December 26, 2009: Something Short of a Miracle

Chicago Airport, Illinois – I’m sitting in the Chicago airport awaiting my flight to Munich. Yes, it’s the day after Christmas. It was really hard to pull myself away from my whole family that came down to LA to welcome my newest nephew, Evan, just a few days ago. But it’s time to go back to work and I’ve got a big job to do.

As I walked off the plane on the jetway here I felt the icy cold twenty degree weather. While it was somewhat of a shock from yesterday’s 60 degrees in Los Angeles, it was a welcomed and missed feeling. Surprisingly I actually missed snowboarding over my six day break. I felt incomplete, as if something was constantly missing from my day and even from my self. I managed to go surfing only once (the 50-something degree water temps as well as the sometimes difficult conditions deterred me from taking the plunge more), but it wasn’t as relaxing as I remembered it to be. It was still fun but it didn’t have the same clearing of the mind and spirit as it once did. Did snowboarding take its place as my happy place? Do I actually enjoy snowboarding more than surfing now?

Admittedly I’ve been plagued with negative thoughts of the what ifs. My brother and his family (which includes two adorable five and a half twin boys) got their passports in preparation for their journey to see the Games in Vancouver. My friends have purchased their tickets to the venue. My dad has called me a ‘hero no matter the outcome’. But I don’t feel like a hero, and I can’t shake the nagging thoughts of ‘what if I let them down?’ I still know deep down that I have the ability to do it, but will all the stars be in alignment for me to do so?

I’ve been told repeatedly that it’s about the journey. And I’ve said so myself that so long as I’m riding to the best of my abilities, I’ll be happy. But for as goal driven as I am and have been all my life, I don’t think I’ll be satisfied if I don’t make it. And that dread of not achieving my goal, any goal for that matter, is one of the driving forces for me.

And these will be the last negative and doubtful thoughts I will allow myself to have.

It all comes down to me. I can hope, dream, wish and pray that it does all come together, but in reality I’ve got to get my butt into gear and make it happen. I need to make it happen, and no one else can do it. And I’ve got to do it quickly. I have to approach every single run – training, freeriding, racing – with the same intensity that I’ve got to get down as fast as humanly possible. Heck I’ve got to approach every single thing I do in life with the same fever and vigor that I have for making the Olympics. I have to live and breathe with every cell of my being that I’m going to make the Games, every single moment of the next month. It may take a something short of a miracle. But I do still believe in miracles.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe holiday season!


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