Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009!!! SMILE!

I'm gonna Dance Party into the NEW YEAR!!!
We are skiing tomorrow, so nothing crazy is going on tonight.... but I thought I would share my favourite pictures (that I could find on facebook!! haha since my hard drive was overloaded and I had to delete everything off my computer....)  But Here are some highlights of my 2009 in pictures!!
Starting of course with Tremblant.  My favourite place to be, up on the cliff looking out over the lake and being HAPPY!
One year ago today:
Me, Lise-Marie and Brigitte at the new year last year.  We were in Kirchberg (surprise surprise!!) and it was smoky from all the firecrackers going off in celebration of 2009!  They are obsessed with firecrackers here! There are little kids running around unsupervised lighting crazy firecrackers!! Its hilarious!
My first favourite memory from last year is the trip that Marco and I took from Truckee, to Phoenix, to the Grand Canyon, to Zion national Park, to Escalante, to Bryce Canyon and finally to MOAB!!!
We packed his truck with our mountain bikes and camping gear and hit the road for an amazing trip! Thanks marco!
Making faces at Bryce Canyon!
Mountain Biking in Zion!! Gooseberry Mesa IS AMAZING!!! One of my favourite rides of the summer.
And the Porcupine Rim trail in Moab!!! One of the sweetest downhills EVER!!
AND our slot Canyoneering adventure in Escalante!!! It was awesome! Look at marco's MOVES!
A little while later this summer Meg came to visit out west and we went BACKPACKING! So much fun, so much stuff, totally worth the back pain on the hike in!

The lake we camped beside alone.  I love lakes and I love camping.
This hair flying pic portrays HOW MUCH I loved it all!!
I also love photoshopping my friends into pics!!! Yes!
The real deal! ha
I also love triple down dogs!! In Whistler!
And in New Zealand!
Hilarious Road blocks in NEw Zealand made me happy!
I love this picture:
This pic is from Maribor, Slovenia last year.  The girls were warming up at the top of the hill above all the clouds.  A cool moment for sure.  For me that race was a HIGH, I had just broken my thumb the week before and had surgery to put a plate in, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to race in Maribor, but I managed to make it down and had one of my better races of the year that day! Despite the EXTREME pain!!
This was another picture that stood out for me from last year, looking down on a race we did in Austria, above and below the clouds!
And some SWEET MOUNTAINS in Solden, Austria.   I love the GLOW of early morning mountains.
Another highlight from last year was skiing POW with Marco in Squaw.  Since I'm from the east, I had never truly experienced a full on week of powder skiing! It was awesome!  I still have lots to learn though....
But I equally love THIS kind of skiing!! Plus I had my favourite number for the Aspen Race!! YEAH 23! (not the right picture.....oh well.... visualize a bib with 23 on it!)

23 is my favourite number, and last year I turned 23!  My birthday was the same day as the kitzbuhel bib draw and Marco got the whole crowd to sing Happy Birthday to me!! It was insane!!! And RAINING! ha
A not so insane moment over the last year, but a moment that took the spot for BEST DINNER, would have to be fresh lobster in NANTUCKET  with Bryon, Scott , Marco and Katie!!! I fell in love with Nantucket and of course the lovely ocean!!
It was THIS MUCH FUN!!! haha! Me and my mom practicing our poses!!! (is my grammar OK??? My mom and I?  My mom and Me??? AHHHHH I dont know!)
Thanks to my amazing family for 2009!  And many more to come!! (mostly ellwoods in this pic, but thanks to the Goodmans TOO!!)
And thanks to my great friends!!!  Another slight low from last year was losing my tooth from eating popcorn at a baseball game.  As you can see in this picture I had a tooth missing!!  I was looking good like that for about a month!!  Luckily my molars are all back in place and my smile is COMPLETE... haha
And thanks to my second family!! The girls!  May we all ski fast and continue to have the most fun in 2010!
Lots of Love and Happiness for 2010!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LIENZ!! falling and PROM dresses!

We had a race today in Lienz!! It's a cute little town in Austria just below the Italian Dolomites... I think.

Walking around town with Lise Marie, taking in the sights!! Definitely one of the cooler towns we get to stay in!

Woke up this morning feeling good about the race... Inspected, warmed up, etc...
Pic from the chairlift heading up the hill.

A cool little church thing propped up on the hill! Random and interesting!! ha

THE GIRLS!!! And someone struggling in the warm up course hahaha

we have not come to a group decision on weather or not "your game is salty" is a good or bad thing.... anyone???
Shona's sweet new stickers!! ha!

My new stickers!! And new helmet!

Anyway, despite feeling good about today and how I am skiing, I fell!!
I started out OK, not as well as I was hoping, but I was attacking and trying to get a good feeling on the snow, when I straddled/fell.... so that was that.
short day at the office...  We watched Bri come into 17th for second run!! ANd our friend Sarah SLAYED second run and came 5th! It was a pretty exciting race, but hard to watch from the sidelines....
Mitch and I decided to check out more of Lienz!!

Awesome Christmas Decorations!

Loading the van!! with cool mountains looming above!!

German words....

met up with some friends in town!!

Once we got bored of cruising around town, we decided that the BEST IDEA EVER would be to try on PROM DRESSES!! Yay!! haha
It was going to be hilarious to try on the ugliest ones we could find, until our MODEL physio Stef looked absolutely gorgeous in a not so gorgeous dress..... She won that game. ha.
but it was still a really funny time! haha!!

my dress!! ha

Mitch and Shona found matching TUTU's!! hahaha and SOCKS... ew.

