Almost There! – Thanksgiving, Snowboarding, and School

3 weeks left until December 22nd, also known to me as the last day of school before winter break! I just got off Thanksgiving break, but still… Something to look forward to. Well, better than the 188 days until school officially ends, at least.

Over thanksgiving break, our cousins Oz and Otis came over from Nashville, TN, and we had a fun time playing in the snow and around Breckenridge. We helped them learn to ski, and they went all over, from Keystone, to Copper, to A-Basin! While we weren’t playing with them, we were shredding hard at Copper, almost every day! I learned a lot of new tricks on rails, and I can’t wait till more terrain opens on the mountain. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like much more is going to open any time soon, as we haven’t been getting much snow at all.

On Thanksgiving, we snowboarded at Keystone while teaching our cousins how to ski, then we came home and ate and ate and ate and ate…. etc. Pie, stuffing, corn, turkey and croissant rolls were all part of an amazing dinner. If only Thanksgiving could be every week…

School’s been going pretty good, for being school. I’m working to bring up two grades to 3.5/4.0’s before the end of the semester, as I’m currently off-track for my goal, which is a small goal of a perfect GPA, which for this semester is 4.33 (I’m only on track to have a 4.0 right now 😦 How sad), and which combines with my 4.14 and 4.16 from last year to equal 4.21, and if I can pull off another near-perfect semester I can finish sophomore year with a 4.24 GPA. But anyways, most everything besides AP World History has been pretty easy lately, and it seems as though it’ll stay that way until the end of the semester.

There’s only 32 days until the New Years Eve Rail Jam at Copper, and I’m still going back and forth on whether or not to compete in it. Currently, I’m leaning towards yes, because I’ve been landing a couple of decent tricks on rails, but at the same time I wouldn’t want it to go like the Howelsen Hill Rail Jam went last year, with me crashing every other run, completely missing rails and falling all over the place in front of the judges, overall taking last place. I’ll probably make a final decision at around a week before the Rail Jam, so we’ll see.

 

 

 

Photo Shoots and Snowboarding!

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Two photo shoots last weekend at Keystone and Breckenridge made this last weekend really awesome! Last Friday (On opening day), we went to Keystone to load the gondola at 7:45, before the general public, and took some photos for Keystone before heading down (on a literally perfect groomed run!) to the new 6-person Montezuma lift to wait for 9 AM, when the rest of the people waiting in line came down to load the lift. We got to ride the first chair up, and took a few more pictures at the top before taking a few more laps by ourselves. Overall, it was really fun and a great experience, plus we got to miss school!

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Unfortunately, on Saturday, Jadyn broke her arm, so she’s out for a few weeks. She’s pretty bummed about missing all the snowboarding days on-mountain, but hopefully she’ll be back in just a few weeks! I drove a ton by myself that day, driving one of our 4runners around Copper to pick up Jadyn, then driving her to the hospital to get pins put into her arm. It’s really sad, but knowing her, she’ll be back on snow at the earliest safe date!

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On Sunday, we got invited to do a photo shoot at the Grand Lodge at Breck, and that was a great time. Dad, Isaac and I got a few shots snowboarding down Breck (Although they only have ONE run!) before coming inside to take pictures with the rest of the family plus our friend/snowboarding teammate Aurora, who had spent the night with us. We had pictures taken of us while we were eating, playing in the pool (a few of the shots involved us out of the pool, which was FREEZING), and walking around the town of Breck. It was really fun, and I’m so glad we got to do it.

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Yesterday, I went to Keystone with my friend Matthew to take a few laps after school (I get out at 12:15 on Mondays), and we had a blast racing each other at high speeds (nothing exceeding 40 MPH… At least I don’t think so. Still, nothing compared to the 70 MPH I clocked last season at Crested Butte), sliding a few rails in the early-season park, and doing some flat-ground tricks going down the mountain.

Team Summit officially starts on Saturday, and I’m extremely eager to get back on the mountain with our coaches. Isaac’s been progressing his skills like a madman, with new tricks being learned and mastered almost every hour (it seems like). It’ll be interesting to see how he can do in competitions this year!

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I don’t have pictures of our photo shoots yet, but they’ll hopefully be posted on Keystone’s Instagram pretty soon!

Here we go!

