Hello my friends!!
I am now trying out all the new stuff in New Zealand and let me tell you… it has been quite the learning experience!!! I love all the new equipment, but changing the radius to 30 meters in GS is a challenge. I am learning a ton!!! It is a lot more physical, and you definitely have to work for your turns. I feel really strong, so all that summer training has paid off. In case you missed my summer it was really fun!!! Here are some photos…
Its been a blast!!! and its only halfway done…
I have a new hobby making videos! so follow me on YouTube and Vimeo!
Peace Love and Aloha from New Zealand!
So if read you my blog, or other athletes comments or blogs on reasons why they win, or why it all comes together on a certain day, you will most likely always find something in common, BELIEF. The belief that we can be the best, or that we’ve worked the hardest or that certain day was meant to be our day.
I commonly read and believe myself that I imagined winning and I just knew it would happen. My mother taught me this lesson to project my dreams and they will come true. She’s quite the lady, meditating every morning, sticking post-its all over her bathroom mirror with her goals and beliefs. I have never been that into goal making, or I should say writing specific goals down, because we used to get these papers from our coaches with different events and where we would like to be. For example, World Cup ranking, why would I ever write that I want to be 25th in the World Cup, shouldn’t we all have the goal of being 1st?? They (my coaches) always had the same reply, be realistic. So why should we not all strive to be number 1?? Whats so unrealistic about that? Sure there’s only one spot on top of the podium, but if I don’t want it, someone else will. From all my years on the podium, I think the biggest setback for a racer is to have the goal of making top 30 going into a World Cup. If you don’t think you can win a World Cup run, or section, you shouldn’t be racing World Cup, because you already lost to half the competition before you even kick out of the start gate. That happened to me for a whole season! I was so fixated on that 30th spot, that I missed second run every time by hundredths of a second. 31st…31st..32nd..33rd..31st.. so flash forward to the present on why I keep believing I am going to win, and how my Mom taught me to stay positive and really believe in myself.
There are many new age, quantum physics, trippy hippy books out there that are very interesting and worth checking out, a popular one name The Secret you might have heard about but I am not going to get into that… Just want you to know where some of my influence comes from. They are all connected to what my mother was always telling me, something I actually never knew helped, was to imagine that its already happened and let it go. The Olympics are a big part of my life. I was dreaming of Olympic Gold since I was a little girl. I drew the poster that VISA made into a commercial at the last Olympics, you could call that my vision board! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8tXflDKRGE
I just imagined it was true, and it did! As a competitor we do a lot of these things subconsciously, but I believe that the subconscious works in the way we want it to if we act in a positive way and first control the things that we think about and project our future how we want it to be. When you apply the will to win, there is no better test than head to head competition. Going into Moscow, honestly I didn’t think I could win the skiing part, but I had an inkling that I could be really competitive if I relied on my athletic quickness and smart starts. I had a really good warm-up run, and that boosted my confidence. From there on I stood in the start gate, knowing that if I fought hard, I would cross the finish line first. I was determined, and I used razor focus to make that belief come true! It really brought me back to finding that will to win. When I was younger on the world cup and I had my breakthrough season in 2005, I remember looking at the time and my deficit, and always thinking, yes! only .75 out, that means I am that much closer. I would go into second run thinking and believing, I only have to beat the winner by a second, then I’ll win. It was simple, always strive to be the best. I think somewhere along the way, my brain began to think too much and now every time I race, I can analyze what I was thinking after. For example, this past weekend the first day of the GS, I was all in first run, then second run, I felt like I was at the beginning of a tight race, and I couldn’t let the girls behind me beat me.. well I should have been thinking wow, I am only 8 tenths out, I can win this!! I then skied conservative and ended up moving back to 9th. The second day I was sitting in a similar situation, only a one second to 2nd place, and tons of girls right behind me, but I thought to myself, you are going to do this, I went for it! I won the top split, but then made a mistake. It was all out for me, and I am glad I pushed myself. I relearned that its not all about points, its about every race, and when you do well the points will come. I know if I wanna be on that Overall Podium, I need to find that balance and winning belief in every race.
It’s a a lot of work to believe you can be the best everyday, and its even harder when you don’t feel like everything is perfect. And why doesn’t it always work?? The will to win.. well sometime’s someone is just that much better.
You can’t win all the time, but I sure want to go out trying.
