Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful

After our last slalom race at Loveland on Thursday, we travelled to Denver. We were supposed to travel on Friday to Calgary, take Saturday off and travel to Panorama on Sunday. Almost 2 full days off! I got to see Kevin, which was a nice surprise!
We left at 8:30am for our flight to Calgary. Everything went very smoothly. We were hanging out in the lounge before our flight. Learning French, snacking on free food, etc. Right before we were supposed to board, Tim told us that our flight had been cancelled due to horrible conditions in Calgary. We got put on a flight at 6:30pm and waited in the lounge for a while longer. However, that flight got cancelled too. We had to spend the night in Denver because planes could not land in Calgary. The boys team was hardly able to land. So we did some Christmas shopping! And by some, I naturally mean that I made my suitcase thoroughly overweight. I bought a new recipe book, that's waiting to be filled out.... (that's your cue).
This morning we had to leave for the airport at 6:00am. We learned while loading the bus that our flight was already cancelled. Tim booked us a flight to Calgary.... through San Diago, where the weather is warm and the palm trees grow. Everything went fairly smoothly after this although I would rather not be in Calgary right now. I am sitting in the hotel room listening to the abusive wind and Jack Frost tearing his way through the city.
It is supposed to be a low of -35 in Lake Louise on Monday.... We travel to Pano tomorrow for three days, but I don't think it's going to be much better. My cousin, Helena, is there now. Time for a family visit at least.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas out here.... but back home... not so much.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

WC APEN

Last Sunday was one of the most exciting days of my life. I raced my first world cup in Aspen alongside Britt.
Anna, Britt and I watching the GS.
After watching Saturday's GS race, where MP did awesome(!), we trained on the upper pitch of the gs hill. It was not a very good day to get a good feeling on our skis. The hill was very steep and pure ice! But I think everyone felt that way after watching everyone else.
When we woke up on Sunday, the first thing Britt said was "Today!" (or something like that). I started 60th, which was a perfect number for my first WC and the conditions (super ice). Inspecting was a bit of a sight, seeing everyone looking like Bambi on ice. When I stood in the start gate, the starter shut the wand.. then appeared to say something on his radio. He said it a few more times then finally caught my eye and told me that he had been telling me that I could go. Well... I went. My first thought was... this is a World Cup, people can see me, but it was quickly replaced by what I had to do (luckily, knowing the way my mind works).
When I crossed the finish line, I looked up at the timing board (even though I told myself that no matter what the outcome, I would be happy). I was so happy when I saw that I was in 26th. There were more girls to come, but I was happy nonetheless.
A Rossi rep greeted me in the finish to strap my skis! I ended up 28th after first run, making it into the second run. I loved seeing everyone at the finish and how supportive everyone is/was. Zoe and Todd Brooker, Bruce and Bryony Simpson, Kevin and his team, my dad (well he was taking pictures- I think it helps calm his nerves), John Vinz, and many other people who either decided to cheer for me because of talking to friends or because I was a rookie.

After my first run, I pretty much had to head right up to the start for inspection. My second run wasn't as good. I was round and not.... "just throwing down". But it was still an amazing day.

Anna came 13th! And is moving up every race. Britt came 33rd, so close to second run!

After the race we had to get ready for 4 more races in Aspen and Loveland.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Do The Work... No Excuses

It has been awhile since I last “blogged”; a long while, which has been extremely eventful.

My “restful” time at home, was less than relaxing. My mom and I moved into a new, smaller, but more elegant house. That consisted of nothing but packing boxes, moving boxes, and getting rid of SO MUCH stuff. Then trying to find a spot for all of the things we moved. There were things that had to be put together; such as our new huge bookshelf (that is already full), nightables, and the worst of the worst my bed frame. Who writes directions for the bed frames at The Brick? I would like to make a complaint! But the house looks so much better and is much more fitting!

By our river... trying to see if I inherited my dad's talent. answer: no.In between packing boxes, I decided to try my hand at cooking. Not so much baking because… I will eat everything within an hour, but cooking. I am looking for new recipes if anyone has any!
Kev and I at home for Halloween brunch!

After a week at home, we headed out to Calgary for a couple days of testing. Two days of blood, sweat and tears later, we headed to Nakiska to ski! The first thing I have to say is that there is a new chair at Nakiska, which means no more freezing on the slowest, longest chair ever! The new chair is so quick, it tips forwards and we get air at tower 2… WARNING! During our few days at Nakiska, I tried my hand at super g again. I may not have been super speedy or had the best tuck in the world (pointed out by Walter). But I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed our few days of speed.

Leonardo Dicaprio and Ellen Page were shooting a movie at Fortress, therefore staying at our hotel. There were several Leo sightings and a few stake outs. One meeting, one of the speed coaches told us that if we came down at 6:15am, we could get a picture with Leo… he was kidding. Not funny.