4 days until the start of the season. November 10th kicks it all off, starting at 9 AM on Keystone Mountain. We’re doing a photo shoot for Keystone, and as a result, we get the first gondola of the season! Also on November 10th, we have Breckenridge and Copper Mountains opening for the season, which is crazy to think about! It seems like just yesterday that I was finishing my last race of the season at Nationals…

Anyways, after the 18th, which is the kickoff for Team Summit, my weekends will be completely consumed with snowboarding, which is going to be awesome (although not for my homework :P). I thought I’d write down my goals for the season, since it’s so close to starting.

My goals for the season (competition and tricks):

  • Frontside 720
  • Backside 540
  • Make it out of one heat at Rev Tour.
  • Podium at Ski Cooper BX
  • Top 10 at Nationals

The list is significantly shorter than last year… And that’s probably due to my focusing on boardercross more intensely this year. Also, one more thing that I’m super stoked about, I’m (unless something happens that prevents me from doing so) going to be competing in the Revolution Tour for BX! It’ll be awesome to see what the next level of competition is like, just to get a taste of it, and who knows, maybe I’ll make it out of a heat or two!

Competition-wise, my schedule is going to be all boardercross, unless I decide to do an early-season Slopestyle or Slalom. Tentatively, my schedule goes like this:

  • January 25th – Rev Tour BX at Ski Cooper
  • January 27th/28th – USASA BX Ski Cooper
  • February 2nd/3rd – USASA BX Ski Cooper
  • March 2nd/3rd/4th – USASA BX Crested Butte
  • (Possibly) March 9th – Rev Tour BX at Sugarloaf, ME
  • April 1st-5th – USASA Nationals

There are two Slopestyle competitions at Keystone and Breckenridge on February 10th and 24th that I might do, but we’ll see how focused on boardercross I am then.

 

 

End of Cross Country Season!

Whew. That was interesting. I’m acting like I’m reacting to the entire cross country season all at once, if you couldn’t tell. Cross Country was definitely an interesting season, with its ups and downs. Unfortunately, I ended the season on a down, getting sick, running terribly, and not going to regionals (which is tomorrow, but I’ll still be there to cheer on the team!). But overall, it was a good time. I think, if I can keep up my fitness from the season, I’ll be well prepared for the snowboard and track seasons. During the season, I ran farther than I ever think I have in my life, and that took some getting used to. Prior to the season, I’d go on 20-30 minute runs, and that was the longest I ever ran. During the season, we’d go on 60 minute 7-7.5 mile runs every week, and while that seemed extremely long at first, it eventually became easier.

The last two meets didn’t go that well for me, and that was because I got sick a few days before the second-to-last meet, which also happened to be my birthday. The last race, which was last Thursday, went a bit better, but I could definitely still feel the sickness when I ran.

I finished out the season with a best time of 20:02, with my times going like this:

  • 22:01 (8/26)
  • 22:38
  • 21:15
  • 21:18
  • 20:02
  • 20:15
  • 21:45
  • 20:37 (10/12)

Last meet, I was working to break 20, and was on great pace for the first two miles, coming in at 5:59 and around 12:50 (I didn’t see the second mile marker, cause I’m pretty sure I was caught up in a pack), but fell short the third mile as my legs locked up and I started coughing a lot. I’m not even sure what happened, it just seemed like I was feeling amazing for the first two miles, then when running up a hill, started to tire extremely.

 

I had a few amazing and/or fun races, such as Leadville, which had a ton of steep hills, resulting in me finishing in 22:38, although 13th overall for the JV race, which was awesome. It was an extremely fun race to run, and I didn’t feel tired at all when I finished. Another fun course, as well as my favorite by far, was Fruita, where I ran 20:02. The course started on a big downhill, then went around a lake, up a hill to a huge field with some small hills in it, then back down around the lake again. I felt amazing during the whole race, and my only regret is that I didn’t push myself a bit harder during the final mile, as I wasn’t even tired when I finished. Next season, if I do Cross Country again, I’ll (hopefully) be more prepared. I know all the courses now, which will definitely help me run faster.

 

Snowboarding season is coming up fast, with Arapahoe Basin opening last Friday. Keystone opening day is November 10th, and we’ll be there on the first chair up the newly renovated Montezuma Lift. Less than a month left!