Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dear Past

Dear Past,
I am writing this to you to let you know not to worry. I have learned many new things and I wish to let you know about them. I want you to let go and experience more then you could have ever imagined. This whole note is going to revolve around an underlining message that will redefine your understanding of what is really important.
To start I want you to forget about everything you know about who you are and what is important. I want you to let go of the miscellaneous details that have ever upset you. You need to realize that you can live through everything. Life goes on and will be fine. All of those days when you wanted to run away, to fight, to scream, and to give up were wasted to nothingness. Those days have been lost forever and in time you will want them back. Forget about your meaning of life when things were not going right.
In time you you will see that you are you and nobody else. Try not to change who you and never be ashamed of who you are. Mistakes will happen, you will be embarrassed, you will be human. To cover up who you are is just a lie to yourself and to those around. Your true friends won't care about the little things or the big things, because if they are your friends they will know you for you and understand.
Follow your heart and your instincts. Don't force a relationship that isn't meant to happen. You may regret it but it is for the best. Follow your heart to the end of the world and back. We are all meant to live one life, why not live it to the fullest. If you are mean to live single enjoy the freedom, if you are meant to live with others enjoy the company.
Be true to your self and remember to live life, don't shy away from it. Let the little things float away with the seconds of time, let the major things rolls away with the hours. Don't dwell on anything that vexes you. Live Life. Embraces it. Love it. Be apart of it.

Friday, April 16, 2010


It has been one hell of a season and doesn't seem to have an ending in sight. I have been home roughly 20 days this year. So 86 out of the last 106 days I have lived out of my duffel bag. Yes in some places I was able to unpack and expand my life but in general my only resources have fit into my duffel bag or my car. It is amazing to sit here in Sunny SoCal and look back two weeks where I was in Montana watching as a foot of snow fell. Crazy. Here I worry about my tan lines on my arms and legs and not long ago the only tan lines I had to worry about was the one that my goggles left on my face. I go from wearing multiple layers of fleece and down to two layers of Lycra. I live an amazing life and I can't complain. Sure I may speak about the little things but as I sit here I realize what I have been able to do with my life. My teammates have the idea of writing a book about what not to do with your life, ie don't buy a bike its addictive and in the end costs more then you initially planned, at the same time you do get to ride in really cool places. I do sit here and wonder what I would be doing if I weren't in sport? Would I have a full time job, would I still be living in Colorado Springs, would I know the people that I know?

I live an awesome life surrounded by awesome people. A group of individuals that are stereo typically cast aside by society come together and the world becomes a normal place. I ski with people that can out ski able bodied athletes. I ride with people who climb higher mountains then those with all limbs attached and working. I get to see what some call miracles everyday and all I think about is how awesome we are. Teammates help out other teammates. Teammates congratulate everybody after total annihilation up hills. Whether we are on the top or the bottom we come together and act like a team. At the end of the day we get off our bikes and we sit and have lunch and dinner and look as if we just came from the deepest darkest pain cave but we still smile. We smile for the friendships that we have, for the stories we have to tell, and for the work that we have just done. When you can sit there and your only accomplishment for the day is the fact that you survived is the best story that there is. We sit together knowing that we have all just given one hundred percent and that we are going to give another one hundred percent in a couple hours. We know that we are a team. These are the people that I like and honestly the only people that I would like to have lunch with. People who have the worst most painful day and walk with their heads up high knowing that they are going to do the same thing the next day are the people I am going to surround myself with. If I can make it with those people I can make it with any group of people.

The people who you want to be around will help you become the person you are today and I am glad that I am surround by honest, hard working, give all people.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogging not so much

