I want to start this post off by saying I’m extremely excited to compete again. I have just over 5 weeks until my first competition of the season. My first stop is in Japan, which is one of my favorite countries to visit. I am full blooded Japanese and I really enjoy the culture and even have some fans by default because of my heritage. I also get to see a lot of my family members that I haven’t seen in years. It’s special to be able to see my uncle, which is my dad’s twin brother. He’s probably been the closest thing I’ve had to a father figure since my dad passed away in 1994. Then, my next stop would be in Are, Sweden. It’s one of my favorite courses to ski because the bottom jump can be enormous. They treat us really well, and it’s a great ski town with lots of ski fans.
What I’ve been doing to prepare for my comeback to competition is doing a lot of coaching. I was coaching for Winter Park since Thanksgiving. Originally, that job was only supposed to last until December 23rd, but I was given a few extensions and stayed until January 6th. It was truly a pleasure to work with that program. I made plenty of new friends and became fans of all of the kids I got to work with. I have a lot of respect for the staff, athletes, and parents that made it all possible.
Doing all of that coaching really opened up a new way of thinking about my own skiing. There are a plethora of kids in Winter Park that are skiing/jumping at a very advanced level. Now, every run or jump I do, I can look back at how I would coach it as an outsider and come up with some quick fixes for the next attempt. It truly has helped, as I’m skiing “competition runs” already. I have about 5 weeks to get repetition, and keep improving technique so I can be at mid-season performance when I show up in Japan.
Here is a quick video of some of my recent training:
So as I was driving from Colorado to get home to Tahoe, I ran into some car troubles in the middle of Utah. I stopped the car immediately once we saw smoke coming out from under the hood. Luckily, it happened in the biggest town in our route. Even luckier, we accidentally pulled into someone’s driveway. He didn’t hesitate to help us out. We only know our good samaritan as “Thomas”. He hooked up his trailer to his truck, and brought my car to the nearest shop in Vernal, UT. On the way, he told us that he had engine troubles on the way to Albuquerque and a good samaritan had helped him out by paying for his tow and his room for the night. The only thing that guy wanted in return was for Thomas to help out someone in need. So I guess it’s my turn to pass the favor along! I still can’t believe our luck, and I’d like to thank the Wilson family for giving us a ride back from Vernal to Park City.
Currently, I’m just hanging out in Park City making the most out of the situation I’m in. I have a flight to Tahoe in a few days and I’ve spent much of my time in the gym or skiing around. I will be skiing around at Heavenly continuing my training for 10 days or so. I will be reunited with my teammates for the Deer Valley World Cup at the end of this month, where I will be able to train while they compete. It feels great to get back into the mental and physical aspect of skiing. It feels like my attitude is refreshed and I can’t wait to get back in the gate! Talk to you all again soon, don’t sleep.