March 28, 2009: Keep On Keeping On

Isola, France – Well I really want to write that I got my act together and kicked butt out on the course and won the race. I would love to say that. It wouldn’t be true, but I would love to one day say it.

After calming down last night I came across my notes that I took on a book called “New Toughness”. I realized that every day is a learning experience and I should appreciate the chance I’ve been given. But I also have to be tough. No more wimping out or letting my fears get the best of me. I need to be aggressive and attack the course and be confident. I need to forget about the ‘what ifs’ and be in the present.

So for this morning’s race I decided to be tough and aggressive. Turn my aggressive button on, which doesn’t automatically pop on once I put on my board. The conditions were complete opposite from yesterday’s sunny, warm 40 degree temps; it was snowing, windy and cold like it was the dead of winter. The slope was rutted out from yesterday’s race and the course was already bumpy during inspection!

My first run I ran too tight. The course was even turnier than yesterday’s and you really had to move across the hill to make the next gate. I was late on just about every gate, going straight at them and having to jam to make the turn. Because of my tight line I kept falling into the rut and getting off balance but I managed to stay upright. Same old habit but at least I was aggressive and didn’t let the course beat me. I still didn’t feel that I could trust my board 100% but I was able to trust my body and my confidence was higher than yesterday. Unfortunately my time was not very fast because of my bad line but my mental fortitude was an improvement.

There was a huge delay before the second run and it grew colder and windier. Thankfully I had my down jacket but I was still getting cold. For my second run I focused on taking a round line and moving across the hill. It felt better and faster. I’m still not getting the snap out of the board at the end of each turn but that’ll come as my confidence builds. Well my time was 3 hundredths of a second faster than my first run. But considering the course was more rutted the second time around and the times for the second run were an average of a couple seconds slower, I’m satisfied. There are a couple of girls that I use as a barometer as to how fast I’m riding, and my second run was within 2 seconds of their times, whereas the first run was within four seconds. So I was able to cut a couple seconds off of my time, a good improvement for a second run.

So overall while I wasn’t the fastest time of the day, I improved my attitude which made a world of difference. I was tougher today. There’s still a lot of work to be done but I know it’s in me, I just have to be confident enough to let it out. Even though I didn’t get the results or points that I wanted, I’m glad I came out to Europe for these two races; my confidence is stronger than before and I was able to get my first race jitters out of the way.

I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming Nor-Am Finals races. It will be a great opportunity for me to capitalize on the high points there. Hopefully it’ll stop snowing soon and we’ll be able to drive the rental car down to the airport tomorrow morning. Off to Canada!

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