The season has official started! So far we have been blessed with excellent snow conditions for early season. It's always a treat to be jumping on snow the weekend after Thanksgiving. The snow making crew at Howelsen Hill is awesome and enough thanks cannot be said for the hours they put in to make it possible for us to train this early on snow.
The first competition of the year was held in Steamboat Springs. Going into the competition I had struggled to find my footing on the jump hill but, I had confidence in knowing my home hill well enough to put together a solid competition. Unfortunately, confidence alone isn't enough sometimes. I had a very mediocre jump and started out 6th, 1:00 behind the leader. I had a fairly strong race, but I definitely went out too hard in a desperate attempt to catch the lead group of skiers. Finishing in 7th was very disappointing result for me but I was eager to do better the next day. Due to weather jumping was cancelled and a jump from the day before was used. Again I started around the same position. I skied a much smarter race and finished the day in 5th. Overall it was a good weekend of racing for me but my jumping needed to improve.
Winter Start doubled as a qualification for Continental Cups in Park City the following week and I had solidified a starting spot. I continued to struggle on jump side of things and had begun to get a little frustrated knowing I can jump better. I jumped poorly throughout all three competitions but skied solid races everyday. I ended up with two 35th place finishes and one 34th place. I was a little discouraged as I had hoped to break into the top 30 and earn my first Continental Cup points. If there is one thing I have learned in my short 19 years on this planet it is adversity makes you stronger. The struggles are what define a human and an athlete. I walked away from the week of competition unsatisfied yet motivated to keep working harder everyday.
The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first. -Ginger Rogers