Sorry to those who were relying on my blogging for the latest and greatest on the Paralympics. I always try to put my best foot forward but some times that foot is the rubber one and when that happens things tend to not go so smoothly. So again I do apologize. The Paralympics were grand. I will say that for the Winter Games we were on par with the Olympics. For the first time that I can remember we got to use the medal plaza for our awards. The village was, with the exception of the Canadian Alpine Team, they stayed at the hill, full. All nations that participated in the Biathlon, Cross Country, and Alpine were all nestled in to the village. The US, Italians, and Australians were all in one dorm, each having their own floor. It is a beautiful complex.
The hill was just as beautiful. Having got to race on it in 2009 I knew what I was going to be seeing but to be there with a grandstand knowing it was going to be filled to the brim. I was able to walk up into the Grand Stands before any of the events began and it was breath taking.
The events were fun. The first week was filled with rain and fog so events were turned upside down. I got to do my Downhill training run on the first day of downhill training. The Standing guys had to wait until the race day. After the guys got done the fog moved in and we were done. So the next day we moved into slalom. The schedule went like this, Downhill training, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Downhill, Super-G, Super Combine. I don't think that I have ever run such a weird order. I had fun there. Not my best performance but I had fun. I was able to make the decision that this was going to be my last international race. I am sure that I will keep my toe in the sport but I am going to actually focus on cycling. I am excited for this. I am about to start a new chapter in my life. I might even get a real job. Crazy ain't it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The weather

So the weather here in Canada is like riding an unknown roller coaster. I am getting whiplash from all of the different types of weather that we have experienced. When I arrived at the village there was no snow on the ground and it was raining, just slightly. four days later there was four feet of new snow on the ground and the Smurfs were making snowmen eight feet tall. Today it pissed rain all day and the snow washed away. I am not sure of to make of this place. Do I tell people that it is a great place, because when the sun is out it really is beautiful, but if it raining while skiing I am not going to tell anybody how great that it because that sucks. My teammates had to race in it and I am most likely going to have to as well. I am not sure what to tell my folks. So last night at the meeting we were told misting to light rain, and it effing poured all day long. Tonight we were to light snow to rain, so should I expect a blizzard to torrential down pour and flash flooding reports. All I know is that I am going to have four pairs of goggles ready, three jackets, two pairs of gloves, and a dry sock. On the bright side I can add this to the list of shit you never thought you would do while skiing. I have skied in the rain before but not at a Paralympic Games. It will be a nice wrench in the works for those who need perfect conditions. I just plan on have a ton of fun and living life to the fullest.
Ooh yeah I should probably let everybody know that I finished fifth in the slalom. Not my best showing of slalom technique but I am happy. I will be able to move on to the rest of the events knowing that there is going to be no more pressure. I am here to have a good time and enjoy my friends and surroundings.

Opening Ceremonies

So I have been asked the last couple of days what my favorite part of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Paralympics were I don't have to think long to respond, "The part where we walked in." This for two reasons, first was that there is nothing more amazing then to walk into a stadium that is 60,000 full and they are there for you, second is the fact that was all I got to see. Hind sight is a bitch but I was thinking about performance and staying up until midnight the night before the scheduled downhill didn't sound like a good idea. So my Opening Ceremonies consist of me riding the two and a half hour bus ride with the team to BC Place, going through the airlock, then sitting with team USA, then marching into the stadium with Team USA, and then sitting for about 10 seconds and then walking out, and then back on to the bus with other wishing to depart early, and finally getting back to the Village seven hours after we left.
My Family attended and they enjoyed it very much. They did the drive up after ceremonies had finished. I am glad that they are here. It is fun to be able to share this experience with my family, specially the Aunts and Uncle that made it up from Texas. Unfortunately for them with all of the rain and fog they will only get to see one race, the Slalom, for the downhill, super-g, super combine were postponed until later in the week when the weather was supposed to be better. That is the bummers of an outdoor sport and those who can handle it are the ones that are going to win.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What it means to be at the 2010 Paralympic Games

