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Where's the Pipe?
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.
The last ten years of my life have been passion driven, and I must say that I am privileged to have found things I was passionate about at a young age. I was lucky enough to be exposed to many experiences to gauge what my possible passions were. However, not every kid out there is as fortunate as I was, and I am pretty sure the schooling curriculum does not include finding your passion. So, for the past few weeks I have been composing a presentation to take to schools and social groups to get kids thinking.
The contest is over for me but it was a good one. We had an extended practice of 3 hours but I only practiced for 1 hour. I was afraid of over training, which is a real problem in contests like these. The sun was out and the pipe was soft, almost spring like conditions, for the beginning of February. Everyone looked pretty on point today.
Here is the top of the pipe with coaches Roberto Marfia and Chris Clark, with riders Xuetong, Leslie Glenn and I. Taken with my Sony NEX-5 with Fisheye conversion lens.
I was too, landing some great runs in practice, including putting down my cab 540 after my frontside 720, a breakthrough run. I have not done this in my full run yet. I even added a last trick of a switch backside 540. Roberto my coach was so pumped, I should have been too but I knew it was only practice.
When it came to my run I was in the "zone" with a little Beyonce remix on my Walkman. First run went great with a little butt check on my last hit, but I was relieved to finally get that cab 540 down in a run in a contest. FINALLY. The run was good but scored a little low, to be expected as I was near the front of the pack in dropping order.
Second run was smooth, I changed it up with a hand plant and backside 360. I bumped up my score by 12 points. I was frustrated that I didn't make the cut for finals but I can't dwell on this.
With every contest, bad or good, I have to see what I can improve on and what the small steps were that goes towards the goal, the Olympics. For this one it is that I did a trick I haven't put into contest run yet and I succeeded. That cab 540 had been plaguing me for over a year now and now the fight is over. I did it, I know I can do it, and now it's been done. I also look at what I need to improve on and practice. The next week is without contest and I will have a chance to improve on my run and take that to the World Cup in Quebec on the 24th.
So, in the end I will celebrate my accomplishment and create a plan for the improvements needed. This is not just for contest but also for life.
I have had my first day of practice here at the Dew in Utah at Snowbasin Resort. The weather was partly cloudy and the pipe was full of energy. It was great to see all the women riding the 615ft long pipe well, including Kelly Clark and Gretchen, who are almost always in top form.
Right now I am battling a cold that is probably due to overuse of my body and mind after the Canadian Open and hanging out with my friends who I haven't seen in years. So it was a struggle at times to get into the "Zone", as my mental trainer Bob Palmer explains the mind state. I have learned a lot from Sports Excel and continue to learn and try new things with every session.
Most important thing I have learned was to get excited for the contest. I used to worry about what the contest would bring me, having anxiety about a million different things. Now I see it as a chance to showcase all the things I have learned over all these years of riding half pipe...the most frustrating discipline of them all.
So I must say that I am excited for tomorrow's qualifiers. I am going to put in my new trick and it's going to be great!! As my friend Joyce Castle said "you are going to fly today"!