When life hands you lemons… Get a Life Coach!

I’ve been waiting until after our team trials races ended before I decided to blog about anything. As always team trials were exhausting and stressful, but overall I am proud of myself and how I finished before moving onto the International races this year. I also decided to buy a new sled this summer, I now have a beautiful Bromley (British sled builder), it was the perfect investment for myself and my future!

photo: courtesy of Molly Choma who was wonderful enough to take pictures for us and allow us to share them with others!
photo: courtesy of Molly Choma who was wonderful enough to take pictures for us and allow us to share them with others!
All white everything! Favorite "color"
All white everything! Favorite “color”

I finished trials ranked #1 for the US  (Lake Placid Race #1 2nd place, Race #2 1st place, Park City Race #1 2nd place, Race #2 2nd place), which put me on our World Cup Circuit, I head to Europe on Wednesday for three races before the Christmas break. The schedule goes: Altenberg, Germany; Winterberg, Germany; and finally Koenigssee, Germany then home for Christmas.

Lake Placid Race day. Photo credit: Molly Choma
Lake Placid Race day. Photo credit: Molly Choma

I had a wonderful summer, with a little downtime, lots of training and working but mainly working on myself. When last season ended I was in limbo mentally and emotionally. I knew that I needed to really learn how to change my inner dialogue in order to become that athlete I know I can be.

One of my long time childhood friends passed away this spring, during the week of World Championships, I was lucky enough to make it home for a funeral and share wonderful memories with her family and friends. Her dad, asked me how the season was, but mainly paid attention to my emotional state. He explained that his daughter had been working with a life coach and mentioned maybe I could do the same he thought it would really help me.

I took some time finding a person to work with, and decided to reach out to a person who I had become close with this past season to see if she had any recommendations. It turned out she did, and shortly after that I started working with my new life coach (a part of Turning Leaf Wellness Center). I knew what I wanted, but didn’t know how to achieve these things. I will say that having my life coach has helped me change my outlook on a lot situations, learn how to express my opinion in a different way and be confident and proud of myself for what I accomplish no matter the outcome. There is so much more to the journey, and the rest can be for a different post in the future (or personal messages if anyone has any questions about it for themselves as well).

I’m excited about continuing on with my journey this season, and am looking forward to where it will take me.

Park City Team Trials. Photo Cred: Molly Choma
Park City Team Trials. Photo Cred: Molly Choma

From a High to a Low… in more ways than one..

I never posted anything about the race two weeks ago in Koenigssee, Germany the week went by very quickly and before I knew it, it was time to prepare for the next race. I had my best ever finish in Koenigssee 9th place. I’ve never had a great race on that track, the 2007-2008 World Cup season I crashed out of the Kreisel corner lost my sled, and had a DNF (did not finish) in the race. Training was decent all week, and I steadily got faster each day and figured something else out. I was so pleased with my race, this was the fastest I have ever slid there and just had a few mistakes I would have loved to have been able to correct on race day. Since I’m trying to take more positives than negatives from everything each day I left with what I did accomplish correctly. The corners I continued to do well in training were great and there a few other corners that I cleaned up and all but one pressure in kreisel was much better than training.

I walked away from Germany on a high, happy with myself and that I was able to put a great race together and be in the top ten there. The next stop, St. Moritz, Switzerland (also known as The Top of World), this is the only natural (fully man-made) track left in the world. Each year they cut ice blocks from the frozen lake and shape the ice and snow to create the track. There is a template they follow, but no year is ever the same as the last. Its a different feeling sliding on the natural track, you sound different going down, you can hear every mistake you make and you aren’t always fast when you think you should be. I would say the best feeling there is leading into the last two left handed corners on the track, you can hear the speed, the wind going past you through your helmet and feel the cold air going down your arms. At the bottom you are hauling, women normally reach about 135kph or about 84mph, one of the fastest tracks in the world.

Gorgeous view from anywhere you look!
Gorgeous view from anywhere you look!

