Thursday, January 28, 2010

Going to the Olympics!

Joining in on the Olympic Fever!
For the last 3 weeks since tearing my ACL, I have been rehabbing like a crazy woman and getting physiotherapy (THANKS KENT) every single day. I have been working my bum off to try to race because on January 5th when I arrived in London to see Dr. Litchfield (who examined my MRI) I was told the BEST NEWS of the new year so far : that there was still a possibility for me to race with a brace.  The reason why I am able to race but Larisa and Kelly are not, is because I have what they call an "isolated Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear" whereas the girls had multiple ligament tears.  
So after three weeks and lots of progress, strength and positivity; my team, the medical staff, and I have decided that I can compete at the Olympics after all!  But I have to say, I wouldn't have been so lucky if it wasn't for all the amazing support from Kent, Matt, Chris, Mom, Dad, Gary, Nora, Max the dog, the guys (johnny, robbie, jan), Kelly, Squires for the random drop-in chats, and everyone here who has been helping me out in every way.  And facebook friends sending their love and encouragement, along with fellow bloggers and tweeters!!!!!  Thank god for technology and communication!!!

We have a huge team heading to the Olympics! Unfortunately there is also a HUGE gap in our team where the rest of the injured racers: Larisa, Kelly, Johnny, Bourque and JP have been left out due to more extensive injuries than my own.  It totally sucks that they are missing these games, but it also gives a bunch of others an opportunity that otherwise may have been missed.  So with negatives, there are also positives, but I know that those 5 (myself included) still have our sights set on gold in 2014. Injuries are part of the sport, and although I had never envisioned myself racing without an ACL, since having been given the opportunity to do so, I couldn't imagine it otherwise.  I just hope that the next time around I have all my ligaments attached.... 

Anyway, things are going awesomely and I hope to bring this energy to the Olympics and compete just as hard, or harder than I would have without an injury!!

I love blogging because it gives me time to think out my sentences, attempt to have good grammar, and plan what I am trying to say in a somewhat intelligent way.... UNLIKE this morning at 6am on Canada AM, I had a live interview and I was probably more nervous than I am in races.  I showed up around 5:50am and was escorted to a big empty room with a camera, a camera guy and a big light shining in my face!! He set me up with an earpiece and a mic, and was like "you're on in 5..." 

It was such a rush and it was a crazy feeling when the camera guy told me later that there were around 5 million viewers tuning in.  I'm honored that my story is worthy of Canada AM and I now know that I should avoid saying "like" so much.
All in all, it was a sweet experience and it lit a little bit of an olympic flame inside of me!  Meaning, it got me pumped about the Olympics and gave me a bit of Olympic Fever!!  I'm so excited to race!!! And SKI!  After the Olympics I will be on the 6 month recovery program, so I'm gonna take advantage of all the skiing I can get before surgery!!

Alas, Canada AM was a huge thrill, but I got right back into the gym and to my everyday routine of strength, agility, jumping, weight-lifting, biking, physio and icing routine!  And of course more time to hang with my physio-friend Johnny K.

And I got back to my mission of befriending Max.  I threw that ball for him!! And I think he liked it??
It's been a great week and I am so happy that my dream to compete for Canada in Canada is still alive.  I'm doing everything I possibly can to make this work, and I'm heading to the games with the "belief" in myself and in my teammates to kick some booty in Whistler!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday weekend and missing SHONA!

INTRO to blog:
Shona is one of my best friends and I miss her!  So I decided to dedicate my birthday blog to her! Especially since she scored her first world cup Giant Slalom points this weekend!!  She came 23rd and my birthday was the 23rd, so it all made sense.
Anyway.  Shona has epic "motorboat" faces.... you basically blow really hard out of your mouth so that your lips flap...
We've all done it (see below) but she manages to do it better.
And I added a normal pretty picture of her to justify the hilarity of this post.  ALL inspired by Kelly Mcbrooms latest blog video about shona.

IT IS A HARD TASK... but I believe.

So anyway, I've been doing lots of THIS. Game Readying up my knee at least 6 times a day...

And lots of this in the gym, getting my quads and glutes JACKED!  I get to physio/the gym at 9am and usually leave around 3pm.  Full days of epicness.

The gym and physio and icing have been taking up so much of my time, that I decided it would be a good idea have a 24th Birthday Party!!!
My mom came to town and we went out for a YUMMY Italian meal with Nora and Kelly!!

I think we were close to Cortina!!! ( where the ladies world cups were this weekend....)

Italy is SO beautiful this time of year!! SO glad we decided to stop by....

Let's just do some fishing.....imaginary fishing... :(

KELLY REACHING FOR THE MOON..... because at least she will land among the stars??? is that the quote?? Or at least she will be hanging with shona.

