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
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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.

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

 

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.”

 

When it Rains…

I sent this Irish Blessing to one of my sisters a few months back, I was having a hard day today and it just came to me that I needed to read it again. So, I thought it would be best to share with others.

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds,

Nor a life on a bed of roses

Not that you might never need regret

Nor that you should never feel pain.

No, that is not my wish for you

 

My wish for you

That you might be brave in times of trial,

When others lay crosses upon your shoulders.

When mountains must be climbed and chasms are to be crossed;

When hope scarce can shine through.

 

That every gift God gave you might grow along with you.

And let you give the gift of joy to all who care for you.

 

That you may always have a friend who is worth that name.

Whom you can trust,

And who helps you in times of sadness.

Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.

 

One more wish I have for you:

That in every hour of joy and pain you may feel God close to you.

This is my wish for you, and all who care for you.

This is my hope for you, now and forever.

Sometimes I think it is easier to sit and mope instead of taking the time to call your family and friends. If my Internet was better this week I would call everyone. Instead I’m working on emailing. Although not as good its better than nothing. My favorite line in this blessing would have to be “And let you give the gift of joy to all who care for you.”

This too shall pass…

Seeing as the first half of the season is over tomorrow, I felt that I could finally accept what my summer has brought me and spend the time really filling everyone in. It has been a rough 6 months to say the least.

So, why not start somewhat from the beginning. I spent the beginning of my offseason with nagging left knee pain. It was the strangest pain that not only baffled me but also the athletic training staff at the Olympic Training Center. I would describe my pain exactly the same every time I complained about it; I would tell them that my bones hurt and this made no sense to anyone. We changed my workouts took this out tried this instead and nothing ever felt better. Nothing worked. I finally saw our team Doctor; orthopedic surgeon Dr. Byrne we decided to get an MRI, which of course came back with nothing conclusive. Just that my medial meniscus looked worn, but nothing too horrible. So I sucked it up and against my normal fear of pain and better judgement I got a cortisone shot. Spent a few days resting and tried to workout again. Well it didn’t work at all.

Before I lost my mind, I did what any homesick girl missing her mom would do; spent a week at home on the beach with my family. It was just what I needed no work, no workouts, no stress, and no knee pain? Yes to all but the last one.

I got back to Lake Placid after a refreshing week off on Monday August 6th. I told myself alright if you can get through your entire workout then your knee is fine and you will be great this season. That didn’t happen, I got through one sprint and was in excruciating pain I just sat down and cried. The next day I told myself alright if you can push on the treadmill skeleton style then thats all I need this year and I will be fine. I thought it was going well, got through the pushes I set as my goal and didn’t have any pain. Until I got 30 feet from the treadmill and my knee got “stuck”. So I lost it again, and saw Dr. Byrne that afternoon. I think my exact words to him were “I can’t take this anymore you have to go in and see what is wrong.”

That was Tuesday, August 7th and I had surgery Monday August 13th. Needless to say I told almost no one that I was having surgery or what I had done for a good amount of time. I didn’t know what he was going to find in my knee but we talked before I went in and said fix whatever you see. Come to find out when I woke up that I had a brace on my leg and got a stitch in my lateral meniscus because I had a tear at the deepest layer possible.

I didn’t really comprehend how long my recovery would be and how hard it would be to come back to sliding and working out. I tried to race team trials, and it was so hard to get back on my sled. I was uncomfortable, in pain and tentative all at the same time. Being a stubborn athlete I did it anyway and even came to Park City. It was too much too fast and my knee got really swollen and I couldn’t finish. I got put onto the Intercontinental Cup Circuit for this season.

I’m amazed everyday how difficult it is when I go to warm up and push my sled. Even being on my sled isn’t easy or comfortable. I still don’t feel like myself sliding and its really disappointing. I know it will get better but its hard to deal with and as positive as you can try to be it doesn’t always work out.

I’m ready for a break and to work on getting stronger and faster again. There is one final race tomorrow before the first half of the season officially is over. I’m going to focus on relaxing and feeling more comfortable and hopefully end on a good note.

New post soon.. For Real!

I think some motivation is in order before I catch everyone up on the past few months. Everything has been a little harder than normal, but I think it makes you want it more…and you end up more grateful when it all works out because you’ve worked your hardest!

          “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”

 

It’s been too long..

Here is a good one I found a while ago..

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

Mark Victor Hansen

It has been a long time since I have posted anything about what I have been up to. Just a little bit longer and I will get to it again. Mark the day though October 12th in Lake Placid, NY there were snow flurries! A decent amount of them too! It has been a cold October!

Much Needed…

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.

Irish Prayer