Damn, it feels great to be racing again. I did a couple races here and there this summer, but this is the first one that I stood in the starting gate ready to race. I cannot even express how amazing it is to be completely healthy and have all of my equipment feeling money.
The last two days showed me that indeed I am not completely out of my mind and there is a reason I’m still doing this. It’s always nerve racking wondering how you’re going to stack up to the rest of the world and the last two days I skied well enough to think, I’ve still got it. Yesterday, I ended up in 9th with two solid runs to score a 10 point race. Today, I was in third after first run (top American) and followed my plan to start letting my skis run coming off the pitch one gate earlier than my previous run and it seemed to catch up with me on the 25ish second flat to the finish. On a relatively flat hill like Loveland it’s hard to really tell where things were lost. But it is clear, you can only make mistakes on the pitch and no where else. Each run both days I had some trouble here or there (always on the pitch) not linking turns together how I wanted so I was a bit surprised to see how far off the pace I was second run today. I ended up in 14th to score a 13.
Either way it was awesome to be back in the game and competitive. Congrats to Tyler Werry for crushing second run yesterday and getting on the podium. Congrats to Dustin Cook for dominating first run and holding on and to Brennan Rubie for putting together some great skiing in his first race back from a broken leg. Rubie finished 4th and 3rd the last two days to pick up a starting spot in Beaver Creek. The other two spots will be given based on coaches discretion.
The comeback to this point has been an extremely long road from back surgery in Croatia in March to get here, but there isn’t much I’d change. One of the fun projects I started was building a new aluminum plate. I am skiing on the third version of my new plate with design help from Todd Thibodeau, Baron Machine, the Dodge Ski Boot guys, and a few others. It’s been a huge undertaking, but I’m really fired up with how it’s working. Here is a picture of the most recent version.
Here is a picture of the most recent version of my plate.
As you can see I have been doing a lot of work finding the right mounting point. Can you say Swiss Cheese anyone?? Remounting this plate is actually a huge pain as I don’t have a jig for it, but what can ya do. It’s totally worth it and right now I’m chilling with some pretty killer dudes in the ski room.
Over the last two weeks I have trained with University of Denver, Stratton Mountain School, Mt. Mainsfeild Ski Club, Western Region, Eastern Region, the Croatian Men’s Team, the Canadian Men’s Team, the French Women’s Team, and Ontario Ski Team, the Norwegian Men’s Team, and the USST. It’s been pretty damn good training in Copper, Echo, Loveland, and Vail.
I’m taking the next two days off in Denver. Can’t wait. And Go Pats!
Here are some pics ripping around at random mountains: