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Above the Clouds

Seems like life always has more curve balls than expected, thus far my time in BC has been a bit frustrating.  Festivals, weather and other miscellaneous happenings are interfering with my plans.  As I have said before, during these days it is important to see the positive side.  

Yes, those are people!
Where's the Pipe?
I have been home for two weeks and due to weather, contests and photo shoots I have not ridden a solid day in the pipe.  Most of the time the pipe looks like this.
 That’s not to say that I haven’t been getting work done, just not the work I planned to do.  I came here to work on two specific tricks, but end up riding jumps, rails and the natural features of the mountain.  The positive part is that I still work on the essence and fundamentals of the tricks on these other features, and I must admit that I do have a lot of fun working new components. 

This makes me think about my seminar on passion and how a good work ethic supports my following of snowboarding.  Sometimes I don’t want to try new things because I know I will be awkward at them, let’s face it…no one wants to look uncoordinated and sloppy.  But in the end I trust my coach and am determined so I am willing to put myself out there; at this time of the year it means getting soaked too!  I know it will all contribute to the successes of my goals in the future. 

For today, it’s getting some house and computer work done.  I have the privilege of Rope for Hope, a thirty story repel in June for Make-A-Wish Foundation, so, I will be looking for sponsors.  Check out all the action HERE

For tomorrow, it will be waking up and looking to get the most out of my day.  My fingers are crossed for the sun to be out!!!    

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Between Contests

The last couple of days in Toronto were good ones.  I met with my web manager and spoke about changes to be made on my website.  I visited my favorite hot spot in Toronto, Iyashi.  I found a new love with Chef Alex Burgess at recently opened resto-lounge Bloke and 4th, and spent valuable time with family.

If you arrived at the blog through www.KTathletics.com then be sure to return there soon as some changes are going to be made.  It was exciting to meet with my web manager as we shot the new intro video for my homepage and discussed changes that will occur over the next month.  I always have fun being on camera which makes it easy to shoot these things, and I am proud to say we captured what we needed in only a few takes.  Maybe in the future the next chapter of my life will include more on camera opportunities as I seem to have a knack

I was lucky to get into Iyashi Bedrock Spa  for treatments.  Torontonians are finally catching on to this unique spot, therefore spots are quickly filled.  One treatment was a traditional style where I enjoyed just laying on the heated black silica rock soaking in the healing properties of the rock’s emissions.  The second treatment was hot yoga where I benefited by the lengthening of my muscles getting them mountain ready.  Both gave me time to relax my body and mind and left me rejuvenated and ready the upcoming events.  To me this place is a little piece of magic!

If you are in the Torontoarea you have to check out Bloke and 4th at 401 King St W.  This new resto-lounge is the talk of the town providing beautiful food and drink in a catchy atmosphere.  I am fortunate to have Executive Chef Alex Burgess as one of my longest known friends and he provided hand picked selections off his menu.  My favourite was the scallops and risotto main, but everything I ate made my taste buds and optic nerves buzz with excitement.  Not only was the food delicious but so were the drinks.  Drink specialist Jeremy made it seem as though Dr. Suess stepped behind that bar and started maxing drinks, every sip was delectable.  Here is their write up in Toronto Life, take a read and get hungry. 

I was especially thrilled to spend time with family.  I took my nieces for an afternoon, one when to gymnastics and the other was entertained with Rock Band.  My eldest niece is excelling in gymnastics, among the other sports she participates in, and the changes in her personality are noticeable.  Sport has given her more focus and a needed outlet for her inherent abundant energy.  It can be seen that sport will play a big role in her life as it has in all my family member’s lives. 

I also had a couple good meals with my parents, who are always up for giving me the pep talk.  In those pep talks my Dad always references Rocky by saying “what does Rocky do when he’s knocked down? He gets right back up”.  This is always followed by the singing of the Rocky’s theme song.  Priceless. 

As you can tell it was a busy two days in my hometown but it was a great time.  Work, rest, play and family were what filled my time.  To me, these past days have been about balance.  I have preached this before and I will continue to in the future, but balance is huge in any career.  It realigns my concentration and boosts my focus.  Now I am ready for the next step of the Mammoth Grand Prix and for the ultimate goal of excellence.             

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!