My training week was only decent and I wasn’t really happy with much, I spend a lot of time listening to music with a lot of alone time but felt that I knew exactly what I had to do the night before the race in order to have the results I wanted. It all came down to letting my sled do what it wanted, being free and not forcing it to any lines that I felt it needed to take. I had a great start, and finally went mostly straight through the first two kinks and the insanely long straight away connecting them to the next corner named Wall. I felt a few skids in the next corners, but my Horseshoe corner (what the track is known for) was great all week, I had height and could hold decent time through the next few corners so even with the skids I had I didn’t stress on my sled.

I went heading down the straightaway into Horseshoe and instantly my chest felt the pressure, which just wasn’t right. The next thing I knew I was crushing the roof of the corner (we call it the wood because that is what it is made of) At that moment it was like I came to, realized what happened and was in utter shock, I’ve never done that before. The hit sent me straight to the bottom of the corner and then back up to the top just missing the wood again upon exiting. I was flying off my sled trying everything to hold on because it is much worse to lose your sled sometimes and I would have been disqualified from the race. I held on with acrobatic form, while getting my metal saddle to my hip. Oh I was in so much pain, my knee smashed on the ice and I knew there was no possible way I would be getting a second run.

When I finally made it to the bottom all I wanted to do was cry, I took my helmet off and just tried not to look at the camera. I went to put my warm clothes on in the finish house and just screamed with tears running down my face. No crying sound, just tears and pure anger, frustration and disbelief in myself. I spoke to no one and got on the truck to go back to the top, my hat puled down all the way over my eyes, hood on I could see where I was going but I didn’t want anyone to see me. I was so embarrassed of what had just happened, I just didn’t understand it. Our team medical staff took me into another room to see if I was alright, I just kept saying I hit my knee its the only thing that hurts and at this point I couldn’t stop crying. It turned into a hyperventilating style of crying and I had to focus on breathing only in order to stop. Two of my long time friends and competitors Austrian Janine Flock (who won that race for her first ever World Cup win) and German Anja Huber-Selbach stood there with me as well until I calmed down. It’s those moments that help you realize why you put yourself through so much, because the friends that I race against will always be there for me the same as I would be there for them whenever they need it. I’ve known some of these girls for about ten years now, thats longer than I’ve kept a number of friends.

It just goes to show you that there is always something to learn, it isn’t always about the race instead it is about who will be there for you when you need to be picked back up, who will help you move forward into the next week of racing, and who knows exactly what you are feeling because they have been there too. Every week this season I have learned something new about myself,  as an athlete, as a person and how to be a better friend. Without family and friends life wouldn’t be fulfilling. So, as upset as I was about race my friends were there to hug me and pick me up through it, and it could have been much worse. I’m lucky that I only have a bruised hip-flexor and a damaged ego. I can heal the hip and rebuild the ego especially knowing I have so many people who support me.

What do you do when you need to get out of the hotel the day after a bad race.. well, you walk around one of the  most beautiful places in the world: St. Moritz, and the day just seems that much better. And its onto the next week.. La Plagne, France; my absolute favorite place, best ever world cup finish of 2nd and more perfect than you could even imagine!

Beautiful day for shopping and walking in St. Moritz
Beautiful day for shopping and walking in St. Moritz

Just a little what not to do in Horseshoe…

Don't go in and hit the roof (luckily it was my sled and not my head that hit)
Don’t go in and hit the roof (luckily it was my sled and not my head that hit)
Because if you hit the roof this will then happen.. From a high to a low...
Because if you hit the roof this will then happen.. From a high to a low…
To another extreme high which will then cause and extremely painful low.
To another extreme high which will then cause and extremely painful low.

Lake Placid and Calgary.. the good and the bad..

Well, I suppose I reverted back to my old ways of blog posting, I don’t think I’ll ever be like my sister Kaitlin who posts something every day. Lets be honest, it’s hard enough for me to post updates on Facebook and Twitter often. The Internet isn’t great over here in Altenberg, Germany so I can’t upload any pictures with this post. My plan is to make an end of the season photo post taking everyone through my trip so you can see the places that we go to, and the crazy weather that we always have!

There have been two World Cup races since my last post, Christmas and New Years as well. So much to catch everyone up on, I’ll start with the two races that got the World Cup season going; Lake Placid,  and Calgary.