Its exciting to visit new places, experience new customs, see new sights, learn new words. Our tour normally takes us to places familiar, that we’ve been to year after, so we don’t get to experience many new surprises. This past week we travelled to Andorra and now we are in Rosa Khutor, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Andorra was amazing. Besides a little too much wind, we go to cruise around a little country with incredible skiing, and equally incredible shopping. Its fun to check out something different. We spend so much time on the mountain anyway, Resi, Lindsey and I went on a little girls day out. The main town in Andorra is packed in the little valley.
you would never know just by judging the roads to get up there from Barcelona. I thought we were driving through the deserted countryside forever until we hit the border, and on the other side there were tons of cars lined up to leave Andorra and go through customs. Apparently I’m not the only one that thinks the shopping is good;) Though my race in Andorra was not as successful as I had hoped, its always nice to have a little bit of a distraction.
Our travel schedule is hectic this month, so right after Andorra, we flew to Zurich for a quick day off, then jumped back on a plane to Russia. It was nice to quiz Aksel on how things are like there, just to be prepared if I needed to bring anything else special. Well the report wasn’t bad, so I was prepared and ready for anything, and when the world cup loaded our chartered planes, I wasn’t totally surprised to see all the luggage in our seats!
if you follow me on twitter, I am sure you’ve seen the picture of me later, taking a nap on this crazy scene. I’m not gonna lie, it was actually comfortable!
So far I am enjoying my Russian adventure. The course is challenging in its own way, and the snow is nice here. I like the big mountains and I am excited to get another chance to ski the course again in the morning before the race.
I even got swept off my feet and pulled onto the dance floor… I need to improve my dance moves. Good thing I can ask my good friend Chemmy, she’s competing on Dancing on Ice, I’m sure she can teach me a thing or two;)
I have to tell you all the behind the scenes story of the day I was the fastest lady down the mountain.
It all started a couple of weeks ago, when I became completely tired out of being on the road, and the cookie shop in Squaw Valley was calling my name. Nothing seemed to get me out of my funky mood. I really though the only remedy would be to hop on a plane back to california for the week, and replace the next races with some family and friends time back home. You see its not all that glamorous moving from hotel to hotel, and the moment I knew I lost my mojo was when I was 5th in the downhill at St. Moritz and all I wanted to do was cry. Our coaches call it PMS… but I would like to think theres more to my attitude than a bunch of confused female hormones. I had to search deep within to see what was putting me in such a funk. Three days off clearly helped, and I realized flying all the way back to California seemed a bit extreme, and packing my bags seemed extremely tiresome, so I decided to stay and try my luck in Garmisch. It wasn’t the skiing that was bringing me down, so I knew I would have fun once I got back in the start gate. Its just been all the travel and packing and repetition that wears on me.
So I got back in that start gate in Garmisch, tried to take a positive spin on the bone chilling cold weather, and pushed through. I have to admit that after the Downhill race, I really thought that rest might have been a good idea, the snow was so aggressive and I just didn’t feel comfortable out there, but I fought off the tears, and just decided I wouldn’t let myself get down, i just needed to fight back with a relaxed, just go for it attitude. Nothing to lose was my motto going into sunday.
I had a lovely home cooked meal with some friends from Garmisch, along with a very relaxed morning(we got to sleep in til 8!) and I just had the attitude of no fear. Everyone always says you look more confident or you skied so much better, smooth and perfect when you win, and I have always had a hard time putting my finger on exactly what changed from the runs before. I think it has so much to do with your feeling at the first gate. You can compare your head in the start gate, or your nerves and game plan before you hit the slope, and most of the time the outcome is the same, always steady and ready, but its that feeling you get when you know everything is perfect and now its up to you to just push it a little harder, be smart where you need to and attack attack attack. I remember crossing the finish line and saying, if that doesn’t win.. I am not sure what will!! and sure enough. VICTORY!!!
Its nerve racking sitting in the finish, watching the other athletes come down one by one, just hoping they can’t lay down a faster time, and then when the reality hits! unfortunately my emotions were muddled by talk of disqualification for taking my ski off before crossing the red line. Well I did cross the red line, so I must have completely not noticed that i turned back up the hill and I was basically standing on it, because I have heard of the rule and i would never try and break rules. Well I think that the worst part of it was that the Austrain tv ORF put me on the spot by showing it on tv asking me if I remember when Herman Maier was disqualified. I think its very inconsiderate for tv to start drama before anything actually happens, and I am disappointed with ORF. They should read the rule book, because it says
206.5 Competitors are not permitted to take off one or both skis or snowboard before crossing the red line in the finish area, as defined by the organizer.
and I clearly crossed the red line. Did I make a mistake after by taking my ski off on the other side?? probably, and for that I might be fined, but according to the rules, I didn’t brake them. So i hope think twice before falsely accusing someone of a disqualification.
