April 13, 2009: Square One?

Calgary, Canada – I’m up in Calgary for a three week training block. Since the snow is fleeting, we’ll be doing a mix of on-snow training as well as gym work. But surprisingly it’s still cold here!

We trained gates and it’s been about a week since my last time on my race board. I got new boots so I was excited to test them out and see what they could do. Unfortunately the transition process is not as easy as expected. They are a lot stiffer than my other boots and the flex is quite different. The first few runs made me feel like it was my first day of the season – awkward, not trusting of my equipment – and I panicked. All the gains I had made in the past few weeks had vanished.

It really felt like there were two bricks on my lower legs and I couldn’t move them the way I needed to. I was riding very stiff and while I felt I was powering the board, it also felt like all of that power was just stopping in my feet and not translating to the board. I had no confidence in my riding and therefore could not relax at all. I was holding so much tension in my clenched feet. Extremely discouraging.

To add insult to injury, my line in the course was really off.  On my toeside turns I was starting them too high and going really round, outside the corridor of the course. This was causing me to start my turn and then wait and drift until I could really put pressure on the board. But the good thing is I was able to begin to correct it by the end of the day and it was another lesson learned.

So while I’m pretty down about my riding I just have to keep plugging away and working hard. I’m hoping that the new boots have everything (or at least a good portion of) to do with why I’m riding so poorly. Sigh…

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