Archive for April 2009
The beginning was in Solden, AUT and the end was in Alyeska, Alaska. We did a lot of traveling this year and our ski races brought us to many exciting places but the story of our national championships in Alaska cap off and represent a season full of ups, downs and lessons. This season I experienced everything from a personal best on the world cup circuit with fourteenth place in Solden, AUT, to my fist major injury with a broken wrist, to my coach teaching me to go with the flow.
On March 23, 2009 athletes all over America boarded planes to fly north, but not many got very far. Between volcanic eruptions, flights were being delayed and turned around. There was a sigh of relief for those of us who finally landed in Anchorage because, for those of you who do not know, you cannot run machinery through volcanic ash, let alone fly through it.
The athletes and coaches who made it boarded a scenic bus ride along the ice caped ocean that took us to our hotel at the base of Alyeska Resort. The hotel loomed in front of the mountain and snowflakes swirled all around. Little did we know that the snowflakes would not stop falling the whole time we trying to race. I have to give everyone who volunteered to help out these races on major thanks. With 108 inches of snowfall in the week that we were there, there were mornings that I doubted a race could happen. The snowfall gave us some epic powder days but also obstacles like fifteen-foot avalanches across our downhill track.
Everyone took things in stride and although bodies were sore from moving snow, everyone was driven by their love of ski racing. When an avalanche covered the downhill, they just put the super g start on top of it. This year has been full of ups and downs and I feel like I learned a lot about myself as an athlete. I felt happy and lucky to end the season on a high note with a second place in Giant Slalom and a fourth place in Slalom at nationals and I will try and take what I learned from this year through the prep period and into next year. From the race workers to the athletes who threw themselves down the hill, thanks for loving ski racing, you make my dreams possible!