The past few months have been awesome as I’ve progressed through my 2nd knee rehab. The strength and functionality are back and the knee feels great. The rest of my body feels great as well. Focusing more on cardio this offseason is paying off. My body fat is at the lowest it’s ever been, and I’ve gained strength without putting on weight. Hopefully that will be nicer on the joints in the future.
I got to go to Zermatt, Switzerland with my teammates in October to get my first on-snow training since surgery. We had some tough weather days to start the camp, and the lifts were closed for most of our first week there. After we got going, we had awesome weather and my teammates had some of the best training we’ve ever had there. I didn’t ski any moguls or hit any jumps, but I was able to ski for a couple of hours per day and focus on my skiing technique that I’ve wanted to fix. Unfortunately, I have the advantage of being through a knee surgery and recovery so I wasn’t hesitant nor defensive when getting back on the snow.
Since then, I’ve packed up and moved my stuff into storage, had a birthday, and moved out to Colorado for the next month. I drove from Park City to Winter Park, CO last week and started coaching for the Winter Park Freestyle Team. They run an awesome program and have great kids, it’s been really easy and I’m lucky I get to call this my job for the next month!
For most of my team, they are approaching December and are hitting the road for the first World Cup in Finland in a week or so. I really wish I could be with them to start the season. This is the first time in my career that I won’t compete at the beginning of the season. I’ll miss traveling with them for a while, but I do plan on competing later this year.
My coaches, doctors, strength trainers, physical therapists, and I have come up with a pretty solid plan for my return to competition. (Big thanks to them for getting me where I am now so quickly!) Originally, I was supposed to come back in early February, and my first competition back would be in Sochi. We had a World Cup in January cancelled, (which throws off the schedule a bit and to follow a complicated rule which allows me to save my funding for next season) and my return will be pushed back past Sochi. The next event is in Japan, the most challenging course on tour, so there is a slim chance I’ll attend that one. The only way would be if my training to that point is going amazing. Also, Japan would be my last chance to make our World Championship team so there is a little more incentive to be ready to go for that event. The most likely scenario would be returning after Japan and World Champs, and skiing in Sweden, possibly Spain, and National Championships at my home mountain, Heavenly.
So my offseason will be extended by two months. I have two extra months to get saucy in the gym. I’m glad to be doing it this way after what happened in 2010-2011 with my other knee injury. This will give me the time I need to get back to where I need to be, and clean some things up in my skiing/jumping. In the meantime, I’ll be coaching/training in Winter Park until Christmas time. I’ll drive to Tahoe shortly after that, and I’ll be going back to my roots and help coach the Heavenly Freestyle Team and train with them as well. I’m looking forward to spending the most time at home since I moved out. I don’t get to spend much time with my family, so it should be great!