August 29, 2009: Finally Back in Gates

Mt. Hutt, New Zealand – Today we finally got to get back in gates. The winds died down and opened up to a warm and beautiful sunny day. Unfortunately the weekend brought the crowds, but it didn’t matter, we were on snow!

I wasn’t really feeling like myself this morning; I didn’t get good sleep and woke up with an extreme thirst that never went away no matter how much water I drank. Even before we started riding I had consumed a liter and a half of water and still felt yucky. I had that whole body fatigue that I usually get as a sign that I might be getting sick. My muscles felt fine but my energy was really low and I felt like crap. It didn’t really make sense because we haven’t been riding that much this week. I think I’m just run-down.

It was a difficult slalom set at the mid-point of the mountain, with a tight line in the middle of the flats. I couldn’t get my mind to focus, it seemed a little fuzzy (even as I type this now I’m having trouble – nothing serious but a lot more errors than normal). I tried to keep my intention simple: get forward. In my first run I couldn’t stay forward enough and got late and blew out of the course. My second run I finished but it was sloppy and I might have even DQ’ed but am not sure if my boots did in fact make it around the stubby. On my third run I focused on getting forward but also looking up at the next gate ahead. I found that I was looking down too much at the stubby that I was at that the position automatically put me in the backseat. Coach Mark said on a previous day that your mass should take the most direct line from gate to gate as your board moves kind of like a pendulum (particularly in slalom), so I focused on picking my head up and physically moving my upper body towards the next gate. And that worked for the first half of the course. Things actually felt easy and smooth. But I loaded up on a toeside and it shot me out of the course. I went back in to try to finish but got way in the backseat in the steeps and blew out. I was so angry I punched the snow.

I was definitely frustrated and angry but then I tried to do the visualization exercise in the book I’m reading about imagining the anger as a hot coal in your hand and dropping it. Or putting it on a leaf and letting it blow away in the wind. It took me a while to get over it (the whole chair ride!) but it did go away and I could relax again. Another exercise I tried to do was to conceptually figure out what the problem is and how to correct it and not get consumed by the feeling of frustration. To look at it more like someone else’s problem to be solved and not mine. That worked too.

The rest of my runs were better. I was getting forward more and actually finishing the course although I was having some trouble on my toeside. I’m not getting enough direction change and would end up going too straight at the next gate. Or I would load it up and it would throw me out of the course. I need to fix that. It was weird because during my runs I told myself outloud to “relax” and that helped me to flow better and not get too tensed up.

So overall it was an okay day. I think it was more productive in an emotional sense in that I had to learn to get over the feelings of frustration and anger and not let it affect the rest of my riding. I wasn’t super happy with my riding but just have to keep working on it.


1 Response to “August 29, 2009: Finally Back in Gates”

  1. 1 Bob Hyten August 30, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Eden…

    Just catching up on your blogs after a week in England. One thing I noticed is that during your runs you apparently say “I did this wrong or that wrong” then try to correct it. I teach remaining positive at all times. That means when you realize you have made a mistake you don’t say “ change this or that” rather you give yourself the same coaching clues that you coach would give you if you could be wired direct to his brain. That way every active thought is positive … You are in control … Not a second is lost analizing (sic)… You go straight to making a good thing happen. That doesn’t mean you ignore mistakes rather you instantly react to them. At the next gate you will not be saying “Don’t do that” but ”Do this“.
    Easier said than done but extremely effective once you are able to do it.

    I have to catch up on my writing … My trip … and my operations and my first pain experiences that were beyond my control.

    See ya …. Bob

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