Every time I post a blog online, I start thinking about what to write in a new one, 2-7 days later. And with the kind exception of Countdown To Raceday series, I never seem to write about it in the end. It is not that I change my mind, it is just that something out of the ordinary comes my way and smacks me in the head. Like another stomach virus as soon as I got my bags through the door in Winter Park, that is still keeping me in bed and away from training.
As me and Kurt were driving from Sestriere to Ljubljana in mid-January, he said: “I’d rather have you overrested and undertrained going into Abtenau, then burned out.” That we never made it to Abtenau due to some virus, you know. And ever since then, over-rested and undertrained has become this season’s mantra. There is not a single race this year, where I haven’t come in as an overrested and undertrained underdog, trying to find a way to make his lunch money. It hasn’t always been fun – or hardly ever if we’re brutally honest about it – but it has made me look at life in new ways and be creative about solutions to the problems at hand. It made me value things I have forgotten to value and it has given me luxury of not being afraid to fail, because there isn’t anything to lose.
A couple of seasons ago I was at a EuropaCup race in Kühtai, Austria with my uncle Samo, husband of my dad’s sister Manica. Samo is not only a great guy and a good skier, he is also a good volleyball coach. I headed into a Kühtai race with my hopes up and high expectations. I finished the race, but I didn’t make the cut and couldn’t race 2nd run for 2 days in a row. I was nowhere near happy and just wanted to get home, away from the world and feel sorry for myself. And in that moment, Samo gave me the most important advice I ever got from any coach (and trust me, I have worked with some good ones): “Go back to the basics.”
Skiing, paddling or any other sport is just like life – you have to build slowly and on good foundations, otherwise it will come crashing on you. This season my luck is a little off, but more importantly what is really off is my basics. I have managed to bring new knowledge into freeskiing, but I haven’t managed to apply the new basics to the gates. I will try to do my best – or a Kurt would say, ski what is there – on the last couple of races this season, but mostly I will build my basics for the next one.
Not only have I failed my personal season goal, which was – for the 6th time in a row – to meet the qualification criteria for IPC World Cup, there is also a good chance I will drop out of EuropaCup circuit and have to fight my way up through IPCAS Level 1 (or NorAM) races next year. Funny enough, I’m not really afraid. In my life, I’ve lost bigger things before and have always managed to get out on top. Also, in the last few years, I have become a firm believer in a yin-yang balance of the Universe and with all the good going on in my personal life, something’s got to give.
Overrested, undertrained and slightly out of luck – that is just the way I got to where I’m at. So don’t give up on me just yet.