Thoughts on Setbacks and Comebacks

Reflecting on 2018

Sometimes you can prepare all you want for something and still fall short of the opportunity to even reach for it. This is a wonderfully infuriating aspects of life and sport. A test well studied for guarantees a higher mark but a season well prepared for does not always hold such clean-cut guarantees. Only 2 days into my first ever World Cup I had a stroke of bad luck. I landed perfectly wrong off a jump. My only hint something was wrong was the gruesome pop that sounded before the torque of the next turn collapsed my knee. The snow kindly rewarded me with a black eye and a bloody nose for my trouble. Lying face down, there was no escaping reality (especially for any unfortunate bystander within earshot of my vocal cords), the season was over and it was time to change gears, collect myself and work my way toward new goals. The goal of qualifying for finals at a World Cup needed to be moved to the back burner.


I learned a lot that winter, about myself, about my temperamental car and about how “lovely” crutching to class in -40 can be when you forget to wear gloves. While I wrote about the lack of clean-cut guarantees in sport and life, physio is quite different. Diligence and effort will absolutely guarantee a difference in outcomes when rehab is in question. Rehab is not about doing the bare minimum and expecting time to do the rest. It means getting up and doing all the boring or challenging exercises you have been prescribed and then asking for more. In the year since I tore my knee, I have spent hundreds of hours working to be even stronger going into 2019 than I was in 2018.

The time and effort have paid off. My rehab has been a huge success and my knee continues to perform well under any new stress I give it. In October I finally got back on snow and have been chipping away at the return to snow protocol diligently ever since. The going has been monotonous but and patience is finally bearing fruit.


My body is ready to get back out on the track. The last piece of the puzzle now is making sure that my mind is ready to race. Being out of competitive sport for a year is especially difficult because it is hard to simulate a race environment’s stress on your mind. You can go out and ski GS or race jumps and features but recreating the feeling of nerves and hopes and everything else that comes with racing has to happen inside your mind. Visualization is critical, seeing yourself in the gate, seeing your competitors beside you, hearing the starter’s call, feeling the gate drop. Mental preparation is just as important as physical because your brain ultimately dictates how your body performs.

Cheers to the process and here is to just trusting the work I have put in.

-Thank you 2018-

-see you in the start gate 2019-

Summer 2017

In July I trained on the Blackcomb Mountain glacier as my first camp with the national development team, aka NexGen. After a couple of days in Whistler and my first real mountain bike ride on a trail called Tunnel Vision, where I successfully went over the bars not once but twice, I packed up and headed to YVR. I would arrive in Chapelco, Argentina with my younger brother to spend a month coaching skiing and generally eating my weight in steak.

I cannot thank Club Lacar enough for giving me the opportunity to spend a 6th summer doing the thing I love most and sharing it with some little shredders. I coached Alpine on different days with various groups between the ages of 5 to 13 and had a blast skiing nearly everyday I was there. While there was little snow upon arrival, the storms that blew in towards the end sent me home with some nice powder runs and an unfortunate contraction of Bacterial Tonsillitis.

After almost two weeks in bed I managed to recover in time for our Mount Hood camp and keep my tonsils with me a little longer. For the last two weeks of July I trained GS and SL with the team on some of the best snow Timberline has seen in years. We had spectacular weather, although a little smoky, and got the chance of a lifetime to ski during a nearly total eclipse. I learned how to mostly keep up on a mountain bike and that I am much better at keeping pace on a climb than a descent. I also discovered that the mice in the walls are cute but not really suitable for sharing a living space and that while tater tots are delicious, one should not eat them at breakfast and lunch for 2 weeks straight.

With the camp coming to a close, I geared up and got ready to take on the 48 hour “packing a Jetta with way too much stuff” marathon and the 13 hour “drive through wildfires with no air-conditioning” sweatfest to reach my final destination of Calgary. The start of fall semester and the beginning of our centralized training program were around the corner, albeit a 1084km corner.