Wow! We have been on the ice for almost 8 weeks already and time is flying by. Since our team selections, I've already raced 4 times total - split between Whistler and Calgary on the North America's Cup tour.
Arriving in Whistler for the North America's Cup, I was suprised to still see Whistler in fall mode (and then it quickly turned into winter). I fell back into the routine of the village, as I was only away from it for two weeks, and got prepped to throw myself self down the fastest track in the world for the next few days.
I felt a lot of pressure to show myself (and everyone else) that two weeks of pre-season out here was not wasted. Pressure to finally have some good results after a couple years of being in the 10th-18th range in Europe.
In training, I was still just too caught up in the "what if I make a mistake" pattern for training. My push was slow and stiff, I wasn't adjusting and sliding intuitively.
And then came race days. I'm known as someone who always shows up on game day...ever since I was in figureskating.
I finally let go and decided that making a mistake was OK - and trusted I knew how to manage my sled and self...especially on this track.
And thank you Coach Cassie for helping me come to this realization - you are killing this athlete to coach transition!
Day 1 left me with two downtime and speed personal bests! While I dropped from 3rd to 4th, I sincerley could not be dissapointed. Letting go of results and focusing on my own runs, I felt free to perform to MY best. No matter where that left me in the ranking.
(Which was a huge mental breakthrough...)
I woke up excited to take on Day 2 of racing, and to tell you the truth, I honestly don't remember much of this race day. It just completely flew by. I was sitting 2nd after the first heat, and again, was just trying to not focus on the rankings, and rather just on throwing down another good run. I made a few little over-driving errors with my nerves, but managed to keep my spot by 4 hundredths!!)
Racing is racing, and I always hope that everyone lays down their best - but I moved up to 1st after the final sled crossed the line at the end of the race.
I've been dreaming of this and it sure as hell made up for every freaking obstacle that was thrown at me this year. In each moment that I questioned it all, the voice inside kept me going. Hoping for another moment like this.
And so I left Whistler with my second international gold medal and literally could not stop my phone from buzzing every two seconds. Messages full of love, and sincere congratulations.
If you reached out, I truly appreciate it. This has been quite an effort for me and my people around me. So to those people, thank you.
This race was for me, showing that we may kind of know what the heck we are doing these days...
As for the Calgary races, I'll save those stories for another day.