April 26, 2018

I guess you just need to trust the process, cause all it takes is time.

This year was a terrifying yet refreshing, discouraging yet successful, roller coaster of an experience for me. As a rookie on the team, I felt like I had a standard of potential I had to live up to each day I skied. I was too in my head about results and trying not to disappoint my coaches, that I never thought much about the process. I’d constantly give up when I thought I wasn’t skiing well and persistently find unrealistic excuses, like putting my left boot on before my right, to incessantly mind torture me on why my skiing wasn’t working. I have been struggling with my superstitions in a way where I back track whenever something goes wrong with my skiing and self doubt my morning routine. I over thought things, and sometimes still do, but it’s a mind game I played against myself where there was no way in winning, since whenever I told myself not to think about it, it made me think about it more. It messed with my mental state, and all in all, I couldn’t focus on my skiing.

The last time I wrote I talked about my experience in Pano during December where I had lost hope in what was to come in my ski racing career. Nothing was working and I couldn’t get out of my own head. I couldn’t even manage to ski more than 5 gates consistently well, nevertheless put two runs together. It was frustrating. By the middle of February, I was returning to snow after my DH crash a few weeks prior in Kimberley. JM and our 4 girls drove down to Jackson, Wyoming for a few tech races. It was my first time back on the boards since I hurt my shoulder so I had no expectations, I was there just to get the thrill and the feeling back into my skiing. I shut my brain off, didn’t think about results, I just skied. And to my surprise I skied the best I had all season. It was a huge relief and confidence builder to know I still had it in me, that all the time & effort up until that point was not wasted by stupid superstitions.

Proving my subconscious thoughts wrong & being able to ski to my full potential no matter which ski I clicked into first, was one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve experienced all season. And that’s what had happened in the Spring. Once April came around & the temperatures began to rise, it was time for Spring Series at Pano. We had 2 SG, 2 GS, and 2 SL. I started the series off with my first ever FIS win in the SG, followed by another gold in SG the following day. It was when I realized I had finished 6 out of the 6 races that skiing just takes time, and that being said, you need to trust the process. Last weekend (Apr. 14 & 15) we had our final races of the season, 1 GS and 1 SL at Nakiska. Despite my failed attempt at finishing the GS, I capped the season off with a win in the SL which clinched me the U19 & Overall women’s Alberta Cup title. With my disappointing and discouraging start to the season I never thought I’d make it to this point in my skiing this year. So I’d like to share a huge thanks to JM who has stuck by my side through it all this year, helping me out of this rut, I couldn’t have done this without you. My season was rollercoaster of emotions and results, but I couldn’t have asked it to end in a better way.

Following the racing season, a few of us are out in pano participating in a 5 day spring camp. The mornings are very early, loading the lift at 6:45, but we are done skiing before lunch which gives us opportunity for school and naps in the afternoon. It has been unreal training with high volume of skiing – in the past 3 days we skied over 30 SG runs. As much as I enjoy spring skiing, I am overly excited to get home and spent time with the family.

But now that the season is done, it is that time of year where the emotions are high and the eyes are red and glossed over from saying goodbye to our teammates who have decided to strap up the race skis for good. Zoe, Abby, Adrien, Marcus, and Sam – thank you for a season of constant mocking, laughs, smiles, and adventures. I am so excited to see what the world has in store for each one of you.

Lastly, I’d just like to extend my thanks to everyone who helped make this year possible. I’ve learnt more than I ever thought I would.

And to my 13 fellow dabbers, thanks for an unforgettable season. That was one for the books.

Cheers,
Claire

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