Lake Placid was an interesting week; I had an awesome week of training and felt great leading into the race. The first day of training I had a personal best down time (faster than my official track record there). I made a small change to my sled which I shouldn’t have, but this was not the cause of my problems in the race. For anyone who hasn’t watched a race before we wear a bib, this goes over our race suit, and is normally orange on the top and white on the bottom with your race number on it and the World Cup sponsor. I was off 11th, just after the 2 minute commercial break. I was standing outside waiting to be told 1 minute until the track was cleared for me.  I took off my booties covering my shoes, got my pants off, waited a few moments and started to unzip my jacket as I did that I looked down and only saw black. It hit me, my heart was already pounding when I realized I didn’t have my bib on I raced inside the start house running into the door and some person grabbed my bib and ran back outside. Of course it was inside out, Tuffy is holding my sled and my helmet, I’m shaking while my other coach Brian is trying to help me put my bib on, all while I’m screaming I can’t I just can’t (because I couldn’t get it turned right side out or get my arm in the sleeve).  Tuffy put my sled down, I got my helmet on bent down and you could visibly see my legs shaking I started pushing my sled (slower than I ever have in a race). I wanted to make up for what I had just done so I tried to be perfect down the track and that was a bad idea. I crossed the finish line and made my way up the outrun, saw the clock and just put my head in my hands.  I didn’t want to do anything but cry, I was so angry at myself, I’m not a rookie how could I possibly do this! We instantly turned it into a joke, which was helpful and I made sure to show the coaches before run two that I was fully dressed with my bib on and everything.

When something goes wrong you believe you can fix it on the next run, I knew exactly what I had to do and if I had an awesome run I could move up a few spots. Instead I tried to be too perfect again!  I made even more mistakes and basically went slow again! I didn’t move up any and finished the first race of the season in 9th.

After that I said I would move on and do better in Calgary the next week. Calgary was an interesting week of training, nothing really ever went right, I never went fast and never got relaxed on my sled. Race day came and I don’t think I believed in myself at all. I was so far behind from the first run I had put myself in such a hole it seemed like there was no coming back from it. After the first run, I put my headphones in and turned on JLo’s newest album A.K.A. (I love JLo and could listen to her all day!!!) I had it on repeat and other than getting feedback from the coaches I talked to no one, acknowledged nothing and hopped the fence that I wasn’t supposed to for my warm up. I was able to have a faster second run, but since my first was so slow I only moved up one spot. However I did let my sled “run” (or do what it wants to) a little more which was a positive to take from the day. I finished the race in a disappointing 12th place.

Racing is stressful, and something that takes a long while to perfect. My last full World Cup season in 2011-2012 I had really figured out what helps me race best. These last two seasons a lot had changed and that no longer worked for me, or I basically felt like I forgot how to race. It is easy to expect to do well and want or wish to do well but not take the steps to make you better. The first part of the season was a reality check, or better yet a slap in the face.  The Christmas break was just what I needed to get my head back on straight and the drive to be the best to push me for this next part of the season.

My positives to take from both of these races: my start is coming back, I feel fast and healthy and know that I’ll be right  back to where I need to be before the season is over. This is a great start to the quad, its a long four years, and I have a lot to learn about myself still as an athlete and a slider.

A New Season.. A New Attitude

The 2014-2015 season officially starts next week with the Lake Placid World Cup. After a stressful, intense and challenging team trials I was named to the World Cup Circuit this season. We had four total races before the team was named, I had a very hard time relaxing during the races and put a little too much pressure on myself. Although I didn’t have the results I wanted in each race, I accomplished what I needed in order to make the team.

With that behind me, it is now time to focus on the International races. I had a very late start to training this off season, after letting my ankle heal from injuring it in the first race of the previous season (I had bruised my talus bone in my ankle and never took time off to heal). This late start has worked out great, World Cup racing is starting later than I can ever remember and it has given me the extra time I needed to be through my training cycles and preparing for competition.

I spent a good amount of the summer at home on Long Island, with tons of beach days family and friends. I got some really great training in, and was able to see the best Chiropractor around. I haven’t felt as good as I currently do in over two years (before my knee surgery in August 2012).