I have made it to the Village. It is an amazing place here. I feel like I am back at college except I know everybody and everybody is here to perform at their best. There is the feeling of an elite society that are here to do what they signed up for and do that at the best that they can. I am glad to be here. I am glad to be apart of this elite society. There are twenty-seven Alpine skiers representing the Country. I am representing one of fifty-three athletes, that is as an individual I am represent 5.8 million people. I hold that on my shoulders and walk proud. I am proud to be an American. I am excited to be competing for America.
I have had a couple of good days here so far. The first day was just a chill day. I got to explore the Village a bit. I bought the souvenirs that I wanted for myself. Expensive, but luckily I got to use my Visa gift cards well, thank you CTAM and USOC. I also made it to the hill. What a cool experience to be able to stand in the finish coral before the racers and spectators showed up. Standing there was truly breath taking.
On the second day I went free skiing on my downhill skis to get used to those again. The skiing was fun. After the skiing I went up and watched the test skiers of the downhill. They all did really well and it was cool to see what my family is going to see. After that I went to the gym and did got a workout in and then chilled the rest of the day.
On Wednesday we got to run the downhill. The downhill is going to be fun. Unfortunately there is a lot of new snow and a lot of fog. We were on a three hour delay. I did get to run but the men's standing did not. I was happy that I got to run. It is done and over with and even if the next run is just the race I will be ready and happy. And on that note today's run was canceled due to snow. There was at least six inches of new snow here at the Village so add a bit more and that is how much there is at the mountain. The great news is that there is more on the way. Downhill always brings out the best weather.
I get the day off and I get to have another day to get ready. I am ready.

Vancouver 2010

I have made it to Vancouver. I have my credentials, my backpack, and my ski boot. I am ready to ski. Yesterday was a ride for sure. After a great night in Denver with Kevin, our physio, John Whitney and I made our way to the hotel for team processing. Four times I have been through the gauntlet of getting Paralympic apparel, not once did I imagine that we could get more, and yet each time I go through I get more clothing then I know what to do with. This time through I came out with three duffle bags full of Ralph Lauren and Nike. I brought so much clothing with me I don’t need to do laundry while I am here.
Today was the travel day. Starting way too early we ate breakfast and got onto a bus to the airport. We got there three hours before the flight left for Vancouver. I would understand the time schedule if we had to check in everybody’s luggage, but we didn’t. USOC took our luggage the night before and all we had to do was check-in. Once in the terminal I took Rob and Danelle up to the Red Carpet club seeing that I was flying internationally and cause I could. The flight was no problem up in first class. I like upgrades. Now I am sitting on the bus heading up to the Whistler Village. Things should go easy from here on out.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The final prep

So I sit here today realizing that the beginning of the final race series is here. What has gotten me here and where have I been? Well I should start at the first camp that I attended on snow in the fall, a three week camp that consisted of two weeks of training and a week of racing. That was in the summit county area where we trained out of Copper Mountain, workout in Breckenridge, and stayed in Keystone. Our races were in Copper Mountain and Winter Park. I was able to win all of the races and actually score points in the Giant Slalom in Copper Mountain. After the Holidays and a bit more training out of Winter Park, I was off to Europe for the World Cup Series.
The first races were held in RollRinn, Austria, where both Innsbruck Olympic Downhills were held. I had a horrible Giant Slalom and an awesome Slalom there. That Slalom would be the last great race in Austria. I had a lot of good runs in Abtenau, Austria, but never in the same race. After that we traveled across Austria and the upper bit of Italy, practically to France, where we stopped at a little hill called Sestriere. I guess it isn't really that small, the Olympics and Paralympics. I got my groove back. After an expected middle of the pack finish in the downhill I put it down in the Super-G and the Super Combined. I finish the series with two more silvers and a bronze. I left Europe with three slivers and the bronze.
After a week off I went up to Winter Park for some awesome training on Cheshire Cat, some Super-G and Giant Slalom. Next I went up to Kimberly, BC, for a speed series, well more training for me. I was there to help others with lowering points but I was there to train. I was skiing most of the morning. I like that hill, very rollie and nice quick steep pitches on wide runs. I won all of the races here as well but again not really a race for me, no international competition, mostly regional racers.
Now that puts us at the last set of events. I competed at the Wells Fargo Bank Cup and World Disable Invitational. I managed to finish second in both races. The World Disabled Invitational was raced on my twin tip all mountain ski. From Winter Park I drove down to Colorado Springs, packed up my car for April 3rd and then drove up to Vail for the final camp.
The Camp went really well. I have found new confidence in Giant Slalom, which doesn't amount to much but I feel better. The Slalom and Super-G training was top notch. After a bit of shopping in Dillon I made my way west to Carbondale to get ready for the World Cup Finals in Aspen. I am ready. This is just training for the real event in a couple of weeks. We have gotten our suits and jackets for competition but still await to get our Paralympic gear on the 7th. I am still trying to weed out the things that I don't need through the rest of the month. Not sure how I am going to do that but I am sure that I will figure that out. Until then I am ready for the games. These races here in Aspen are the final tuning to tactics and technique needed for Whistler.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Paralympics or Bust

