It has been forever since my last update and I must apologize. I am trying to recall what has happened since my last update. My European trip finished up relatively smoothly. We finished with a few giant slalom and slalom races in France. I was one of the better racers there, but that does not mean anything is certain especially in Europe. I ended the trip on a high note, but winning the last race, slalom. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from awards because I missed the awards ceremony. I do not usually do this, but I would say it was extenuating circumstances. There was a problem with the timing system so no times were being posted for the second run. On top of that we had a ten-hour drive from France to Munich right after the race. Because of those factors we were on the road before the race was even over. I had no idea I won until I reached Munich and saw the results online.
It felt great to get back onto American soil. The trip was fun, but being on the road in Europe wore me out. Doing things on my own was difficult as well. Coordinating everything takes a lot of extra effort. After a few days home I fell apart and got sick. I felt it coming on and tried to be proactive, but soon came on a sinus infection that wiped me out for a week. The day before leaving for Colorado, where I had some NorAm tech and speed races, I broke down and went to the doctor’s office and got on some antibiotics.
I arrived in Vail, Colorado for two NorAm giant slaloms and two NorAm slalom races with only skiing once in the week leading up. I have done this once before, but it was in speed, which is a bit easier to hop right into. Slalom is tough to get back up to the pace. I tried mightily my first run down the course, but about ten gates in I just exploded. One second I was making a turn and the next thing I knew I was flying through the air. I had loaded up my ski and it sprung me right into the air. My body landed on the ice with a thud. I broke the fall with my hip, shoulder and thumb. Only my tumb hurt after the crash and it swelled right up. The next morning I was hurting. My hip was sore, I couldn’t lift my arm above my head and I couldn’t bend me thumb.
I tried to push through it and race the second slalom, but it didn’t really work out. Between being sore and having no energy coming back from being sick it was a mistake. Easy to say that looking back, but there was no way I would have been convinced in the morning.
I began to turn things around in the first giant slalom race with two decent runs, but both races were riddled with mistakes. I walked away form Vail with my head hanging pretty low. My expectations were much higher, maybe a bit too high considering I was not able to ski until arriving in Colorado.
On the bright side of things I have moved on, both mentally and physically. I feel much better as I am sitting writing this. My body has nearly healed although the thumb is still sore; it may or may not be broken. I am in Aspen enjoying a day off before we start a seven-day block of NorAm speed races. I am looking forward to making something happen here. For the first time in a while I am looking forward to changing gears and racing some super g and downhill. Aspen has always been good to me and I am hoping that continues.