Friday, February 10, 2017

The Normalization of the Ouchiversary?

I'm not really sure where I want to go with this post. There is a part of me that wants to write about the approaching 4th Ouchiversary, but there is a part of me that doesn't feel the need to. It almost feels as if the Ouchiversary, February 23rd, is just a normal day of the year now. I mean, it will always be a day I spend on twin planks, but it's almost feeling like it doesn't represent anything anymore. At the same time, the Ouchiversary marks a huge turning point in my life and brings many emotions and some major PTSD. (I'm really good at hiding it now, but it's still there.) I know that as it gets closer to the 23rd, the latter statement will definitely hit...


Last year, I decided that I didn't want to have a goal for the Ouchiversary. It just resulted in me putting too much pressure on myself to meet that goal, and we all know that I already put a lot of pressure on myself with skiing (and everything in general). Anyone who knows me will tell you that. It was nice last year having already skied Dave's by the time the Ouchiversary rolled around and being able to just have fun with friends on the skiing all over Mammoth. I'll admit, I wasn't the most relaxed that day while skiing, but I was skiing and having fun with friends and that was all that mattered. 

This year we're actually not going to be around Mammoth for the Ouchiversary. We'll be at Revelstoke (aka The RealStoke) on the 4 year mark. It's going to be really weird for me not being able to spend the day with so many friends skiing at Mammoth. I'm sure it will be fun, but it will be weird to be away from so many dear friends who have been key in getting me back to ripping around on twin planks. 

Normalizing the Ouchiversary

Maybe this is the first step toward "normalizing" the day. Maybe it will just be an ordinary ski day, just at a different resort this time. I'm sure I'll still have vivid flashbacks leading up to it - how could I not?! I'm sure there will be tears shed - some from the memories of what happened, some of pure joy since I am skiing again after what happened. Maybe this really is the first of many steps to it becoming a normal day. I don't talk about what happened all that much anymore. I mean I have the blog that I update from time to time, I talk about it occasionally with small groups of people, but aside from that most would never even know what happened four years ago if I didn't say anything. I am taking a huge step way outside of my comfort zone in April and talking about the fall at NASA Armstrong's center-wide Safety Day. Maybe that's another step toward "normalizing" what happened?! We shall see. 

Having too much fun on the Backside of Three after 20' of fresh snow at Mammoth.

Season Three Adventures

This season hasn't started as well as I hoped it would. Most would say that I'm skiing great, and maybe at the same level I was mid-season last year, but I felt like I was struggling. At times I felt a lot more comfortable and faster than last season, but I could tell that I was very much in my head while skiing. Things really seemed to change the day after Christmas. Not sure what it was, but that day I felt like I was back in my groove from last season. I was just racing around all over and having a blast. Hell, I almost took a solo trip to the top, that's how good I was feeling. 

NOTE: My biggest pet peeve is being told where I should ski, especially when it comes to the top. Yes, I have the skills to ski the top and it's great, I've done it before, but I really hate the feeling of pressure to ski the top. Pressure means I start getting in my head about skiing.

Since that day, skiing has been great and getting better. Yeah, I've had some off moments, but overall I'm right back to where I left off last season. I still get in my head at times, but I'm getting better about pushing myself and trusting my skills on the twin planks. I mean, I had massive butterflies in my stomach on the T-Bar and hike up to Blackcomb Glacier, but I got over those butterflies and it was super fun skiing the glacier! I'm hopeful that as this season goes on and I continue to challenge myself, that the butterflies and head games will go away more and more. Stay tuned and we'll see what happens...

Enjoying the chilly air on the top of Whistler Peak.

Just before dropping into Blackcomb Glacier.