I wanted to send a quick note to all of my friends, family, and supporters to fill you in on what has been the most challenging, most rewarding winter of my career.
I began my season and World Cup debut on the Raptor course in Beaver Creek, Colorado. It was the most demanding course on the women’s World Cup circuit, and to be perfectly honest, I was not ready mentally or physically to race at such a high level. At the time I was only 10 months out of knee surgery. All the same, the experience and opportunity was too great for me to turn down, and I would do it all over again given the chance. Long story short, race day came, I crashed, took a day off to nurse some bruises, and continued with my season on the North-American and European Cup circuits. I wish I could say that I got back up and redeemed myself in the next races, but it was just the beginning of a long season that tested everything I know and love about skiing.
I struggled with my results a few months and tried to focus on small victories rather than my place on the score board. Little things that would usually go unnoticed became a big part of my perseverance, one good turn during training, one fast run in a two run race, an inspiring quote on my tea bag, a cute video of my dog while I was in Europe, pretty much anything that made me smile kept me sane. Not until March did my results started to improve, and while the season began to wind down, my confidence started to climb. In March I had five career best results, and seven podium finishes. I ended my season better that I believed was possible and managed to qualify for the B Team with a top 50 world ranking. I restored a confidence in myself that I had been struggling to find for over a year.
I believe there are a few reason outside of myself that made it possible for me to stay motivated through a long spell of discouraging results-
First – My team… I have been surrounded by the most amazing group of girls for the last year. I could go on for pages about each of the girls on my team, but what is really amazing to me is how we all worked as a group, how well we respected each other and supported each other despite competing with each other. They made the best out of each day, even if that meant snuggling up with a bowl of popcorn and watching TV when it was too windy and snowy to step outside, listening (singing at the top of our lungs) to The Dixie Chicks and Taylor Swift while driving to the airport after three weeks of rain and melting snow in Europe, and how each and every time we met up for a trip, ate dinner together, or crammed into a gondola someone would say “I love our family”.
Second- My coaches, who never show the slightest bit of doubt or disappointment. They work harder than anyone I know, and somehow manage to keep six loud, emotional, stubborn, and independent girls together, organized, and motivated for months at a time. It might be the most impressive thing I have ever been a part of.
And finally- All of the supporters weather they are friends, new and old, family, neighbors, even people I have never met. I had the challenge of funding my own skiing expenses this year. I began fundraising in the fall, and what started out as a challenge, turned into one of the most inspirational experiences I have ever had. Old friendships were brought back to light, and new ones were discovered. Not only did the process make it financially possible for me to reach for my goals, it gave me the opportunity to share the journey I am on. I had no idea how many people would rally to help me make this year, and my biggest wildest dreams possible. In so many ways, I could not do this without all of the help I have had.
Whether you made a donation to my fundraiser or wished me luck in the post office; you have given so much more meaning to what I do than going down a mountain as fast as I can. I feel like the luckiest girl to have all of your support. So thank you for encouraging me, believing in me, and sharing my journey with me.