Saturday, August 30, 2014

August Therapy



Last time I posted in here I was just 4 weeks out of hip surgery. After 6 weeks of intense physical therapy and fitness training, I am on my way back to the east coast 10 weeks out of hip surgery and over 5 months out of knee surgery. After a great training block here at the Center of Excellence in Park City, UT, my strength and fitness is getting very close to where I was before my surgeries. I am thrilled with my progress, and excited for where I am heading. I have a little over 2 months of training before I get back on snow, and I am confident now that I will be the strongest I have ever been before winter comes. I will be starting school this fall at Dartmouth College, and will continue my rehab there. I will be able to fit in a semester of school, and be done by mid November to start training and racing with the US Ski Team- Europa Cup Tech Team.

Over the past 6 months, I have gone through a whole lot of ups and downs. As I was sitting in the gym the other day watching my teammates get heated in a game of basketball, I realized that with these injuries, I have been secluded from any type of competitive environment. It’s a weird thought, because ever since I can remember, I have been involved competitively in one way or another. Whether it’s checking your time against someone else’s time at the bottom of the course, trying to beat someone up the mountain in the last 10 minutes of a bike ride, or stacking 10 more pounds on the barbell just so you can say you did more weight than the guy next to you, I haven’t been able to participate in any of it. It’s funny, because growing up, everyone (parents, coaches, teachers) tells you to do the best YOU can do, and not to worry about anyone else. As any athlete at any level can attest to, this is nearly impossible. These injuries sure have pushed my mental strength to its capacity. Everyday, I go to physical therapy, do my modified workouts separate from my team, and sit on the stationary bike for hours because I am not allowed to mountain bike yet. There is nothing in my training right now that I am able to compare to anyone else. I am flat out, just trying to get MYSELF stronger, so I can have the best winter I can possibly have. Though it’s easy to just wish I were down in New Zealand or Chile skiing with my teammates, I have to find ways to get motivated to hit the gym everyday by myself. I can tell you that I have been more focused and more in tune with my body in the past 6 months than I ever have been. The people I will be competing against this coming winter have pretty much finished their dry land training blocks, and are already training on snow somewhere in the world. I am ok with that. Physical therapy is what I need to be doing to get back on track to becoming the best skier I can be. No doubt, when I get back on snow I will be a bit behind the pace, but I can assure you, and myself, that I will be making progress with each turn I make come November. As my friends and I always say “you do you!”

Here are a couple pictures of me taking the US Ski Team 'bike test'. Just 2 months out of hip surgery, I tied my best test ever. Now it's time to get my strength and explosiveness back up!





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rehab


Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I have posted in here, and a lot has happened. Since my crash in the World Junior Downhill in Slovakia, I have had two surgeries. The first one was to get the ACL in my left knee fixed, from Dr. Boynton in Rutland Vermont. After this surgery, I was only on crutches for about 5 days, which seemed incredibly short to me, but the Doc assured me that my knee would be stable enough to walk. So, I started physical therapy on my knee just 10 days after my surgery, and could actually perform body weight squats at 4 weeks out. I then headed out to Utah to ramp up my physical training at the USSA Center of Excellence. I had a nice 6 week block from May into June strengthening my left leg, dong exercises such as: Leg press, single leg squats, overhead squats, front squats, and single leg biking.

In mid June, I flew back east to search for a hip surgeon to fix my hip impingement and labrum tear. The first doctor I saw was Dr. Van Flandern at the New England Baptist surgery center, in Massachusetts. He was a super nice guy, and got right to the point with me. He basically said ‘you’ve got an impingement, and a labrum tear. You won’t be able to ski with it like this. Come in next week and let’s fix it.’ I didn’t want to waste any more time, and I couldn’t have been happier with how quick Dr. Van Flandern was able to get me in for surgery. So, I just bit the bullet, didn’t meet with any other doctors, and went with him as my surgeon. It was a great choice. I am just 3 weeks out of my surgery, and I can barely feel anything in my hip. They told me it could be painful for as long as a month, but I stopped having any kind of nerve pain in just 7 days. I am now sitting on a plane, heading back out to Utah to getting my physical training started once again.

For the amount of crap I have had to deal with this off-season, I am thrilled with how smooth my surgeries have gone, and I fully intend to be back on snow in November, working harder, and skiing faster than ever!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

World Junior Championships



Hello everyone! I apologize for not updating the blog in a while. I guess a lot has happened in the past 3 weeks. At the end of February, I flew over to Jasna, Slovakia for the Junior World Championships. We had a couple days of freeskiing and training before the races began. We started off with the Super-G and the Super-Combined. Although the track was a bit mellow, the trail turned quite a bit and there were a few jumps to keep it exciting. After a great top split, I made a minor mistake which caused me to scrub most of the speed I had carried from the top steeps. The hiccup toward the end caused me to finish outside the top 10, to place 22nd. I had a great start to the Super-Combined but unfortunately I skied out, gunning for a top 10. It was an incredibly tight race, as I was only 0.40 seconds out of the top 10. Next was 2 Downhill training run days followed by 1 race day. After the first training run, our team was off to a great start as Sam Dupratt finished 2nd, I finished 9th, and Tanner Farrow finished 12th. The second training run was cancelled do to weather; which didn’t bother us too much because of our training run success. Unfortunately it turned into a not so great day.

