September 18, 2009: Putting Away the Misery

Heerlen, Netherlands – I’m slightly miserable. I think it’s a combination of jet lag, frustration with getting lost every time I get in the car, and battling a cold, but everything got to me this morning as I was trying to find my way to the indoor slope. I’ve never been this lost and confused in a city before and it’s getting to me. Rather I’m letting it get to me. I’ve been able to nativage well in other European cities, but everything here just seems so foreign to me.

Anyway, enough of my brattiness.  I have a lot to be thankful for and happy about to let the little things bother me.

So I finally make it to  the indoor slope Snowworld in about three times the amount of time it should take to travel the five kilometers distance. And it’s pretty amazing. It’s an enourmous structure that crawls up green, lush hills, and with 70 degree temperatures outside it was hard to believe that I’d be snowboarding. I’ve been warned that being there is like being in a freezer and that was accurate. It was minus 3 degrees celsius (about 27 degrees Fahrenheit) and you could see your breath but so long as you kept moving it wasn’t too bad. The slope has a six-pack chair so that was nice, and if it got too cold you could just step into another area of the building and warm right up. It was also funny to be cold and then look out the window and see people in shorts hiking up the green hills. That’s my first time in an indoor slope and overall it’s pretty darn cool.

I did a couple of freeruns and it felt pretty good. Actually really good for not having been on snow for a couple of weeks. I focused on getting forward and even bending more at the waist to get my upper body forward and sinking down at the top of the turn. I’ve been studying one of the top World Cup women riders and learning what she does to go fast (she’s noticeably more forward than the other girls, always attacking almost like jumping from each gate to the next). Then I took a few runs in the course. And it felt great and natural! I still felt like I was training in New Zealand and I just came back from only a few days off. It is a flat slope and the course is open so it’s a bit easier than what we trained in New Zealand but I felt that I was pressuring at the right point (top of the turn) and releasing it at the stubby. I could feel myself gaining speed in the middle of the course and I even thought about riding like the girl that I’m trying to emulate. There was already an established rut and I was able to stay in it and not scrub speed. On one of the runs I even thought, ‘wow, this is fast!’ My focus was to stay forward and snap out of each turn and when I felt like I was going fast the more I moved forward to make sure I stayed with the board and didn’t get off line. And it worked!

So I was stoked about training today. A few of the runs in the course were easy so I knew I was pressuring at the right time and I had proper body position. I took the first run of the course and was able to see my line on the first 4 gates and it looked good with carved turns. The only difficult thing was that when I exerted myself I’d become winded and start coughing up mucus (sorry, that’s gross). Because of that I only took 4 runs in the course and 3 freeruns so I could save up my energy for the 10 runs it takes to win the race tomorrow.

So while everything outside of snowboarding is not ideal, the actual snowboarding is really good and I’m happy about that.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow – I just hope I don’t get lost again getting there!


1 Response to “September 18, 2009: Putting Away the Misery”

  1. 1 Addie Bantug September 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    We are praying for your success in the events you will be as qualifyers for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. You have a lot of followings here in Ottawa Canada. Good luck and God Bless.

    Fans from Ottawa Canada

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