Monday, January 30, 2012

18th at Kranjska Gora and more!

 Shortly after I arrived in Europe, we headed to Kranjska Gora, Slovenija for a World Cup SL race. Originally this race was supposed to be in Maribor, but due to lack of snow it was moved to the men's hill! I won't complain about this decision as it was interesting to see another hill!
However, as usual the drive there was... interesting! 


Race day was a beautiful day. I was starting 28th and I was ready. At the first interval I was .08 behind and the second .89 behind. These are the intervals that I have been looking for and could have put me in the top ten. However, could have would have should have doesn't matter in ski racing. I seemed to make mistake after mistake on the pitch, just fighting my way down. I ended up 2.10 behind by the bottom and in 16th place.

My second run was also quite a struggle, however I fought and ended up 18th for the day. I'm happy to be in the top twenty once again... but I am disappointed in the way I skied. NEXT TIME!

After Kranjska Gora we headed to Kirchberg, Austria, our old home base, for a few days of resting and training.

 This is why skiers don't wear dresses. (Among other reasons)


However... there was too much snow. Apparently Tirol has not had this much snow in 40 years... unlike back home! 

From Kirchberg we headed to Melchsee Frutt in Switzerland. Melchsee Frutt has always offered quite the experience for me. This is my 4th year being there... and nothing changed

Year 1: I was so unsure of myself that I think I cried that whole day and didn't even know what to think about standing in the start. It was incredibly dark skiing down to the start.
Year 2: We had a photoshoot at the start. I tied the only other "Polish" girl in the race (that I know of)... and Eve made a video with her gloves as she sat in the only open room in the lodge, a cleaning closet (after not finishing)

Year 3: We got a tonne of snow and the warm up was a mess. I finished up about 3rd after first run and I was pretty excited, however later Anna and I found out that we had the wrong bibs and we were disqualified.
This Year: a) Our 4 hour drive turned into a 9.5 hour drive and we had to take a car train to get back on track. At one point we were drive up a closed road... when we saw this road from the train we could see why! 


b) The warm up was soft once again
c) After coming 6th on the first run, I made two huge mistakes and moved back more than I care to admit to myself.
d) We stayed at a monastery, with beautiful views!

 e) We heard that our second day of racing was supposed to be bad weather... Understatement. The fog had settled in as a thick blanket on the race hill. Unfortunately, this race was a night race and the lights did not shine through the fog. Therefore, after inspection the course on the right and trying to start, the start was moved down by about 20 gates, we reinspected the left course, and started there. The first course was 35 seconds long and the second was 45 seconds which tells you a little bit about the types of courses we faced (extremely straight and extremely turny). Some of the girls would fall over because they were going so slowly. And I was slow...

After the race Anna, Jenny and I headed to Innsbruck for lunch!


And found this weird looking model... Boy, girl, how would this be flattering on anyone? 

My Grandpa send me an email that said, "Where is Erin?" Well Grandpa, I am in a place called Vigo di Fassa in Italy. Here dinner includes salad, pasta (the size of a dinner portion), a meat plate (the size of a dinner portion) and desert. If I don't show up at our next destination it's because rolling there is slow or I can't fit into the car.
Next up: San Candido, Italy for a couple of slalom races on Thursday and Friday!

I have an unexpected journey coming up soon..... That is all I will say- For now.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Recap

In case you missed it...
A little recap of the last month.
I visited Kevin in Burlington and then headed to Panorama for two Nor Am slalom races. I ended up placing first both of these races.
From here I flew to Courchevel, which had received more snow than I could have imagined. After one postponed race, we ended up racing the next day!


I ended up placing 13th in Courchevel!
After Courchevel, we headed to Flachau
 

for a night slalom!


I ended up 14th in Flachau!
After Flachau, my Dad and I went to Vienna and Salzburg to celebrate Christmas. My Grandpa said that I had a representative at the table though...


After Christmas we headed to Lienz to race!


I made my way into the top 30 to start, and started number 28th. I placed 22nd in the race... and was a little disappointed.




We saw some amazing snow falls, and beautiful views.


And once or twice had to do a make shift workout because of the crazy gym hours!


And were kept company by some European snow men.


Finally, we traveled to Zagreb. I was ready to race, however couldn't keep up with the course. I ended up going out of the course and had a very short day.

A couple days later I arrived back home. Greeted by some of my favourite faces, in our beautiful new home that is no longer "the project".