As a whole, we had great bib draws and we were excited for a sweet day of downhill. I ran 22nd . Once again, I had a fast first split, carrying my speed from the pitch to the flats, where I found some trouble. Halfway down the course, I took off a little jump, which I landed fine. I then began to pressure my ski to make a left foot turn across the hill. Unfortunately, I started the turn a little early and was heading straight at the gate. I then had to let off the ski a bit and then pressure hard again under the gate, where I hit a bump.  That is when I felt my knee go from under me and started tomahawking down the hill. I had excruciating pain in my left knee and was pretty positive I messed something up down there. I was taken down in a sled and taken to the hospital in a sketchy ambulance. I later found out I tore my ACL. It’s unfortunate to end a season on an injury 2 years in a row, but I was pushing as hard as I could. Though it would be nice to be healthy, I know I would have been just as bummed out if I made it to the bottom safely and saw a 20th place rank next to my name. This kind of thing happens when you push your limits, but that’s what makes ski racing so damn fun.

This past week, I have been doing some physical therapy, getting my knee ready for surgery. I will be going under the knife this coming Wednesday and I will let you all know how it goes!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mount St. Anne Speed Series

Last week was the Mount St. Anne Nor-Am speed series in Quebec. Out of the 6 days we were there, we had 5 days of sunshine with no clouds. Quebec gets a really bad rep in the ski racing world because they never seem to have good weather, and are never able to get races off. This year was great! The downhill a little bit tricky. The trail was very narrow, therefore difficult to set big sweeping downhill turns. It ended up being more like a super-g, but nonetheless we got going pretty fast. I never really had a good run out of the two race days, with a best finish of 20th. It was a bit disappointing to not get as many Nor-Am points as last year in DH, but I do have a few downhills left this season to turn it around. I was excited for the two super-g's that followed the downhills, as super-g has been my best event this season. The first day I got bib 5, and was ready to send it. I skied extremely well on the top 2/3 of of the course, but I lost a few tenths down on the bottom flats with a mistake on a roll. I ended up 14th, which wasn't great, but not terrible. The next day I got bib 2, but unfortunately, the Quebec weather rolled in and the race got cancelled. It was unfortunate the race got cancelled, but with it being cancelled, I had the super-g spot for World Juniors locked up. 

This year World Junior Championships will be in Jasna, Slovakia. Iv'e never been to Slovakia, so I hope it brings some new adventures! I will be racing in all 5 events (SL, GS, SG, DH, and Super-Combined), and hopefully the team event too (which is 2 guys and 2 girls). My goal is to get a podium in any event, but if I walk away with a top 10 I won't be disappointed at all! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stowe Norams

After Europe, I got to go home and hangout for a few days in Massachusetts. A much needed break! Then it was right back to training up in Stratton, VT with my old team. It was great prep for the Stowe Norams, and I was ready to rip. The first day at Stowe I started bib 25. Start position didn't really matter here, as the snow was solid ice. I was having a good run, but unfortunately I caught an arm inside a panel and exploded. I was unable to finish. The second day I had the same bib and was ready to charge. I had a mistake in the first run to put me in 21st after first run. I was disappointed with the run because I thought I had ruined another great opportunity to score well in GS. My plan for second run was to just send it. I did just that and moved up to 12th place overall and ended 3rd on the run. It was the best finish I have ever had in a Noram GS run. Now I am up in Mount St. Anne, Quebec for some speed. I will fill you in when the series is over!


Friday, January 31, 2014

Wengen European Cup DH

Here is the race run from Wengen, Switzerland. A couple small mistakes caused me to finish outside the top thirty, but i'm happy I made it down in one piece! 


This is the training run from Wengen. There are a few more angles here. Speeds were a little slower on the training run day, but I hit the rolly section much smoother here. 


I started bib 64 and finished 45th. It was a great first experience at European Cup downhill, and I am already stoked to do it again next year!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zell Am See European Cup GS

Here is a video of my first and second runs from Zell Am See, Austria. Snow was minimal there and it was pretty similar to spring skiing in Vermont. On top of the difficult snow conditions, if was one of the more challenging GS hills I have done this season. I went from Bib 65 to 45 and got my first ever second run in a European Cup! Enjoy.