Ready for PROM!!!

Euro dresses are AMAZING!!! Hands down highlight of the day!

We were so ghetto that we shared dressing roomd!!! Stef, still being a model... me being a weird model wannabe.

After so much excitement we hit up my favourite place EVER the Mpreis!!! Groceries, coffee, wine, chocolate, laundry detergent...... everything important in one store!

And so, we left the HUGE Italian mountains once again with not so much to show in terms of racing, but some good times nonetheless... Hopefully next week in Croatia will be more successful!

Friday, December 25, 2009

To Larisa, Kelly, JP, Bourque and Johnny.

EDIT: Falling is part of our sport; getting hurt is part of our sport; winning is part of our sport!!  Timing and a little bit of luck can have a huge effect on what any of these aspects of our sport mean... weather a fall is a normal fall and you ski away, or if a fall means being airlifted off the course... Sometimes when you fall it's because of a technical or tactical mistake; sometimes when you fall it's from cutting the line to the point where you cannot physically make the next turn without some extreme recovery moves; but what I mean about luck is to what degree any fall affects any skier.  Some of the craziest crashes you see on TV have been harmless to the racer and they walk away, some of them not so much.  SO with that in mind, I think our team has had a stroke of bad luck and bad timing for five of our best skiers.

I guess I have been keeping my blog updated on only the POSITIVE parts of my life and ski racing, but it's hard to ignore the fact that a huge part of our team is now out for this season due to injury.  Every time I heard that another teammate was injured I felt a lump in my throat and a slight panic in my heart.  It's a scary realization what effect this sport can have on our bodies.  Each person injured (Larisa, Kelly, Johnny, JP and Frankie) were as fit, or fitter, than any other ski racer out there, so it's not a matter of strength, power, agility or any of the aspects we excel at in the gym, it's more a matter of luck (and bad luck...)
The idea of Luck being part of the injuries may sound sort of fairy-tale-ish... but in my mind it's part of our sport along with crashing, injuries, and winning.  From my point of view, we (the Canadian Alpine Ski team) do everything possible to make sure our bodies are ready for the intensities thrown at them on good and bad days; courses are set according to certain guidelines; our coaches always have our best interests at heart and make sure everything is running safely and smoothly; we have physio's, trainers, nutritionists, psychologists etc... so when somebody gets hurt it just seems like really bad luck.  Pushing the limits of our sport can be dangerous and we all know that, bus some days are more dangerous than others....
Once you are in full race mode, the only way to win or be anywhere near winning, is to be aggressive and take the risks other racers are not willing to take.  In that respect I applaud my injured teammates for being aggressive and totally pushing their limits to the point where they would either have been SUPER fast or out.  Going out and crashing is another part of our sport,  unfortunately on some days it can mean the end of a season.
Since I am a slalom skier, crashes aren't nearly as risky as downhill, Super G or  Giant Slalom crashes.  Pushing my limits is more a matter of not straddling or not missing a gate....  I have had some pretty intense crashes and I feel lucky that all my ligaments held together and I am still on the slopes!!  Last year I broke my thumb and got surgery the same night (LUCKILY!!!) and was able to race a week later with a metal plate in my thumb!! And for that I feel so grateful that everything worked out in my favour and that I walked away with only a sore thumb.  With that in mind, I hope that the rehabilitation process for all my teammates goes AMAZINGLY and they come back with stronger legs, knees, bodies and minds.  I have been thinking of them a lot lately and know that injuries can happen to anybody any day, and I find strength knowing that they are dealing with their injuries with a positive outlook.  I just read Kelly Vanderbeek's blog and it inspired my to write about the way I have reacted to our team's unlucky timing with injuries. Reading her honest words about getting injured gave me hope that if that is me one day, I too, will be able to get through the devastation of a season ending, and move on with a positive attitude looking forward to the following season or the following Olympics!!! I can already picture Kelly and Larisa taking down the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia!!! LOOK OUT 2014!!! haha!  And I know that JP, Frank, Johnny, Larisa and Kelly will be a serious force to be reckoned with next season and for many more to come!!
Good luck to my teammates! I miss them!

Merry Christmas to everybody, and many thanks to my family, friends, coaches, teammates and all who have helped and supported my adventure so far!!


Since none of us really have any presents to open (other than our secret Santa stuff!!), we were happily surprised with the arrival of a gift box from Em Desforges!!

What could be in it??!?

YAY we have a PReSENT!!

It was full of Christmas decorations, games, food, snacks and GOssip Mags!!! Woo!

It made our night!! THANK YOU EMILIE!!!

Mitch got festive!!

AS did Shona and I.

I enjoyed a DELICIOUS President't Choice cookie!!

And we were lucky enough to enjoy the company of the Actons!!

A HOT family!! Gord and his girls!

We also unwrapped our SECRET SANTA GIFTS!!!  Jay got some Speck, Craig got a cutting board and a knife... so we had a Speck party!! Yummy!

With some cake and coffee and Home-made cookies from Martins Mom!!!

We all had a great Christmas even with the early morning training in the RAIN! haha.
 MP was my secret Santa and she got me a ton of cool stuff from Venice!! A purse, earrings, chocolate and Proseco!! YAY! Merci!!  I made her this card..... its french. ha