Well it is official, I am on the road with the grand stop being the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, BC. CRAZY!! I won't be home again until April 3rd. That is a long time from now but I am sure at the end of the trip, it will feel like time just flew by. So let me tell you every where I am going, first stop is Vail for a final team training camp, then onto Aspen for World Cup Finals, then down to Denver for team processing, up to Vancouver and Whistler for the Paralympics, and a little vacation while driving to Big Sky, MT, for nationals. That covers from today until April 3rd. CRAZY!!!

I think that this camp is going to be awesome. Not to many people are taking advantage of the free housing and the good training in Vail. I am glad to be here. Four guys and girls, with five staff. Pretty nice ratio. There has also been a fair bit of new snow here. The new snow is great for covering all of the rocks that reek havoc on skis but it will mean soft conditions for training. I guess you can't have the best of both worlds and I am just glad to be training with the team again. These training days will be the last until we get to Vancouver. I am sure it will be great.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jan 10th and 11th

Travel day was an easy day. After washing the stink of cigarettes off of me I packed my bags, ate breakfast, loaded up the cargo, watched the first run on the slalom World Cup, got into the van, and drove to Abtenau. Abtenau is just outside of Salzburg, Austria. The drive, which took us the length of Austria, only took us 2 hours. I am so used to driving 2 hours and not be at the ski hill yet. I got checked into the room and then went to lunch with Rob and Danelle where we were joined by Marcel and Stephani. I had a pizza with thinly sliced ham and cheese. After that I unpacked a bit and then took a nap that led to dinner. After dinner we went to the opening ceremonies in the little town square. The ceremony was a good celebration where the local kids did a performance of the Lion King in German, strange but okay.

I finally got a good night sleep and didn’t want to wake up. At least I woke up hungry, which was good since I didn’t eat much at dinner. Abtenau is hurting for snow. There truly is only a ribbon of death that is the race hill. If you were to ski out of the ribbon you would be skiing on the lightly covered pasture. The snow that is there is good snow though, all manmade and completely firm edge-able. I had a good day except for the racing bit. The first run was slow, with mistakes on the little pitch into the flat on both runs, with the second run being a complete stop. My skiing was good on the second run so I am not that disappointed but which I could have had a better day. Ooh well, there is tomorrow. I will indeed go for the win and hopefully a spot on the overall podium but that is an afterthought.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jan 8th and 9th

So I didn’t get to blog yesterday because the day never ended and I wanted to get some sleep. So starting on the morning of the 8th, which started way too early at 3am, I was ready for the GS. I thought I was ready at least. It snowed up here but it is really humid so the snow is full of water. Well at night that water froze and made the slope slick in spots, not New England boiler plate frozen, just slick. My head got in the way once I saw that. I knew I could ski it but for some reason I thought, as Ian my coach put, I needed to micro manage my foot instead of trusting what I can do. The first run was horrible. I made it but it was slow, so slow that I was last. So, on the second run I thought I would redeem myself by just going for it and doing what I know I can do. It was going so well, I kept my foot in the fall line and I trusted the ski on both turns and I was nailing it. Just as I thought I was out of the woods for the truly slick spot I tipped in and slid on my hip, no big deal usually I just pop right back up, well I slid into a mashed potato burm and my ski and outrigger were stuck. After I floundered for a while I got back up and finished the run, again skiing really well. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed not thrilled. I know that I have it in me to do really well and I showed moments of brilliance so I will bring what I know I can do in the GS to Abtenau to show everybody that I can be more than a one event racer.

