There really is nothing like diving in at the deep end… And I literally leapt in there head first. Racing again after 13 months and in a new sport, my first day on the hill in Mora, Sweden was a very sharp learning curve. Having no clue which rollers to jump or even how to pull out of a start gate, I went for a tester run. Ouch! Note to self- ‘knuckling’ the jumps suck! I have been told I am now officially a ski cross racer because my shins are killing me. Oh sweet… I’ll have to stock up on shin shields then.
I felt like the new kid at school, everyone gawked at me with ‘who the hell is this chick?’ expressions. It’s weird going from a sport where you know everyone to being the newbie. With my extremely limited experience (2 runs) I raced my first Europa Cup race, It was so much fun!
Training with the boys all week made me a better skier. They are fast! The only heat training I did with some girls, I won because I came out the start expecting the speed of the guys… The girls didn’t ask me to train with them again.
The home of the over priced but über stylish ‘Voss’ water was our next destination. Ok it wasn’t the same place but it took the same name… Ironically not a voss bottle to be seen the whole duration of our stay. Weird. My 2nd race I finished in 17th. I had been having a serious war with some rollers on that course (I even kneed myself in the face on them), did I double, or try take as a single? Uhhh double of course! On my attempt at this I kept landing on the uphill of the second roller- yep I slammed into it hard, thus the shin bang. It was a pretty costly error as I lost all my speed on one feature. Happy with my start to the sport, I left satisfied that I will be back, and I will be better!
One thing I feel I should mention is how I felt over there, I was strong (strong enough to hit the knuckle of the jumps each run without my legs buckling) and I was fit, I always felt ok at the bottom of each run… Raring to go for another. My trainer Jonathan White deserves a massive heads up for that. Thanks for pushing me so hard Joffy!
I also have to say a big thanks to the boys on my trip. Coach Ian Findlay, Craig Robinson, Marek Behnke and Jannick Enting were extremely patient with me… I asked so many questions the whole time, I think they were questioning if I had ever been in a ski race before. Constant encouragement and a lot of good times, made for an epic trip… and I won’t even get started on the German dance music.