This past Saturday marked the start of the 2014 season! I have been trying to decide over the last year if I should hang up the competing and move on or if I should give it another shot. After re-injuring my leg in Fieberbrunn l decided to not end my career on a bad note. I have loved this sport for many years and it has been a part of my life for 7. This marks my 8th year in a row competing. It is a difficult sport to quit, because of the people, travel and being able to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I love picking out lines and studying them and standing in that start gate getting ready to ski an amazing run all to yourself. It is hard to feel that rush anywhere else. No matter how you perform leaving that start gate in my opinion is a true feat of its own. The only problem in this last competition is that as soon as I left the start gate my nerves got the best of me.
I have always had a hard time mentally with skiing, starting back with my racing days and trying to make the U.S. Ski Team, my coaches used to tell me if I could just fix my head I would be skiing World Cup. That was hard to here and eventually my head got the best of me and I had to move on from ski racing. Over the last 7 years I have had my ups and downs with the mental aspect of big mountain competing, but overall I felt I have harnessed the energy and performed to me best ability winning two world tours and landing on the podium in 20 Freeride World Tour events. Over these last few years I have had a string of injuries most not associated with competing that have taken their toll.
Standing in the start gate in Chamonix, I wanted to come back strong and have a good run, but I was not able to clear my head and find the fire. My legs felt lethargic and as I stood in the start gate all my confidence that I had built in my skiing through the season left. I charged out of the gate, but something did not feel right. I slowed down and started turning a ton and was not charging off my airs. I kept trying to go faster but my body would not let me. My specialty in my sport has always been my fast big downhill style turns. As I came into the finish I was happy with my skiing but not psyched, I new that with the line I had chosen I had needed to charge and that had been my plan, but something happened. My score reflected the slow skiing, I felt I was judged a bit hard but overall fair. I received the lowest score of everyone that did not crash. This was definitely hard to take. I had not been in this position before.
Coming to compete I was so excited, strong and ready. I thought I could win this or podium, I had not doubt in my mind, but then that all changed as soon as I left the start. I am excited to get back out there and redeem myself, but I need to find that fire I used to have. I am not competing in Fieberbrunn Austria due to work, but will continue to train and get ready for Kirkwood, Ca. In the mean time hanging out in Chamonix and having fun skiing!!