All in all, it was a sweet birthday weekend!! My mom and my pretty new necklace and a couple new books made it the closest to "home" birthday I've had since 15!

My mom and I explored tons of great restaurants and ate some DELICIOUS food!!
We went to a cool Indian restaurant called "Mango Shiva" where they gave my mom a tour of the Kitchen and showed her the clay ovens where they make the yummy Naan bread....

And we ate some delicious breakfast's and lunche's at the Avenue Diner!! Pancakes, subs, salads, soups.... mmmm. It was a food weekend to remember.
Anyway it was a really fun birthday, and now I'm back to the daily physio and gym routine!  I kinda missed it!! kind of....
HOpe that you found Shona in each pic and that it was as entertaining for you as it was for me!!
yay shona.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The torch came to town!
Last night, Kelly McB and I headed to the GARLIC CLOVE and ate about 2 bulbs of garlic each.... celebrated Sherry's birthday!... Headed home and watched the DRAMA of the BACHELOR!! And then this morning when we woke up the Olympic torch was right outside the door!!!
They lit the torch right in our driveway pretty much! IT was sweet!!
Here comes the Olympic torch!! All the way from everywhere....



Yeah Chuck!! That dude's name was Chuck, he is American, and he told us he is a swimmer.... hmm. cool?

THE PARADE!! A dance party of trucks and music passed us by and gave us a bit of Olympic Fever..

I was THAT excited!!

We were so excited that we had to hop on the neighbors reindeer and GIDDY UP!

And we posed with "Chuck" the "American"

But decided that since it's Gary's birthday, he would look cooler as the torch bearer!! haha! Yay for early morning photoshop hilarity!

It was cool to see the flame and get caught up in the hype of the Olympics! After that I headed to Physio and worked out and LAUGHED a ton with Matt the Hilarious Ski Guru and company.... and left there around 2pm!! Long days of rehab but pretty entertaining nonetheless!
A la Prochaine!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Believe!

Today was the last world cup ladies slalom race of the season.  It's been hard to watch the times on my computer instead of watching from the bottom of the hill having already raced my race.  I feel out of the loop and disconnected from the girls and the excitement of the races... But I guess that's just part of being injured for the time being.  It is always nice to see Canadian names on the results, way to go Bri and Mitch!! And I am pumped to have finally qualified for world cup finals! Although I will not be able to race them, it's still nice to know that I made it with only three results! (World Cup Finals are only for the top 25 racers of the season, I ended up 24th...)  So that is a cool accomplishment for me, with or without an injury.
Other than waking up in the wee hours of the morning to check out live race results, I have been continuing with my rehab routine:
This is my new daily hangout! Working with Kent at the Bob Niven Training center in Calgary for about 4-5 hours a day!  It pretty much consists of biking, icing, muscle stim-ing, getting treated by Kent, icing, biking, easy exercises...etc.  Lots of ice and lots of improvements!!
It's a pretty entertaining atmosphere with Kent, Robbie, Kelly and John chit-chatting away as I get treated and sip my tea.

The Olympic motto keeping us motivated!! It's stuck in a different place everyday and reminds us of why we spend hours and hours everyday trying to get back on snow!

ROBBIE BELIEVES!! yeah buddy!

Keeping the belief for next month!!

Anyway, things are going well and my knee is feeling really good!
Robbie is feeling good too! He's ready to rip it up in a few weeks! It will be Exciting!
The next week looks pretty similar in terms of physio.... and I baked 4 loaves of bread yesterday!!  Maybe I'll make 8 this week!! haha carbo loading!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Avatar, Chinooks, and a dog named Max

The blog has been lagging, but I have been really busy lately despite the lack of skiing, and I have had WAY less amazing photo-ops.   Working hard at the gym, biking, icing, and working with Kent (our physio) takes up most of my day and it's not nearly as picturesque as skiing in the Alps or the Dolomites or wherever!  But even without the views, I have already noticed many improvements in my knee despite the lack of my ACL.
One highlight taking place outside of the training center was when Kelly McB and I got to check out AVATAR!!! 3D Glasses and all!! IT was AHHmazing.  It made me want my 8 year old imagination back!! Awesome graphics and a nice little love story combined to make a sweet 2 hours and 45 minutes.  We were well prepared with water bottles and an ice bag!!
NEVER go anywhere with out ice or a Game Ready!!! That's for sure.
There are our AVATAR faces. hissing at the bad guys....
Other than physio, gym, sweet movies AND THE BACHELOR.... (I am so pumped to be able to watch the bachelor's drama and craziness every Monday night!!! That show is pure entertainment at its finest.)  Anyway other than the usual daily activities, I have also been keeping my eye on the sky!! The Chinook Clouds keep on rolling through!!

The big blankets that cover the city mean WARM WEATHER! Yay!  I'm not sure yet if I could survive the -30 degree weather.... I like it warm and spring-like!  AND its cool to look at, especially from here.

