Racing has definitely been a roller coaster this year. From the success I had early on in NZ, to some of my tougher races in Europe, I have struggled to find consistent speed. Unfortunately, I've had a lot of slow racing recently while in Europe. This isn't to say the races were bad, because there is always a chance to gain some insight, or learn some lesson, but they were extremely tough. I have had to work on my patience and mental toughness because this has been the toughest year of my skiing career. This probably has a good amount to do with how fast I've been skiing but also had a lot to do with other circumstances. It's been a grind and I've really had to try and find the positives every day. I've had my main coaching feedback coming from someone different at various points of the year. It's always tough to have your coaches change but I think they've been for the better recently. I had to take some time to do some FIS races on my own around Austria and Italy, making me pretty isolated. When the slalom team shrank in size this year to 2 guys, skiing slower than the one other guy meant having to do races on my own and having no training partner for most of it. I've also been dealing with some injuries which required constant therapy and put a huge damper on what I could do on and off the hill.
But there is a bright side! Through training and racing, I have found some better skiing and have started to figure out the direction I need to go in order to move forward and be fast again. I also get to be stateside for more than a month while the 2015 World Champs are happening in Vail/Beaver Creek. I'm happy to be back in the US after a tough European winter, getting some time to relax and recover before my next training block. Although the bulk of the WC slalom season is over, there are plenty more races with some fast skiers left this year. I'm looking forward to getting healthy and having a solid finish to the season, setting myself up for next year!
In the meantime, I wanted to thank my sponsors who have supported me throughout the season so far. Thanks to Volkl skis, Marker bindings, Lange boots, Swix poles, Level gloves and Dainese protection for everything this year! I also want to thank Sugarbush Resorts for being my home mountain and helping me with quality training when I need it.
Tomorrow, I will be at Sugarbush pace-setting the NASTAR course and signing posters throughout the day. It'll be a fun filled day and hopefully we'll have some new snow for you to rip around the mountain on! You can find more information at the link below:
On Sunday, I head to Utah where I will get checked out and start training again. For clarification, although I was named to the World Champs team, I will most likely not be competing since I will be focused on getting healthy before I resume racing. Hopefully this won't be too long but I'll have more answers next week.