We didn’t get off the hill until really late and had to be back up the mountain for an opening ceremonies banquet. We had about one hour to shower and change and pack for today. At the banquet we quickly learned that we were way too early, by like an hour or so. We ate dinner before the rest of the world and proceeded to head outside so that we could be announced back inside the tent. It seemed in a matter of minutes though that the whole place was filled with smoke and I felt and smelt like an ashtray. Austria has yet to catch up with the rest of the world with where and where one can smoke, even France has made changes. After a long awards ceremony, Stephani and Chris both made it up on to the podium, and Danelle and Rob were recognized for their 4th place finish. Once the awards were over we headed back to the hotel where I got a quick treatment on my IT band, pack the rest of my bag, and went to bed. That night I slept like a rock in between waking up at 3am where I forced myself back to sleep.

The morning of the slalom came with no new snow, which was fantastic. I quickly proceeded up the t-bar to go ski the newly groomed run. Unfortunately but what I am grateful for is the run I went to ski was groomed last it seemed. The snow was too soft and my ski was prepped for the boiler plate stuff. I was having a hard time trying not to ski to hard which just isn’t a good warm up. I gave up just after one run and proceeded to make the journey up to the start of the course. To get to the top of course it required going up a 12 min chair lift, skiing a thousand and one slalom turns down the Olympic downhill course and then skiing through a tunnel. The hill was fantastic to ski down, a great mix between hard, man made, and soft. The fog made it even more interesting partially because I hadn’t skied to the start yet and I had no clue where I was supposed to be going. I made it on the first try. I accidentally skied off without Kevin, our physio, and Jared, our tech, oops. I was having way too much fun to wait for them.

I inspected the course where I quickly forgot the majority of the course and barely remembered where the key gates were but, makes me look ahead when I race. I didn’t have that much time to hangout before the race started but, I tried to procrastinate as long as I could. When I got to the top I thought I had timed it right but, I still seemed to have way too much time to waste at the start. Kevin did a nice little message and stretch there in the start on my IT band, I did my jumping drills, stretched some more, and I tried to help the moral of my teammates who are still trying to get over the whole world cup skiing thing. What seemed like a life time but only took a couple of minutes I was done with my first run. Somehow without my complete understanding I was sitting second after the first run. When I came through the finish I would have sworn I was not at the front of the field, for that run was poop. I ran the upper section in the low and late line and half way down I had to remind myself how to ski, not that I was skiing that bad but I wasn’t skiing up to my full potential.

For the second run I definitely didn’t remember any of the course except for three parts, I knew the pitches were straight and fast with sucker gates at the bottom of both, there was a flush into a delay after the roll somewhere, and the last thing to remember was the hairpin into another hairpin. I rode up the chairlift with Karo and she was asking about all of the combinations and I couldn’t answer because I didn’t know where they all were. After a quick turnaround I was back up at the start for the second run. This time around everything seemed rushed but there was no fire to put out. Caitie and Gwen were up first then quickly followed by Rob and Danelle. I got to wait for the rest of the VI field and almost the entire standup field. After Rob and Danelle left the start Kevin rushed up to the ready area, quickly massaged and stretched my hip out, I got undressed, rushed into my ski, kicked the burm that had formed, launched into the air, landed, scared the pants off some random guy, and then just hung out in the start. Once I was on course I realized how fast the course was. The first 5 or 6 gates were gone in seconds, from there I just remember telling myself to go faster and faster. I couldn’t have been on a single edge for that long because I all I remember was thinking about keeping my ski going straight down the hill. All of the combinations and crazy gates came and went very quickly and without any difficulty. At the finish the announcer confirmed that I had a great run. Next I had to wait for the last standing racer to come down. I waited and waited, until finally she finished and the announcer took his sweet time to announce that she had won by two one-hundredths of a second, .02 seconds. That was so, so close. Even though I lost the race, I knew that I had won that run. After a lot of hugs, euro kisses, and congratulation to and from everybody we were off the hill and headed home by 1:45. Awesome compared to yesterday’s 4:30.