After this, we headed to Nakiska for 5 days of slalom and the food of an amazing chef! It took us all a while to get into the rhythm of slalom, but the new hill at Pano is great. The first day it poured rain. I think my rain jacket absorbed rather than repelled any water. On our fourth day, we had time trials for the World Cup slalom in Aspen… which is where I am now.

We decided to cut our trip to Pano short and travel with the World Cup girls back to Nakiska. We had three days of double sessions (slalom then gs) then headed to Calgary for our 6:30am flight to Colorado. Once in Colorado we hitched a ride with the France ski team (who were amazing to us) to Aspen instead of waiting almost 6 hours for the coaches to arrive. I have to say that I DO NOT understand a word of French, not a word. I bought a children’s book and a French English dictionary, so I can catch up on what I do know (which is not much).

So now we are in Aspen!

Britt and I Christmas shopping (Facial expression= headband too tight)
Britt in our hotel lobby. Optical Illusion: Is the chair really big, or is Britt really small?

The race hill- My Birkenstocks were slippery and didn't let me get much closer safely. (Walking on ice is not my forte)
The bleachers- (notice the strength of the Canadian flag).

We eat every meal in this ritzy hotel with the rest of the girls competing. They are offering free spa treatments and we are collecting free food. We hear a lot of GO CANADA walking down the street and one man called us over to give us a chocolate bar. I can’t imagine how amazing the support for Canada is going to be in Whistler. The town here is very Christmassy and cute. The lights and decoration and making me very ready for Christmas! On that note, I should go Christmas shop!

The race is this Sunday. First run at 10am and second at 1pm! Go Canada Go!



Monday, October 19, 2009

Ferienwohnungen (Aka Fire Wan Nungan Nungan)

So.. I am finally home after a 6 hour drive to Munich and a 9 hour flight home. To update everyone, we stayed in Pitztal for 4 days. One of those days was a scheduled day off, the other 3 it was not possible to ski because of too much snow, or wind, or both. The third day of waiting, we decided to go up and see if anything could be done. And let me tell you... Pitztal is worse than I remember. We did 3 slip runs, which took about 3 hours. Going up for our 3rd run, I looked above me in the tightly packed gondola line, caught Tim's (my coach's) eye and saw him mouth... angrily "We are leaving". Enough said. After those runs, we were all tired of pushing and waiting and small children leaning their full body weight on us.
From Pitztal we drove 9 hours to Wittenburg, Germany to ski slalom... INDOORS.
We had our first night session after getting in at 2:00pm. As we were walking to the entrance of the skihalle we were told that it was pure ice.
Pure ice was putting it lightly. Tim agreed as he slid down the entire training hill without gloves or skis on. But it was very cool to train indoors. While it was rainy and windy outside, it was always a constant -5 indoors and given the ice, the snow didn't change either.
We decided that there is a new kind of Yedi/Gorbe/beginner skier, within the walls of the "Snow Fun Park". I will say no more, but you can imagine. I will tell you that one boy did a box
(rail) on his stomach.
All seemed to be amazing in Wittenburg as people throughout Europe waited out the snow. We didn't even step outside the 3 days we were there because inside there was all we needed. A wee station, restaurants, internet, video games, and of course... training.
However, we soon learned that when it comes to indoor skiing, it is not only a race against the clock and your competitors, but more importantly against the gates. The gates would hit the ice and rebound so quickly that they would come back and hit us in the arms, the hands and any other body part you can think of... especially the ones you can't even imagine.
Needless to say. I left indoor skiing... feeling "top shelf". I'm sure the flight attendants thought I was in an abusive relationship. Maybe that's why the older man beside me seemed to want to look after me.
All in all it was a very productive three days as we learned how to ski on a skating rink, avoid penguin like boys sliding on the rails and the extent of padding that can be shoved down a suit to protect an arm.
I'll leave you with a few pictures as I repeat over and over... I am not in an abusive relationship.
The view from the window of our start ramp.

And a few picture of our makeshift family.
From the left: Aaron Speeden aka Speedy, Elli, Britt, Eve, Steph, Me, Walter, Tim

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beat of My Heart


The last few days have been fairly uneventful. The glacier has receded a little more everyday.

So far we have skied four days and while the snow melted I progressively got sicker. There is something uncomfortable about not being able to get enough oxygen in when you are doing anything that makes you slightly out of breath; such as walking up a flight of stairs.

Yesterday was our first day of gs since New Zealand. The snow was amazing where we could ski. However, the grey dirt of Solden keeps continuing to win the fight against the snow. In the morning the T-bar couldn’t open because there wasn’t enough snow on the track. For the first few runs we would free ski to the bottom of our course, change to the rental skis (aka life savers) and ski to the bottom of the t-bar. At that point I would impatiently put on my cat tracks, pick up both pairs of skis and walk to the mid- station of the gondola where I would fight through the line to squeeze onto a gondola. Needless to say, one run in my haste I forgot my rentals on the gondola.

