August 7, 2009: Back to the Grind

Mt. Hutt, New Zealand – I had the new risers on my board today. They are the ones that I tried at the Whistler camp weeks ago and at the time I loved them. But today I didn’t love them as much. They were good and I definitely want to keep riding them but the change wasn’t as miraculous as before.

Yesterday afternoon after I wrote my blog, we did a recovery workout outside. And it took its toll. It consisted of speed and agility drills through the ground ladder but then we did sprints, probably the length of a basketball court, there-touch-back, 16 times. I guess I could’ve (and should’ve) taken it easy but anytime there’s anything that pits me against other people the competitiveness kicks in and makes me go all out. Which is probably true for everyone else so we were all just sprinting fast.

After we played a short soccer game with a bunch of little kids. We just played around, miskicking the ball and not really running after it so it wasn’t taxing on the body but it was so fun! And the kids were tigers getting after the ball and swarming whoever had it. At one point there were twenty kids (8-10 year olds) against the seven of us. Very cute.

So this morning my legs were worked. Just exhausted. I felt like they had no power left and I couldn’t pressure the board. Each turn was slightly painful. The added weight of the risers made it more difficult. Nothing seemed to feel right and I’m hoping the tiredness had something to do with it (we had an early wake up). I couldn’t get my boots buckled down to a perfect snug fit – they were either too loose or too tight, I was getting irritated at other people on the mountain, just silly stuff that normally I don’t pay attention to. Then I was so timid on the snow. I was really trying to focus on keeping my arms down and quiet and diving into each turn (my coach told me last night that I need to move forward into each turn, especially in the steep section when our tendency is to get in the backseat). But I couldn’t find the rhythm and get my confidence up.

So naturally I jump into the course to take more of a beating. Not the smartest thing to do since I wasn’t used to the risers yet, but I figured my freeriding wasn’t getting any better and I need the course as a distraction to stop me from thinking so much and getting down on myself. First couple of runs were slidey mcslidey but my line wasn’t too bad. I was getting late in one turny section of the course but didn’t go too straight and DQ like I have done in the past first days in gates.

Mark told me to power the board more on my toeside but when I do that I have to make sure that back hand is still driving forward so I don’t get in the backseat. Nate told me to focus on making half moons in the apex (top) of the turn and then letting it go. That analogy worked for me and I focused on that for the rest of the day. My next runs in the course were better. I was pressuring above the gate and consciously letting the board run (no pressure) after the gate and it felt easier and smoother because I wasn’t fighting all the forces at the bottom and it still got me to the next gate. Both Nate and Mark said I had some good turns so that cue seems to work well for me.

We have the next two days off of snow. We’ll still be working out and hopefully will get a chance to see more of New Zealand and take some pictures!

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