.
When I got to the site the sun was out and shining on the halfpipe; I reminded myself of how fortunate I was to even be standing there and do what my Mom told me to do…just go and enjoy myself.
Practice went really well for me…as it normally does. That was when I did my biggest run of the day, third run in. I put the emphasis of being in the moment of enjoying my passion.
When it came to my contest runs, they just weren’t as big and clean as that one in practice. I put a hand down in my first run, landed my second run, but it wasn’t my best of the day. I still managed to place 15th, was top Canadian earning two years of funding.
It wasn’t as good as I wanted to do, I was hoping for a top ten in this contest, but I was satisfied enough.
New plan for the next contest, I’m going to roll in without practice on the day of the contest except one run to test the pipe. Then just go for it… “Off the dock” as my wakeboard World Champion brother calls it. I have always been nervous to do this plan, but now I am older and more confident to implement it. I am one of the oldest riders and I would like to think one of the wiser ones too.