And Finally, this should have been one of my new year's resolutions or injury activities... I have been trying to bond with Max the dog.  I have never had a dog and I am super awkward with dogs and don't know how to talk to them or pet them or be throw the ball with them, but I think that I may finally overcome my dog-less lifestyle and make a new friend.

I can tell he is unimpressed with my sad attempt at throwing the ball for him....

But I think he will come around! And so will I!! And I know Meg and Kelly will be all like awwww over these pics, so these are for both of you!  And one day I too will be like awwwww.

Once again a huge thanks to everybody helping me out and sending all the get-well wishes!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Forget Injuries, never forget Kindnesses"

After a lot of crazy traveling, hospitals, crutches, no crutches.... I am finally walking my way around Calgary, sans crutches.   After seeing the doc I was told that I do not actually need to hobble around unless it hurts!! Walking has never seemed so sweet!
Another thing that is SO SWEET is the "game ready" machine that I have access to through our team.  It is the most amazing thing of 2010 for me.  Its a combination of ice and pressure all around my knee... AHH-MAZING.
And other than wasting WAY too much time online I have actually been quite busy working with Kent's magic hands in physio.  Things are going well and I can't thank everybody here in Calgary enough for all the support I am getting.  Here is one example:

The sweet view I get to check out every-time I look outside that is A MILLION TIMES better than staying in a lonely hotel room! THANK YOU!  : )

Other than admiring Calgary and stationary biking, icing, physio, etc... I have been thinking of some sweet goals to set for my post-operation recovery:

- Knit an Afghan (Rena's suggestion...)
-Take a photography course
-Take a beginners painting course
- learn more German (more than the 10 words I already know...)
- Actually hang out with some of my facebook friends.... even though we all say that we can keep in touch "so well" with technology, I haven't physically seen most people that I am "in touch" with on facebook.  Emphasis on the quotation marks.
-READ more books and get OFFLINE (fail)
- meditate
- visualize ripping slalom courses next season
- decorate Marco's new house (in my head....haha)
- COOK! (and bake) Learn some sweet recipes to impress people with....extravagant recipes!

more to come..... still thinking up some new ones...

I have lots to keep me busy right now and I am happy to be in one place with a clear focus on the next few weeks.
I hope the girls keep ripping it up!
I do NOT miss my squeaky bed in Kirchberg and the honeycomb pillows (I actually do misss them....) but I REALLY do miss the girls and hanging around on my squeaky bed and honeycomb pillows talking girl talk and laughing at nothing....

ahhh the good times.

And as good old Confucius would say "Forget injuries, never forget Kindnesses."
To my friends, family, doctors, physios, trainers, team, and fellow Calgarians helping me out... Kindness far overrules an injured knee.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whirlwind of Travels and some Good news!

I finally made it home two nights ago.  My flights were sweet (business class is how I roll), the flight attendants were awesome and kept me stocked with ice bags for my knee and chocolates for my belly, AND being wheelchaired around the airport has amazing benefits!! I got to skip security lineups and customs lineups!! IT was AMAZING.
The morning after arriving home, my mom (best caregiver ever) and I hit the road around 6am and started trekking to LONDON (ontario...) to see the doctor!! Dr. Litchfield gave me some really good news!! Instead of a ton of stuff being wrecked, I have only torn my ACL and Meniscus, and I have a bone bruise.  So this means I can walk around! (limp around....) I need to prep my knee for surgery which means getting it into the best shape possible before going under the knife!  So I am heading to Calgary tomorrow to start working with our team physio, Kent!
THIS is how we roll: TIMMY's coffees (BLACK), a cooler full of ice bags, and a crate thingy full of snacks!

Plus about 6 pillows to prop up my genou! Back seat driving.....

My mom drove about 18 hours over the last 2 days and she still was smiling near the end!!  Plus the Sun is shining on her!!

BLING BLING!  My crutches are beautiful and sparkly.  On the drive from Zagreb to Austria, Brigitte and I dug into my arts and crafts bag and made my crutches appropriate for travel!

Dots, sparkles, stickers and pearls make up my nice crutches!! AND the 2 hats I knitted this week!

One of the important stickers on my crutches since I am now a 4 legged being.

MY Knitting: I call this one Purple with a tree....  you can purchase this HANDMADE piece of fashionable art for a mere 250euros or 5000Kuna, or some millions of swedish dollars Or 50 Canadian.  Choose your own currency!!

I call this one Raving in the woods.  I will give it to whoever shows me the best dance.

Along the way I got to stop in TOronto and visit my cousin Giacomo and stayed with my Aunt and Uncle, Melanie and Frank! THANKS!!  We checked out Giacomo's Lego's (i think that one is a millenium falcon type ship from Star Wars??)