I guess I am a bit too sensitive!! but it kinda hurt and it made me power through the turmoil to be elated as I should be! I freakin won! It all goes back to the power of the mind. In hindsight, I guess its good i didn’t skip town. It just goes to show that you can choose your mood and change your attitude. So i encourage anyone reading this to overcome something in their life by making the decision to go for it, don’t be afraid of failure. You can’t fail if you did your best.
Thanks for always believing,
Traveling around the globe can be very lonely. I have been around the Alps for eleven years now, and although the beauty still mystifies me and leaves me absolutely speechless, there is something about moving from hotel to hotel that just leaves me completely exhausted. I always like to keep an open mind when I am traveling and though most of our days have a strict tiring schedule, I will always make time for new friends and try out new things.
Since shooting the infamous Ski Instructor calendar with the oh so talented Hubertus von Hohenlohe (http://www.hubertushohenlohe.com/index.html) we became good friends, and one thing about this prince, he has lots of friends in lots of places. So naturally the prince sent a friend to meet me at the bib draw in Saint Moritz, to invite me to a special club for lunch if I had time. I rarely turn down an offer to go somewhere exclusive, so I found the time, and a date. My teammate Laurenne Ross and I ventured out after our downhill race to find a dreamy swiss chalet in the mountains called the Corviglia club.
I had no idea the history of this little ski club. It’s probably known around the world, but I guess that’s the kind of stuff you miss out on when all you have time to think about is how fast you can get down the mountain. We had a delicious home cooked meal with the President of the club, Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria, another interesting connection to my southern Italian roots. While I can’t remember the name of the dish we ate, it was some sort of a steak tartare, only seared with a mixture of spices, it was delicious and I really enjoyed the italian influence on most of the dishes.
Now back to the history of the club, this is no easy club to gain membership in, in fact the rules are so strict, there are signs posted in various places in the club that even members can only bring the same guests once a year. Just one glance at the plaque comprised of the life members, seeing all the dukes Shah’s and Princes, seems like a world away for this American girl. They do have a number of American Life members though, don’t get me wrong;)
For me it signified a place of true European tradition. There was nothing over the top and fancy, just simple, beautiful, and cozy. A place where I can imagine a Prince and Princess would find serenity in a busy world, and relaxation with their friends. What also intrigued me was the passion and tradition for ski races! This was the binding reason and beginning of the club, a shared passion for skiing. Oh the stories could go on forever. The President gave me and Laurenne a book about the history of the club, and the stories could go on forever. I couldn’t put the book down. Its so amazing to find out that the sport I live my life for, can have such a positive impact on the broadest spectrum of people in this world! And to end the day and make it even more special for Laurenne and me, we received the most amazing gift. A silk scarf that Emilio Pucci designed in the 50′s, describing his interpretation of the club.
Today I can figuratively and literally say, I’ve got friends in High places!
Thanks Corviglia Club, now I can just dream about the next time I will be invited back:) and when I do, I will tell everyone all about the one thing I forgot to mention… the Glamour Girls.
and ps… don’t go looking for it on the mountain without an invitation;)
ok, so I was hoping to blog more, then I didn’t have internet, and I could post on my phone.. as you see it can be a tough one in Europe. I find that it is more easily available now days, but it can come with a very expensive price tag, 15chf for 3 hours. I think thats a bit much! anyway this is just a quick hello from me sitting at my computer getting ready to write the most interesting story that I can’t wait to share. Part of my goal with this new blog is to share my journey and hopefully help you with yours. Whether thats a journey to reach your own personal goals, or a journey to Europe to see the Alps! I figure I can update you with my feelings and what I am doing on Facebook, so if you are interested in those things, go there:) in the meantime sit tight while I write, and enjoy this swiss chalet.
Well for my second blog post I figure I should update you on how my season is going. Once again, I am very happy about my skis this year, Its been an exciting start to the season. I am happy with most of my results, and I continue to keep the attitude of keep on smiling! I was on the podium in three different events so far, and I hope to get a few more podiums. I must say I am very impressed with the level of all the girls skiing this year. Every race is so close and you can’t give away any time anywhere on the course if you want to win. I have had a few mistakes and I got to see the podium slip away more times than I want to count, but its always fun to know there’s another race on the horizon. This past week was crazy to hear about the death of Sarah Burke. As an athlete also pushing myself to the limits in my sport, it made me reflect a little on how I spend my life. I love spending time on the mountain, its what made me a ski racer. Its what makes everyday so enjoyable and brings a smile to my face every morning. Competing for my country in the Olympics has enabled me to touch the lives of so many and encourage them to do their best and be their best. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. Meeting some of my fans and hearing their stories has also inspired me and helped me stay positive even on the bad days on this crazy white circus. So for that I also say thank you to everyone reading this. Thanks for inspiring me! and I hope to continue to inspire you!
Here’s to blogging:)