The first World Cup of the season took place last week in Beaver Creek. It’s safe to say the season is officially underway. With the cancellation of the first race in Levi, Finland a month ago, we had another few weeks of preparation leading up to last week. Some would argue more is always better, but after such a pause between races ( the last World Cup being last March) its tough to remember what’s its like to push out of a start gate with the World watching.
I can safely say it all comes back very quickly, as the nerves set in at the top of a course. The first competition is always a bit different. Wondering whether or not your hard work in the gym was enough, if your 6 weeks of technical training on snow has paid off, if your equipment is dialed in to your liking. Those added distractions make the first race that much more challenging. For some that may be offset by the excitement of finally racing. For others, inevitably another distraction. I suppose that’s where experience, or ignorance come into play.
For me, the biggest distraction was not focusing on the race itself. I know this sounds counterintuitive, after all I am racing. To clarify, I wanted to stray from the outcome orientated process of thinking, having expectations, and rather use this opportunity to better my skiing. It’s a long season and a long road to being a great skier, and I think it’s important to always have that goal in mind. Im obviously competing and trying to go as fast as possible, but having purpose and meaning in my skiing, and a bigger goal in mind is important, something I have lacked in previous years. I’m not where I want to be, but I know if I focus on the right things I will get there. It’s close, and after all, skiing is a sport of hundredths of seconds.
I had a great top section, and though I made a few mistakes in the middle, until the last section of the course I was definitely in the race. I pushed the line a bit and failed to adjust to some terrain near the bottom, and made a costly mistake. In a sport of hundredths, such mistakes can often cost you the day. In my case this proved true.
I skied well in Beaver Creek, and I can say that though I am not happy with the end result, I was happy with my approach. It is something to build on, and I’m confident I will get where I want to be. Were off to Italy in the morning for a Europa cup, and will continue with our 2nd World Cup of the season next weekend in Alta Badia, Italy.