And when I got home I had flowers from BRigitte waiting for me!

Thanks Bri!! I miss her and the rest of the team.... but it is what it is!

And so I posed.

All I can say is that I feel a million times better than I did in the picture below.  Stef and I were riding down in the crazy ambulance to the hospital from the race.  Its been a crazy few days but I have a lot of new goals for the next few weeks and I am ready to attack them and get better!!!


Monday, January 4, 2010

another one bites the dust

First off, I would like that thank EVERYONE for all the well wishes and letters of support.  Each one means a lot to me and is making this whole process a lot easier!!!  I am a slow responder but I am pretty sure that once I am home I will have ample time to write everyone their own personal novel.

but anyway...

I was having a pretty great run in Zagreb until right before the finish line I fell and heard/felt a huge pop in my right knee and knew right away that my season was over. The hardest thing about getting injured right now is accepting that I will be missing the Olympics. I'm not worried about my skiing, I know it's good and can be just as good when I get back, and I understand that injuries can happen to anyone anytime and I have always known that it could be me.... I just can't believe that its NOW! I've never gone to the Olympics since I was not skiing fast enough 4 years ago, and now that I am skiing fast enough and made the criteria for the Canadian Olympic team, I cannot believe that it's been taken away from me. I've accepted the injury and everything that is about to come with it, but it's hard to accept missing what I thought would be a really exciting point in my life. I guess now I have 4 years to work towards being even better for Russia in 2014. And I have a LOT of teammates in the same boat as me, so at least I'll have friends to hang with!

The hardest part of yesterday was the initial shock of the injury and the end of this season; and the hardest part today was saying goodbye to my team.. I hate leaving them behind since they are my unconditional family and I love them and being with all of them and everything about being on the road with them.
Those two hard parts are over, and I already know that tomorrow will be better since I get to go home to my real family and start figuring all of this out with their love and support.

I'll keep you posted.

This was the HIGHLIGHT of the worst day of my year so far..... We stole the wheelchair from the Croatian hospital since they had NO crutches and no stores were open because it was sunday. I almost peed in my pants laughing so hard at Craig trying to be sly about loading that piece of junk into the back of our van!! hahaah
EDIT******AND WE RETURNED IT within 12 hours.... no real stealing, just "borrowing..."

And this is what an almost top ten run looks like, but instead it is what tearing a bunch of ligaments in your knee looks like...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Shenanigans and Zagreb race tomorrow!!

New Years on the GAISBERG!! (the name of the hill we train on!!)
Mulli took advantage of a clear morning and skinned up to the top! I was jealous!

Our view from training everyday!!! This day was a little cloudier than most....

But I thought the clouds looked cool and dramatic!!  An eerie way to bring in the new year.

SLALOM STARS!!! Em Brydon and Shona Ruby at the top before an epic ski-dooing slalom session...

Erik and his beautiful cute adorable daughter Logann.

The girls with the models! (girls= me, shona, mitch Models = Randall and Stef)

SMILE WITH YOUR EYES!!! LIKE Tyra Banks would say....

Trying to re-create Stef's model look from the other day with our prom dresses.... smile with the eyes and look like you don't care! hahaha.  I think Biggs was judging us from the background....

But then the boys got into it too!!! Biggs, Trev, Mike and Cousi smiling with their EYES! models or ski racers??? hahaha

Model mommy and baby.  Karen and Logann.... hard to take a bad picture of these two!

Intensity all around!! IT was a yelling, laughing, eye rolling hilarious game of catch phrase!!! One of my favourites was when Brad was up and he asked us "what you would buy your girlfriend before getting married...." And Cousi yelled "A WALLET..." hahaha i dont get it but it made us all laugh.  The real answer was Jewelry.... Good thing Cath (Cousi's wife) is cool and has a good sense of humour. haha.

Ahh Logann.  We danced! She's got moves!

Last night the girls and I decided to go BACK to the Gaisberg and have dinner at the top of the hill!! They let us go 5 on the 4 person chairlift! Yay

Out Shadow vs. the Snowcat.....

Looking back down on Kirchberg

EVerybody cross your legs!!! ha.

SO EXCITED to eat at the GAISBERG!!  

A beautiful little Austrian Hut!  The GAISBERSTUBERL.....

And the amazing interior, Looking from upstairs down at the bar area.

One of my FAVOURITE Austrian dishes, Frittatensuppe.  (pancake soup!! MMMM!!)

Smile!! (not just with your eyes....)

It was cool to get back to our hotel a little later that night and walk in on a full on jam session!! A bunch of staff from men and womens sides were rocking out to their guitars and singing!! It was a memorable moment!

The new year was fun and training on the first went well!!  Tomorrow we have the race here (in Zagreb, Croatia)  I start 20!!