December 6, 2009: Bouncing Back

Carreza, Italy Europa Cup PSL - December 2009

Carreza, Italy Europa Cup PSL - December 2009

Carreza, Italy – I felt much better after my conversation with Coach Mark last night. It reassured me to continue a strong focus on my goal. I guess one battle does not make a war after all.

For today’s slalom I just wanted to focus on increasing my ‘aggressivity’. Slalom is such a fast paced race (about double the amount of gates in a little less distance than a giant slalom) that there really is not time to think. It’s a race about reacting and trusting yourself that you’ll know what to do. For me there is no time to think about anything, except for one key word. I remember races from years ago when I used to enjoy slalom where I would just think of myself as a bull being let out of the gate and just charging. No technical focus except to beat the person I was racing. Just moving down the hill and staying on my feet. Those were good race days for me so I brought back that bull-like mentality (which puts me in an aggressive state at the start gate) and did those things that helped me in the past – stomping on the board several times, swinging hard back and forth, and then finally breathing deeply right before the gate opened.

I honestly don’t remember the first part of the run which was on a slight pitch. My focus was to be aggressive and stay forward since a few girls were getting in the back seat and washing out. Luckily getting forward and being aggressive go hand in hand. When I finally gained consciousness of where I was, I had just entered the flats. I was a bit too straight and started hitting and falling into the rut and I remember looking down as I was falling into the rut and thinking, ‘uh oh, just hold on to the end’. I did manage to hold on but I did lose some time because I was going too straight and couldn’t pump through each turn. I became static and lost movement because I wasn’t sure what to do to get out of falling into the rut. But overall it wasn’t a bad run, at least definitely better than yesterday’s.

Coach Mark told me that he was happy with the run and was glad to end the Europe trip on a good note. He said my line was good at the top and now I just need to work on putting the board higher up on edge to get a cleaner, and therefore faster, turn. So my spirits are back up, thankfully, and I’m looking forward to two solid days of freeriding in Colorado to work on getting the board up on edge as high as possible. Like I told Coach Mark, “I won’t be quitting today.”


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