We were to set off for the awards banquet at 7:30 that night so I managed to do a recovery workout with Caitie and Danelle on the stairs and in the hallway, cleanup, have Kevin put my SI joint back into alignment, and take a nap, all before 7:30. I didn’t even start to pack really. The banquet seemed to go forever with a fashion walk of an Austrian brand of ski clothes and skis. Not all that impressed. I got my award and Danelle and Rob, 4th, Caitie and Gwen, 6th, Stephani, 4th, and Alana, 5th, all got recognized for their top 6 finishes. Once back Rob, Danelle, John, and I went to a Karaoke bar and enjoyed each other company for a couple of rounds and a couple of horribly sung songs. Overall I had a great race and good company to share it with.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jan 7th

Today was a good day. I was up early for some reason but didn’t feel so bad with the jet lag. We went up to the mountain and did some training near where the races are going to be. Lets me just say I am glad to be a girl and get to go towards the front of the race for there are 102 racers tomorrow and I am starting the first run 19th. We trained on a course that was fully tracked out by the Austrian’s in the morning. There was too much new snow to set a new course in the limited time that we had on the training hill. The training was a good insight to what we will be racing on tomorrow and how rutted out the firm snow.
After training I went out and made up my own recovery workout patched together from what I have seen back in Colorado Springs. With no real schedule here for recovery I had a good time making stuff up as I went along. After that I basically did nothing, exactly what I needed to do. I have been on the computer most the afternoon, deleting unwanted music, deleting duplicate messages, talking with Jon Graff, the magic man from, and then writing this. I did venture out for a grocery run and dinner, so I am not a complete hermit but pretty close.
The race is tomorrow so I must be going…

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jan 6th

You ask what happened to the 5th, well that was mostly consumed be traveling on a plane and a van, then unpacking, dinner, a meeting, and reconnecting with the world. I was able to sleep until 5:30am so that went really well. The beds are Euro size, meaning small, two twins right next to each other, and the pillows are actually pillows, not slightly fluffed sacs of nothingness. The hotel that we are staying in is located just outside of Innsbruck. There is a train right across the street to get into town if wanted, planning on that tonight.

Today was a good day. We went skiing at the race hill and it is beautiful up there. I can see the entire valley and beyond from the top of the upper lift. I was able to ski the downhill that was raced on in the 1976 Winter Olympic Games and it is a fast one. I love the snow but not the terrain. I am having fun challenging myself with the slicker snow. I am really grateful that we ran GS on the manmade snow in Winter Park. I didn’t really look for the race hill but I am sure that I managed to ski it, hopefully, if not oh well, I will get there eventually. I did my T-bar riding in today. I did a couple of runs just at the bottom which is nice for I could probably make 15 runs in an hour.

After we got back I went with some team members to the old part of Innsbruck where I found my favorite, probably the only one that I know of, Schnapps and Liquor store. At this store you get to choose the size and shape of the bottle and then which liquor you want. I went with the simple Fire Liquor in a cool little bottle. We then proceeded to have bratwurst from a cart in the middle of the square. The brat was very filling and we headed back to the hotel where I proceeded to have a nap. After some internet surfing while watching live ski jumping, a team meeting, dinner, and a shower I am ready for bed. Tomorrow we are training some GS with the Brits on the lower practice hill.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Europe ’10 World Cup

Jan 4th
This is the begining of my European World Cup trip. It is going to be a memorable one for sure. I am currently sitting in First Class on my flight to Chicago where I will connect to Munich. I am going to enjoy this trip and it will be great to see everybody again.
I am proud to say that I was able to check in all four luggage pieces free and the check in lady was very kind and helpful. I feel bad that she had to lift all of that luggage for I did not pack lightly for this trip. With that all set and done it is time to enjoy and relax for this is a long one.

I did manage to get into Business Class for the flight over the pond to Munich. It was very comfortable but the movies were horrable. Only a couple new ones and those were all messed up, audio going out and such. I was dissapointed about the entertainment but the flight was easy. Our flight attendent was awesome. Lots of wine and refreshment thourghout the flight. The steak was par, but what can I complain about when I was eating steak with a metal knife and a full glass in my hand. I was able to sleep a couple of hours at the end of the flight.

Once in Munich the process was pretty simple. We got off the plane, got our passports stamped, grabbed our luggage, and then loaded up the vans. Pretty easy. Luckily all of my luggage made it and seems not to be damaged. Everything seems to have been searched by TSA, with some hap hazard repacking I might add. The drive to Innsbruck was uneventful. I made sure that the radio was answered for Ian, the iPod kept good signal, and made sure that Ian followed the giant white van.

Day one is in the books now I am just trying to keep my eyes open a little bit longer.