After ten runs I was pretty beat and tired, so I was happy for the day off today. However, by the end of the day the coaches realized I probably lose about 4 tenths off my start because I regularly trip the wand. So I am excited to address that tomorrow. Typical Erin move; being way too excited and opening the wand before I even leave the gate.

We will be moving to Pitztal sooner than planned because the snow seems to be a bit better there. Pitztal is a whole other story, which I will describe at a later date.

Well I will leave you all to your everyday activities. Where people walk dogs instead of cows and there are not poo flingers driving down the road.

- Here is a new band I found... okay Ellen found and they were featured on One Tree Hill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI4uXXVC9hw

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waving Flag



Currently, I am in Solden, Austria.
I flew here on October first and arrived on the second. The plane ride was highly uneventful, which I am not going to complain about. I put on my eye mask
and ear plugs and got my beauty sleep.
The night we got here, I thought I would sleep like a baby because of the long travel day. I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up after a sold 2.5 hours of sleep. My body was tired, but my brain refused to let up. I tried everything to get back
to sleep, using some of my grandpa's techniques. Finally, I had to take a strip of melatonin. Melatonin is usually a naturally occurring hormone in thebody which helps regulate the body's 24-hour clock.
The strips are used to mimic that hormone, making your body think that it is time to sleep. All in all, it worked like a charm.
We had our first day of slalom the next day. Driving upto Solden, I couldn't believe we were at the same place. The World Cup GS is in less than three weeks and it would be a miracle if enough snow fell before then.
I don't know if global warming has made it's mark this year, or whether it is just a bad year for snow. However, it was white and powdery when we were here last year and this year it is a sand pit. Most runs our coaches bring down rental skis, so we can ski from the course to the t-bar on them. There are deep holes in the snow surrounded by ice, that we try to avoid standing on at all.
However, our training lane is actually very good. We have had two really good days in a fairly long slalom course. We are hoping that the temperatures fall, so they can blow some snow!!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Be Somebody



My name is Erin Mielzynski. This blog is an account of my travels, my lessons learned and things I want to share with you. Not everything will be perfect, precise or necessarily exactly what is supposed to be written in a blog, but it is an account of my life from my perspective; glass half full and half empty depending on the day.

First of all, I will tell you a little about myself. In the first decade of my life, my days consisted of frantically traveling between different sports. I did many sports, but the ones that I didn’t just “test the waters” in were swimming, gymnastics, waterskiing and alpine skiing. I remember driving to swim practice after school and swimming for 2 hours. After swimming I would take a shower at the club, jump in the car and eat a grilled cheese sandwich kept hot in aluminum foil. I was rushing off to train another 3 hours at the gym club for gymnastics. I would jump on the high bars still smelling of chlorine and Pantene shampoo. I would work on homework in the car and when I got home.

I loved every minute of my busy schedule. I loved knowing what would be happening on Monday through Friday. The weekends were always set aside for some type of skiing depending on the season. I began skiing, on water and snow, at the age of 2.

In the summer, my parents would hook the boom* up to the side of our Ski Nautique. My dad would drive while my mom sang comforting songs so that I would never be afraid of the water. I would wave to my grandparents standing on shore and look forward to being as good as my sister, Jenna. My waterskiing career took of at full flight after this. Every summer was spent waterskiing 5 times each day; slalom, trick and jump. Every vacation from school and many times in between, my f

amily would travel to a “warm” destination, so that my sister and I could “walk on water” all year long. It soon became apparent that my passion was jumping. I love the feeling of being in the air at my own avail. The feeling of cutting as hard as I can at an inanimate object and launching myself as far as I can go, feeling the air pressure under my feet. I loved the speed of the ramp and the solid surface as I “kicked” off the top. It was sheer bliss. The highlights of my career included second in jumping at the Junior Worlds and first at the Junior Masters. However, the summer of 2007 was the last time I competed…

My “career” as an alpine skier began when my parents hooked me up to a harness with my tips strapped together, expecting me to know what to do. All I can say is that I absolutely loved it. I hated going in for breaks while the rest of my family skied. I remember sadly watching my parents walking to the car to go skiing while my sister and I waited inside our chalet. Needless to say, that was one of the first and last times we ever had a babysitter. I would fall asleep on the chairlift leaving my mom to ski me down Georgian peaks on her hip. The passion only grew. I missed many, many days of school (just ask my teachers) and learned how to work on the road. The year of my graduation, I became a member of the Canadian Alpine Development Ski Team. When I was told that I made the team, I knew that my dual life could continue no longer. I was forced to choose between my two loves. I followed my dream as a young girl to become a future Olympian**. I decided to dedicate my life to alpine skiing. This season will be my second year on the team.

I guess I have more to tell than I thought. Hopefully, this blog will refresh my memory and fill the gaps in everyone’s memory that is reading.

* Long pole that attaches to the side of the boat to make it easier to begin waterskiing. ** Waterskiing is not YET an Olympic Sport

(picture credits- Andy Mielzynski)