contests

First World Cup Down

It’s the day after the Cardrona World Cup and I feel good.  Although there was lots to celebrate; consistent runs, staying lose in a big contest, and top Canadian, I found myself back in the gym this morning building my strength again to get ready for these eighteen months of qualifying.  Last night there was no excessive drinking and dancing to celebrate, just dinner with some good people and a movie at home to cap it off. 

Still, as I recall yesterday, I feel very satisfied with my nineteenth place finish.  The sunny day helped a lot with my riding, since I was visualizing a sunny day in my mind practice for the past four weeks.  The pipe was in great condition, at least it was to me, and the competitive field was thick with seasoned athletes ready to show their stuff for the first qualifying World Cup for the 2014 Olympics. 

I spent the morning stretching and riding in my mind, keeping my body lose and staying focused for my task; that was to just land big clean runs. 

My coach, Roberto, and I were hitching a ride up the access road so we arrived very early to give ourselves the best chances of getting a ride.  A sheep farmer stopped and we hopped on the flatbed of his utility truck, it was a bit cold in the morning, but the view down the Cardrona valley was the best I have ever seen.  Probably because there was no roof or walls to block any scenery, the most unique ride up I have ever been on.

The practice was great, two straight air runs, two contest runs then I just stopped to save energy.  I am happy with how I kept calm at the top of the course, I had a lot to be confident in with all my training and good practices I had the days before the contest, and I knew I had to trust in those. 

My runs were smooth, even adding my invert at the end of my second run to boost my score another ten points to push me into top Canadian position.  I just missed my goal by a few spots, but there was a lot for me to be happy with.  On the flipside I know what I need to work on to be in the top eight.

One of the best things that happened was when I came to the bottom and I heard girls commenting about a bumpy flat bottom throughout the pipe, and I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t feel a thing!’, that was a sign to me that I was really in the zone for my run.  I have to thank my mental trainer Bob for that!

I really have to thank all my partners, Sony Canada, Scott Canada, Iyashi spa, Ifound, Make-A-Wish Canada, G&G, and the great people who are donating to my cause for helping me do well at this World Cup.  Most of all my trainers Roberto Marfia, Crispin Lipscomb, Bob Palmer and Geoff Barnz for preparing me thus far.   

So, with my goals set out for the upcoming training weeks I feel excited to start on them. I know that every day is an opportunity to improve in some way, so I can’t be missing time due to self-inflicted sick days, especially when I am here in New Zealand to get more winter to train.  This is why I woke up early today, the day after the contest, made a good breakfast and found my way to the gym. 

In so many ways I am much stronger then I was yesterday and this passion is taking me towards excellence, towards my greatest dream.       

If  You Liked What You Read Please Follow This Blog!! 
Back to Katie's Site /


        

The Quebec World Cup

Getting to Quebecwas a little crazy.  First was the flight from Denver to Toronto, which was the best part of the trip.  We upgraded to First Class and it was great.  Truly a more civilized way to travel, being fed and lots of moving around room is the way to go.  Thank goodness I had upgrade credits that needed using.


We arrived at Pearson airport on time but it always takes so long to get luggage, plus clearing customs, we ended up spending an hour in the air port.  This was not good because coach made the decided to drive to Montrealthat night so we could hit up the first day of practice. 

Once all was said and done, eating and saying hello to the parents, it was already 7pm, we had a 515km drive a head of us and I knew my Aunt would be waiting for us to arrive.  We needed to get to Montrealquick. 

The 401 highway was our main route and about 40kms in to the trip the speedometer went out, so I had to drive according to RPMs.  I am used to this because of my boat training; sometimes the speedos didn’t work well on the boats, so you would do what you can.  Driving fast, I was driving with my head on a swivel.  Lady luck was on my side and I made it safely to my Aunts in less than 5 hours. 

The next morning there was practice at the resort, Stoneham, at 10am, and we were still 280kms away.  Roberto drove the rest of the way while I got some sleep so I would have some energy for the 3 hour practice I would have to ensue and perform in. 

We made it and were on course, with accreditation and bibs, by 11:45am.  Phew! I was a bit surprised to have such good practice.  I thought I was going to just do straight airs but I was able to pull it together and get my run down a couple of times.