This year my goal is to find the positives instead of the negatives. Use every bit of information I can to race at my full potential, and to have the best season I have had yet. There is a great team atmosphere and it is exciting to get started in North America.

It’s a brutally cold winter wonderland currently in Lake Placid, but you never know what the weather will bring next week.

Park City Team Trials at the start.
Park City Team Trials at the start.

Sights set on Sochi…

I’m back in Lake Placid tonight for a fundraiser the Whiteface Lodge has been putting together 1374752_10201938719657265_1915587805_nto help support myself and 3 other coworkers/teammates. I have worked their for about 7 years and the support has been amazing.

If you are interested in donating specifically to me please check out the link below. Every little bit counts in my hopes to earn a spot on the 2014 Olympic Team, which is no easy task. I am a self- funded athlete, who really needs your help!


Donate here:



Sights set on Sochi..


I’m back in Lake Placid tonight for a fundraiser the Whiteface Lodge has been putting together to help support myself and 3 other coworkers/teammates. I have worked their for about 7 years and the support has been amazing.

If you are interested in donating specifically to me please check out the link below. Every little bit counts in my hopes to earn a spot on the 2014 Olympic Team, which is no easy task. I am a self- funded athlete, who really needs your help!

Donate here:


Love, family

Strawberry picking with Kaitlin.
Strawberry picking with Kaitlin.

May God give you…

For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile,

for every care a promise, and a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share,

for every sigh a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer.

Ziplining in NH with Mom and Erin
Zip lining in NH with Mom and Erin


Winter is Coming…

“Winter is Coming”… is by far not my favorite statement to make, but at the same time it is exciting because it means the season will be starting before we know it. Not before I take a short but very needed mini vacation to FL with my mom. Just a 4 day getaway, a little beach, some sand and some sun. Nothing is better before we hit the ice and the season hits head on! (no pun intended!) Especially because it has been getting down into the 30 degree tempuratures at night in Lake Placid

Summer training has gone very well. August 13th was exactly one year post knee surgery and I decided to take the yearly combine test on that day. In a way I wanted to prove to myself and the coaches that I was back to 100%.

The combine consists of

45m sprint with a timed 15m, 30m, 45m, and 30mfly.

Standing Broad Jump

Underhand shotput toss (granny Style)

1 rep Clean max

3 rep Back Squat max

In a way I wanted to prove to myself and the coaches that I was back to 100%. My Dr. said it takes about a year to really feel like your old self again, I fully agree with that statement. Some days my knee bothers me while other I feel awesome. I had a great combine, a personal best in my 15m sprint. No other bests but I will take 1 after last year.

I am getting ready for push championships this Saturday the 21st. I have not been able to compete in them since September of 2011. I am excited to have a competition before team trials. I think it helps get you in the mindset that it is time to start racing soon! We have a new push track that was built at the end of last summer, it is not like the old one at all. It is very long and flat which is normally how I love to push, but this sled is very heavy and it makes pushing more awkward than it should be.

“The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is an opportunity for growth.” -Unkown

Long Time no Blog Post

What can I say, I’m not the best when it comes to keeping up my promises to blog on a regular basis. Even when I tell myself I am going to start again, its hard to get back into the swing of blogging. 

So, I’ll start with a quote from the book I am currently reading. My mom gave it to me for Christmas of 2009, yes forever ago it seems and it took me this long to start to read it. Maybe it was meant to be that I waited this long, who really knows. I am enjoying it now and that is all that matters really. 

It is called Fit Soul Fit Body, the story of how Brant Secuda (Huichol Shaman and Healer) helped Mark Allen (a six time Ironman and triathlon champion) achieve his ultimate potential. I figured it couldn’t hurt to start reading it and see what I thought. 

My favorite part so far is just from chapter 1, why not get back into blogging with a paragraph from the book.

“Your soul is the sum of all you have experienced in life as well as your perception of those experiences, both good and bad. It’s the joy and the sadness, the happiness and the pain. It’s the place of peace that can experience the world as a wonder and your life as a magical event going on in it. Your soul is the resolve that gets you through tough times and forgives you when you cannot.”