I headed to the Peaks for a day... and finally conquered my fear of Rogers, although it was just as icy as I remember it being. It made me question why I am ever intimidated by ice, when I grew up skiing on it.
My Dad made me a few signature cards, with my personal sponsors that I am very GRATEFUL to have!
Thank you!
- Polar Securities
- Georgian Peaks
- Rossignol
- Uvex
- Leki

After a few, near vomit workouts, I am now back in Europe to do what I love. Today I got to take a few runs on my GS skis for the first time since the beginning of December! GS here I come.... eventually....
It was so nice being home. I hadn't been back since mid October, so now my memory is clear again, and I can imagine what everyone is doing at home.
I miss my family and friends, but everyone knows that I am with them in spirit! And apparently I take after my mom.

The tree was left up when I got home, and the lights sparkled at night. I received many amazing gifts during the holidays, including time to spend with my loved ones. After visiting my grandparents, I now have a fetish bear that my grandpa carved sitting on my dresser. I didn't mean to come by this exact bear, but I love it and it reminds me of my family through and through. My grandma loves these bears for their lines, and my grandpa makes them for my grandma. My mom wears the fetish bear around her neck, and sometimes I am called a bear. So while he sits on my dresser, guarding my home, I am fighting my way down the hill- bear styles! 

The fetish bear "has the power to heal and transform human passions into true wisdom. They believe that Bear is invaluable whenever you are faced with change and transition and that it can be your ally when you are attempting to resolve conflict, forgive yourself or others for errors of the past, or when you are faced with new challenges in your spiritual path."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Zagreb, Croatia

Yesterday was our last race of this block in Zagreb, Croatia. Zagreb is a particularly interesting race. First of all, everyone involved in the race stays in the same hotel in the city. On the morning of the race, all of the teams push into the hotel parking lot to wait for the caravan of cars that travels through the city. Each team is in their own car, and they close down the roads of the city so that our line up of cars can get to the hill. Next, I will have to say that Zagreb is one of the warmest races that I have been to in a while. At night, in town, the temperature was 10C, while up on the hill it was only 4C. Spring skiing? That's how the snow felt.

Inspection was pushed up a bit, so that they could put water and salt down on the course. This salt draws the water out from between the snow particles and makes the snow much harder... where this water goes, I will let the scientists figure out. The hill here is quite flat. It starts with flats, goes down a short pitch, continues on the flats for a while, with a few rollers, and the end is a bit steeper into the last pitch. After inspection we hurried up to the start, to get some warm up in on the 14 gate course, and then waited about 10minutes at the bottom for snowmobiles to circle the racers back up to the top.

I had been training well coming into this race, and I felt confident. However, I pushed out of the gate and couldn't quite get on it. It felt like a fight from the beginning. I ended up sitting pretty far back and only just making the gates. Eventually it was out of control, my pole was between my legs, I was on one ski with my back to the gate... and that doesn't end well. I went out.

I did get to experience some of Zagreb though. 


The city is covered in graffiti.


So we decided to levitate in front of it.


And then we decided it was a perfect place to make a little video for Sarah Schleper for her retirement. We had to get pumped up to do it though because it was in the middle of the city with people watching from the line of a "street meat" vendor.

(Thanks Anna for your video skills!)


But nothing will ever compare.



Fruit market

I think he enjoys pomegranates as much as I do.


Flowers!

"Come over here dearie and try this apple..."

A quilted roof? I guess it was warm enough there for this. 

You such a balla' 

Zagreb was a tough race for me, but I promised myself that if I learn something in a day, especially something important, then it is not a waste of a day. I learned a lot that day, and I am still learning from it. Skiing is not something that just comes overnight. You have to work at it, fail, work on it some more, fail again, and just keep getting up.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Michael Jordan

So I get back up again, I will try again and I will continue to work hard. Like Michael Jordan, I can accept failure, but I won't accept not getting back up again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmastime in Vienna

 First order of business... just to torture my Mom a bit before I come home. ie The reason for the tape during the race.

Here are some of the leftover pictures from Christmastime in Vienna. My Dad and I traveled to Vienna and Salzburg for a few days to check out the Christmas markets, museums and life in Austria.


We became obsessed with windows...

Or I guess the things behind these windows.



Guess what this is?

Sails in Vienna?

Nope just a tent that acts as shelter against the rain. There is beauty in everything. 

 
Hundredwassa house...

 
Designed by an architect who enjoyed the saying, "Please watch your step, thank you."
 We enjoyed Vienna, but I realized that I'm not a city girl at heart.



I was happy when we reached Salzburg with mountains in sight and snow adding to the Christmas spirit.
Happy New Year everyone! Bring on 2012!