Friday, January 6, 2012

Karissas recollection of her first Big Mountain Competition!!

Karissa in the finish after her first run!!

The Revelstoke Freeskiing/Freeride World Tour was Karissas first ever big mountain competition! She is recovering from some very serious injuries sustained while mountain biking and falling into a river off an embankment. She competed in Mogul skiing and diving for a number of years, so she is no stranger to competing. For her to come back with very little skiing and compete in a large big mountain competition is a huge feat!! Congrats Karissa and thanks for adding to the blog!

Competing in a new sport for the first time is often a challenge. You are not only venturing into unknown territory for many of us women we are also battling our at times biggest nemesis…ourselves. Coming into today’s competition I had been battling myself on the following….

- Am I good enough?
- Am I ready to be doing this?
- Am I strong enough?
- Will I make a fool out of myself?
- Am I going to get reinjured?
- Is going through all this worth it?

With Crystal’s encouragement I continued on with my trip to Revelstoke and my plan to compete. I am so thankful for her encouragement and help preparing me for today and choosing a line to ski. Her coaching and my boyfriend’s simple advice “It’s just skiing, you know how to do that!” helped get me into the start gate.

Before my run I used a couple of techniques that help get me ready. First I know that I compete best when my energy is at about a 6 on my own scale of 1 to 10. So I danced with a few other female competitors at the top to keep my mind off competing and help bring my energy level up. Five girls before I raced I spent a minute bringing my energy level down to where I need it to perform at my best through breathing techniques and muscle relaxation (flexing your muscles for several seconds then relaxing them).

I visualized once before I dropped in by standing near a competitor that was dropping in and pretended it was my turn when he said dropping, I visualized my line and how I would ski it. Finally, to avoid overloading my mind with allthe things I needed to do to prove to myself I could do this, I controlled my focus to two things …ski strong and aggressive.

In a judged sport with several variable factors I try to remind myself that I can only control how I perform and how I handle all the other “stuff”. So I stayed in the moment as I went through my run and hit the features planned. My focus slipped for a second and I threw the brakes on, but it quickly brought me back into the moment and I skied through the rest of the venue without looking back at my mistake. I don’t think there is anything that matches the feeling of coming through the finish after you have skied hard and known you did your best. It is a feeling that always reminds my sometimes cruel inner self, hell ya…this is why you do this!

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