November 13, 2009: More Growing Pains

Copper Mountain, Colorado – I was really reved up this morning to get after it and prove to myself that I can finish and have a great race. I was so ready to give it my all and get those points I needed for the Olympics. I was ready to flip the switch and take what’s mine. I felt that desire.

The race organizers were able to sort out the difficulties in timing so it was to be a true parallel event with two qualification runs and then head-to-head double elimination rounds, the World Cup format. The tough field including heavy hitters from Switzerland and Japan meant that my good runs wouldn’t be enough. I had to have the best runs I’ve ever had to get into the finals and have a shot at getting those points.  But I was mentally ready and focused, and really excited to race.

The course was much straighter (and thus easier and faster) than yesterday. For my first run I focused on finding the speed in the carve and just going for it. I pulled out of the start and had that feeling of, ‘yeah, this is how I need to ride’ on my toesides, but I was still cutting off my heelside turn (starting the turn too early and then having to slide into the top of the turn instead of being patient and carving the top of the turn). There were a couple of gates where I thought that I was too tight and felt my board slow down and slide instead of carve. I finished the run without major incident but my time was in the middle of the pack. Coach Mark told me that my line was costing me time and that if I could just be more patient on the heelside to start the turn and really carve the top, that would make my run a lot faster.

For my second run I was again surprisingly relaxed. I think I’m starting to find out what works best for me while waiting at the start. I was listening to music but also staying relaxed by chatting with teammates and coaches and occassionally joking around with them. Smiling and laughing help to ease me and not get so stressed and tense. But the couple of minutes before I get into the start, I turn off my music, grit my teeth/mouthguard, and garner up every concentrated focus that I have. I think of being a bull at a rodeo, about to be released. An aggressive yet intensely focused bull. No other emotions preclude that.

I did have the focus of being patient and finding that rounder line around the stubby instead of through it. I burst out of the start and for the first 6 gates it felt like it was textbook. I was carving each turn and gaining speed, and it felt like I was flying. I remember on one heelside I extended my legs away from my body and thought, ‘this is what it feels like to do it the way I’ve been told.’ After that gate I wasn’t set up appropriately for the turnier part of the course and had to jam into a toeside turn. But I managed to carry the speed through it but I put my hand down to get my body to make such a sharp turn. Well unfortunately my hand got stuck in the snow and my arm got thrown back. My dislocated-shoulder-arm. I think it would’ve been fine had I not been wearing my brace, but since the brace does not allow my arm to extend far from my body, my entire upper body was thrown back and I got twisted and ejected out of the course. I tried to get back in but by then it was too late. I had lost too much time and the tail of my board was too deep in the soft snow. I had to take the DNF (did not finish).

Like yesterday’s race I was a bit shocked with what happened. I totally did not see it coming, and it was a brand new mistake for me. When I talked to Coach Mark he said that the top of the run was good and that if I could just ride like that for the entirety of the course then I’ll be in really good shape to reach my goal. He mentioned that I was getting too tight in the middle of the course and I need to really adjust my line with the terrain. So while I had another DSQ/DNF the good thing is I really felt the speed and what it’s like to race a fast race. I just need to put the whole run together. While I was disappointed, I wasn’t sad after the race.  I was fueled up and ready to train.

My former trainer told me that when you ‘flip the switch’ and ‘run the car at 220’ you’re going to DQ or crash at first while you get used to that high level speed. But then it’ll all come together and that’ll make for a great race. Just have to get the kinks out of the car first.

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1 Response to “November 13, 2009: More Growing Pains”


  1. 1 kayano14 November 20, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Keep chipping away, Eden! It’ll all come together.


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