Feel free to reply to my thoughts, experiences, and whatever comes out of this head of mine. blah blah blah

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Wow Bormio is such a stressful race! I would say it is the most stressful on tour. Once you think it is over you think you will relax but it was so stressful that after it was done we drove to Zurich had some pizzas (I had two and a salad, aiming for a food coma) and planned on heading straight to bed. It was around midnight when I TRIED to go to sleep. The anxiety of the race was still pumping through my veins. I amped myself up so much for the Stelvio and I couldn't come down. Neither could my roommate, Travis Ganong , we tried sleeping and the both of us kept tossing and turning in our beds. Finally after an hour of attempting I said "yo duder I can't sleep" and he replied with no sign of sleep in his voice "neither can I, lets watch a ski video." So we watched Chris Davenports new film Australis and still felt no signs of sleep around 2AM. So we moved onto an ESPN 30 for 30 episode, "Reggie Miller vs. The Knicks" (great show by the way) and it didn't help much. We ended up going to sleep around 4 AM woke up at 645 and felt just fine!

Leading up to Bormio is a funny time, at least for our Team and the Canadians. All the Euros are home having Christmas with their families while we are sitting around Europe twiddling our thumbs. We try to muster up some Christmas spirit but it is tough creating that with a bunch of guys who have been on the road for over a month and to add very little female presence. Once Christmas is over all the athletes start trickling into town. Coming off their Christmas high they are just wanting to get the Stelvio over with. There were talks on the hill of how much money would you give to be guaranteed a good result and not have to run the course again. Guys want to get it over with and have a good, healthy break over New Years. The classic downhills are looming in the distance and they want to be healthy for those. There is a lot of anxiety and tension in the air. People are scared, stressed, tired and are thinking about things other than racing. But when you push out of the gate to tackle the Stelvio piste you have to be focused!

To say the least Bormio is Intense! If you watched it you saw what the Stelvio does to the best skiers in the world. Try bounding side to side up a hill for 2 minutes straight. That is what it feels like to ski the Stelvio. Aside from my first year on the World Cup I haven't skied the Stelvio feeling healthy until this year and it still laid the smack down on me. But I love this hill. It is a true test of grit, determination and balls. If you want to win you have to charge the whole way down and I finally felt like I could do that this year and it was a battle indeed! I gave it everything every turn, I made it attacking the whole way down.

Trying to link all of the sections into one fluid motion was my focus. During the training runs I would whip turns off and have dead spots in between some of the sections so I was trying to mesh all of those together and make it flow. I could see what I needed to do but it was if I was going to actually muster up the guts to do it. The first training run was okay. I felt the course out and skied well but nothing special. After I did a little video analysis and found out some things I needed to fix. For the second training I went out with more determination really pushing the line into most of the difficult turns and I had some really good turns. i was psyched with some of the stuff I was seeing and feeling. It fired me up for race day. I could easily ski down and get a 20-30 result and get a few points but I told myself "Why??? It is time to show this hill what I have. Leave everything on the hill even if it eats you up." So I went for it! I almost lost it on the final pitch. My legs were burning and i got a little back entering the final face but I somehow got myself back up over my skis and made it to the finish. My first feelings as i crossed the line were feelings of relief. But then I tried to stop, first on my left leg and I almost collapsed so I switched to my right leg and it was just as bad. I told myself just don't crash. I made it finally flopping to the ground and instantly was stoked. I thought to myself "that was your best performance on that hill." I survived the Stelvio and was really happy with my run! I knew I gave it my all but also skied well! Then I saw my time it was 2:01 but I knew all winning times were around 2:00 on this course so I was stoked. I knew it wasn't a winning run but a good one. And a big step forward in my skiing and with my confidence.

Now lets go home and ski some Powder!!!

P.S. Thanks to Guilia Zazzi for the pics you always take great ones in Bormio