I tighten my back protector and slide my stealth over my head. My body feels all the aches and bruises that I have acquired over the past two weeks of training as I bend down to buckle my boots. I seem to amass a new black and blue spot every time I get off the hill at the end of the day. Some of them lessons on what not to do. Others, badges of honor for skiing aggressive and winning runs.
My thoughts slide to what awaits me the following morning. My first race of the 2011-12 ski season. I think of how I will attack the start, ski smooth on the flats, execute the pitch, and charge to the finish. Think, think think. Ever has it been the bane of my ski racing career. I get to into my own head.
During training I am relaxed, having fun, and happy. Which has always related to some of the best skiing I can do. (Which I think is not to shabby.) During racing it gets more serious for me. I get nervous, I think to much, usually ski about 15 times worse than capable, and generally unhappy when I don’t do well. Its and issue I am working on, and an issue I think is the most important. You can work on technique and tactics all you want but at the end of the day, if your head isn’t in the right place, you might as well not even put your skis on.
I put on my helmet, press play on my music, grab my skis, and walk out the door. Walking down the hallway, through the door, and onto the hill I think “this is where I belong.” And I don’t worry to much of what’s been or what will be. I am on snow, skiing is my passion, and I find myself an extremely lucky person.
Tomorrow I will race, today I will train, and forever will I be happy as long as I am doing what I love.