December 12, 2009: Exorcism

Steamboat Springs Day PGS - Dec 12, 2009

Steamboat Springs Day PGS

Steamboat Springs, Colorado – I was excited for today’s race. Not only was the field smaller (most of the World Cup riders took today off in preparation for the World Cup on the 15th), but I made the bib draw and would start fifth. (The 16 riders with the highest points get randomly selected for the starting order.) Finally a good start.

I was relaxed when I got to the hill. I felt better today than yesterday so I’m hoping that I’m kicking that mini-cold that started a few days ago. After inspecting the course, I took a few warm up runs but they didn’t go very well. I was out of control in a bad way and jamming my turns (I even ran into a bamboo pole). Then Coach Mark came out and coached me on a few runs but things weren’t clicking. He said my legs weren’t moving enough. It wasn’t until the last warm up where I just thought about being forward and aggressive that it was better. But I didn’t leave with good feelings. I also felt a bit run down physically.

Coach Mark said to ‘be all in’ so I went into the start with the same mentality as yesterday. But I couldn’t get into a rhythm coming out of the start and I was bottom turning a lot and getting into the powder outside the line of the course. On the bottom pitch I started to pick it up and got even with the girl I was racing, but I took too straight a line, got super late, and ended up in the powder on every heelside. I never found my trusty toeside turn. It sucked and my run was slow. I was so disappointed. I thought I was aggressive and confident but maybe I was too amped up, I don’t know. My line was horrible and instead of building off each turn I was recovering from mistakes at each turn. It was just a disaster. I couldn’t even get myself together to talk to Coach Mark.

For my second run Coach Mark told me to commit and have a higher line. I pulled out of the stop and the top felt a lot better. I just trusted the board more and took a better line. Coming over the knoll I took a rounder line to set up for the bottom pitch. But on a heelside I wasn’t forward enough and slid out. Ahh! I was having a decent run up until that point. I didn’t fall but almost came to a stop. I got back in the course and tried to salvage what I could of the rest of the run and that part felt really good. Surprisingly, despite the almost stop, my second time was just a tad slower than the first.

I ended up 17th after the qualifiers. They only take 16 to the finals. In a race where I thought I was sure to make the finals, I didn’t.

I really wanted to have two good races in a row, especially to have the confidence to take into the two Olympic qualifiers. I felt so beat down after, and the three and a half hour drive solo to Grand Junction (halfway to Telluride) didn’t help. All I did on that drive was wallow in my own pity party. I felt so rundown. I’ve had a pretty grueling travel schedule over the past 6 weeks, complete with jet lag that still ails me, so I’m sure that doesn’t help my mental and emotional state.

After a long drive of tears and mini-meltdowns, an overnight stay solo in the middle of nowhere where I could just be, seemed to be what I needed.  The next morning I felt miraculously refreshed and motivated again. I think the emotional outpouring gave me the chance to exercise a few demons that have been plaguing me for the past few weeks, and to dig deep down to figure out what my heart and spirit really want. And after peeling back and ridding myself of all those layers of fear and self-doubt, what my heart and spirit really want is to get to the Olympics.


1 Response to “December 12, 2009: Exorcism”

  1. 1 KenniF December 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    You are a trailblazer, and an unbelievable inspiration. You make so many people proud just by doing what you do. I definitely know that horrible feeling, and I hope things start to look better at Telluride. Good luck Eden, get locked in, go out there, and FLY!

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