Sunday, November 20, 2016

Third Season Is The Charm!

Last weekend I kicked off my third season of skiing since breaking my back. I figured it might be time to spend a little time writing, especially since I'm not skiing this weekend. I'm sure this will be a short post, but I've gotta start somewhere. :)

And So It Begins...

To say that life has been crazy since my last post is an understatement. Dave and I got married, we've been horrible influences dragging our friends backpacking (kidding... we are good influences!), and we've been dreaming about skiing - at Mammoth and in Canada! So, I can definitely say that I'm stoked that it is ski season again! It's been too long... 

It still seems like not that long ago I was taking my first steps toward spending time on the twin planks again. The return to skiing, with DSES, was a mix of anxiety, fear and excitement. Little did I know, that weekend would be the first steps toward reigniting my love affair with skiing. It's been a roller coaster of a journey, but I'm so grateful to be skiing again. I've made a lot of progress over the past two seasons, some could say that is an understatement, but I think I'm most looking forward to this season. 

I'm ready to be skiing all over the hill again! 

Last season presented a lot of mental challenges, some were oddly easy to overcome, others were not so much. I managed to deal with the mind fuck that was seeing two very close chairlift falls right in front of me during the season. Luckily the kiddos were okay, but that just hit a bit too close to home. It was really hard getting those images out of my head while skiing, as were the flashbacks I was having to my own incident. Amazingly, they didn't last too long. I somehow was able to get back to focusing on the skiing I was doing! Note: I will admit that I still do have chair lift nightmares, but they don't stop me from doing what I love.

The one thing that seems to still get me, that I plan to attack this season, is the mental game when it comes to skiing. Last season I spent a lot of time working on my skills to be able to ski all sorts of terrain at Mammoth. I was playing follow the leader down steep stuff and not really thinking twice about it. I even managed to ski Dave's Run and LOVED it! I know that I have the skills to ski whatever is in front of me, because I've found myself in all sorts of situations, but there is one thing that still haunts me: getting in my head! 

It's really easy to tell when I get in my head - I start to hesitate skiing things I've skied so many times before, I seem to be unable to focus on my skiing, I become almost fearful and queasy at times. Don't get me wrong, I can still ski and enjoy it, but it's almost like I'm a completely different person/skier when I get in my head and start thinking too much. I think more than anything, this is the one thing that I need to work on this upcoming season. While I still have some issues with nerve damage in my feet/legs and my bionic back, I really think the mind games might be the thing that is holding back my skiing more than anything else. I plan on attacking that this season. 

I prefer to eat pizza, but I still make it for laughs on skis sometimes.

While I might not be racing down the slopes or hucking some meat of cliffs/jumps, I am definitely enjoying every second I get to spend on the twin planks. A few years ago after I broke my back, I never thought I'd have a second chance at skiing. I got that second chance and I'm definitely make the most of it... and making many lifelong friends along the way!