Finally back on the slopes
October 10th, 2016
Following a fairly unexpected heart condition being flagged up by my doctor at the beginning of last season, I took the decision to not undergo any operations or treatment and simply give it a year to settle. The advice for recovery was pretty simple – minimise excessive cardio work, what a struggle that was! So far so good, I completed my second year at the University of bath studying International Management and French and have now frozen my degree to commit to full time skiing for the foreseeably future.
With a year out of the game, I had the opportunity to really focus on my land training and have time to fully commit to working on my weaknesses; something I would otherwise not have had the chance to do. My flexibility and lower posterior chain has always been lacking. Essentially my I have always been massively quad dominant with tight hamstrings and glutes, which is far from ideal particularly with regards to injury prevention. So this was something I tried to work a lot on. Now having the added confidence in what my body is capable of does give last years cloud a silver lining. Other than putting the work in in the gym, I also had some valuable time to assess what changes could be made to ensure I hit the ground running as soon as I got back onto the scene. So I made two fundamental alterations to my set up.
Changing equipment sponsor. I made the switch from Head equipment to Rossignol after some testing right at the beginning of the summer training period. The skis and boots felt good and the clock correlated with the feeling, so it didn’t take long for me to look to make the transition. Equipment is such a strange part of ski racing, one brand can be extremely fast for one racer yet not give the same speed to another athlete. Our bodies all work in different ways and some simply work better with different equipment set ups than others. I’ve found something that I think works best for me; hopefully that will be proven on the circuit this season. (image of me running on the new skis down in NZ)
The second change is just as big, if not bigger. I’m now with a team! Since I was 13 I have trained and raced alone with my coach. We have jumped in and out of various district and national teams but have principally run the circuit solo. There are obviously a lot of pros to going around as a pair in terms of flexibility and tailoring a programme very specifically to my personal needs, but being with a team brings so much more to the table. Without listing everything and dragging on, there are three words that spring to mind when I look to describe why a team environment is better; motivation, competitiveness and support. It seemed like a natural move to make if I wanted to push my skiing as far as it could go. So earlier this year, I joined Global Racing Ski Team.
With these changes now set in stone and being back to full health, I’m sat here fairly confident that the results I’ve been chasing after are only around the corner. It’s going to be an exciting year and I’m looking forward to kicking the race season off in Scandinavia for the opening European Cups.