It was also great to see good friends at the top of the pipe.  I have slowly befriended Chinese rider Xuetong through her coach, my friend, Christopher Clark.  “tong tong’ is her nickname on their team and she’s always smiling and high-fiving when we meet up.  Her and ‘crazy Dr. Loo’ are very patient with teaching me Mandarin, it’s taken me a while to learn ‘how are you’ and ‘I am fine’.  It’s much different from the Japanese that I have learnt in the past, and I have troubles with the intonation, but I am happy to try.   

Coach and I were relieved to finally get checked into the hotel, unpack, eat, and catch some Z’s. 

Tuesday’s practice when very well, with the sun shining and pipe having a much better shape, I practiced various runs with ease, and I could feel the energy building for the contest.  That night I had a meeting with Bob Palmer  to get my mental game up too.  It was great, and I was fired up.

The late morning of Wednesday was a snowy one with light fog in the half, the men rode first and there ended up being a half foot of sugar snow in the bottom.  Neither of this mattered to me because I was so in the ‘zone’.  It’s hard for me to describe to you exactly what happened or what I was doing because it was almost dream like.  I was on auto pilot that morning.  I did my runs and nothing else mattered.  This is what the ‘zone’ is like.  I didn’t even notice anyone else’s runs…I leave that up to my coach.  At least I got that right that day; that I definitely found the sweet spot in the zone. 

When I reached the bottom of the pipe I heard from the announcements that I had made semi finals and I was so stoked.  On to twitter I went telling everyone about my accomplishment.  I had made it though…or so I thought I did. 

Later that night, after preparing all evening, I received a call from Canada Snowboard telling me there had been a tabulation mistake and I actually missed finals by a point and a half.  I was SO BROKEN!!

Just heartbroken with this news! I was in the dumps.  My balloon had been totally deflated.  This contest meant a lot to me, and this mishap made me feel as though I was on the brink of quitting.  I know a lot of people envy what I do, but I also envy what everyday people get to do too.  Life is way easier to punch a clock, get a steady paycheque, and sleep in your own familiar bed every day.  There is so much ambiguity in my life that at times it drives me crazy and the people around me crazy.      

So, with all that happening I am lucky I have the support of some great people in my life.  My Mom and coach who help keep things in perspective; friends who make time for me when I am around and fully understand when I need to work.  I get a lot of love from these people.  At least how I live helps separates the real from the fluff.  No matter what the result of the contest I know I am always winning at life with these people around me.  There will be more contests and it’s a build to greatness.  It is a hard road, but would be much harder alone.    

   

Hearts, Guns and Training

Valentine's Day is always a funny day of the year.  Statistically it's not the day with the most breakups, actually two weeks before Christmas takes that title, but it's third on the list just behind Spring Break.   Actually I was surprised when I looked into some stats on Vday.  The biggest one that surprised me was that approximately 40% of the 180 million Vday cards purchased is done so by parents.  I believe this because I have gotten more cards by my Mom on Vday than by boyfriends.  I also suppose that parents also buy cards for their partners as well.  
My Vday was spent at the gun range unloading magnums of bullets at cans and targets.  Then on the slope with the snow feature I love the most, the half pipe.  I made chicken noodle soup from scratch, yes I love to cook too.  And cuddled down with the special person in my life to watch movies.  I guess to me it's not about spending money or doing lavish things, although flowers don't hurt but I feel that way with any day of the year.  Valentine's Day is about doing things I love to do.  I was sure to call my parents and let them know that I love them.  
The last two days have been training intensive working on drills, visualizing and trying to get  more breakthroughs.  I also have been playing travel agent booking flights, cars and hotel rooms.  There has also been the dealings with Canada Snowboard about confirming spots for contests which are a couple weeks away.  I was amazed at how I could not get a confirmation for contests that I needed to book logistics for.  Or a concise schedule for Canadian Nationals at Canada Olympic Park, I wonder if they know that flights do not get cheaper closer to the date? Well this is nothing new to me, just a little frustrating when you are trying to snowboard on a budget.  My sponsors are awesome Sony is really supportive for what I need.  More sponsorship would be great to cover a training/competing years which costs over $50,000, non Olympic, and over $80,000 for a Olympic qualifying year.  Canada helps with a couple thousand, which is a grant, that I apply for every year and haven't ever benefited from.  Thus is life.  When you get lemons, make lemonade as the story goes.  
I am thankful my parents raised me to pursue and that I really love riding half pipe.  There are ALWAYS challenges and triumphs and new things to learn.  I feel I am expanding as a person in life, love and labor.  
Still, this week is flying by so quickly, the Quebec World Cup will be upon me soon.  It will be a great contest!