women in sport

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.       

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For the Love of Sport

I really do love sport and I loved watching the Olympics.  So much that I neglected to do other work, like writing blogs, to take in all the inspiring athletes pursuing perfection in front of judges or being the fastest in their craft.  I don’t feel too guilty because it was a bit like homework for me. 

Rosie MacLennan has to be the first to mention.  I feel amazed that I chose her to follow, and she ended up Canada’s only gold medal.  In times of high pressure and somewhat being under the shadow of Karen Cockburn, she performed fantastic and kept Canadaat the top of trampoline.  Canadian’s are so proud of what she accomplished. 

This is not to say that I have forgotten about JessicaZelinka, who may have been a bit behind in the heptathlon but she still killed it in the hurdles, just missing the podium.  Her story alone is so interesting, being a mom and an athlete, two full on major jobs; I can only imagine what that must be like.  

Of course, last but not least Phylicia George, from my home city of Toronto, and even closer to my home town, Markham.  A still blooming athlete with more Olympics to come I am sure. 

The work all these athletes put into their sport is incomprehensible to people who do not pursue a sport and just watch them perform.  It is easy to say how “disappointing” it is for someone to miss a mark but hard to truly empathize with those feelings.  I suspect a small business owner may understand, but then their window of opportunity is a little winder when compared to an athlete.

I get it.  My life for over ten years has been snowboarding, and I love it.  Still it never has been easy.  Lack of guidance at the start and middle was a struggle.  The stigma snowboarding has had in the past never helped me in any way.  

 The looks my parents got when they told people their daughter was a snowboarder are memorable, I am thankful they are so awesome.  They gave me a chance to prove snowboarding is a real sport, like diving or gymnastics, just like them I do this though hours of hard work.

I am excited to have a chance to change what it means to be a snowboarder in Canada.  This movement is happening all over, especially with riders like Kelly Clark, Gretchen Bleiler, and Hannah Teter, who I see on snow and in the gym on a regular basis. 

We are the ones who are diligent and committed to our profession in every way, and are willing to try new ideas.  We will be inspiring for other females of all ages all around the world and we deserve to be called Olympic calibre athletes.              

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