LEVI- Santa's Lair

First of all...

We have just had our first slalom race of the season in Levi, Finland. It is only light for about 3 hours a day.  In the past, I have really struggled in Levi. A few years ago, I wasn't skiing very well, I had never been to Levi and I really struggled with staying happy. However, this year was different...
This year we arrived and it was sunny; only for 3 hours, but it was sunny nonetheless.

We got in at about 2pm and at 4pm we were on the hill training.

It was beautiful, and I came into the race calm and ready.
This is the race hill, through the window of a bus.

The day before the race, we trained a few runs on the warm up hill...

and then headed over to the race hill to free ski. This is the view from the start.

And the girls and I enjoyed the sun! (Notice my identical expression in all pictures).

Eve trying to take a picture of herself... little does she know!

Before this picture was taking... we were rapping...

Whenever we miss a shot in volleyball or soccer we do a handstand, called a rejection handstand. Here Britt and I are practicing. 

Finally race day came!
My day seemed like a mess of emotions, a variety of types of skiing and many lessons learned. During the bib draw, I drew the number 11. It is my best start number to date. The weather turned a bit foggy, snowy and windy, however I was excited. (photo cred: Stef Rizzo)

However, I pushed out of the gate on my first run, and I didn't get into it. I didn't go for it, I didn't get into the rhythm and I wasn't fast. We have been working so hard on being technically sound, and I missed the race gear of the run.
I ended up 29th on my first run, and I was very upset. (photo creed: Stef Rizzo)

The waiting game as you watch people come down wondering if you are going to stay in the top 30 and get a second run, in so hard mentally. However, I was lucky that I stayed in the top 30. I vowed to myself that I wouldn't let this happen again. I wanted to prove to myself that our hard work and training this summer paid off.
On my second run, I really went for it. I made one big mistake on the pitch, but it didn't matter because I was finally racing. I was 16th at the first split, 2nd on the pitch, and 5th for the second run.

I was able to stand in the leader box! Or as Marco, my tech, says, "The little box."

I moved up from 29th to 14th.

I am also very happy for my teammates! Mitch was not happy with her first run, but ended up moving into 10th because of her second run.

 I said that this year would be a series of steps to get to where I want to be. As disappointed as I was with my first run, I accomplished the first step; a top 15 in the first race. I remain in the top 15 going into Aspen.

My other goal of the day was to kiss a reindeer.... like this (2 years ago)

Mitch came with me to take the picture. I went up to the reindeer and got this close... But...

This reindeer was angry and hit me with his antlers in the ribs. Reindeer- 1, Erin- 0
(photo cred: Stef Rizzo)

Maybe the dogs were more friendly? (photo cred: Stef Rizzo)

Now I am at home. I did my laundry and repacked my bags. Tomorrow I will head to Toronto to meet up with my sponsors at Polar Securities for a workout and cocktail party! 


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