Saturday, April 21, 2012

National Alpine Team Selection Update (this might be the only one...)

So we are sitting on the chairlift this afternoon, and my nerves hit for the first time. They were good nerves, a bit of anxious excitement, but its the first I've felt them. I thought, Oh, There you are!

I was very glad to have gone to academy, getting my feet all over the mountain for a week let me take yesterday off and only ski for two or three hours today and feel fine about it.

Tomorrow, we head out in the morning on to the refrozen stuff and we'll be done by noon at the latest. Last rest day before selection begins tomorrow night at 6pm with a general meeting.

That's where we will get our schedule for the week, including the day and time of our indoor presentations.

Kurt tuning both pairs of 2012-12 Blizzard Magnum Ti 8.0 again.
Today, I did not ski my best. And I thought, OH GOOD! Its funny, on the last day of Academy, I was a bit worried, I had felt my skiing coming up and coalescing all week, and I looked at Kurt and said, "Man, I hope it doesn't stay like this, I need it to fall apart a little bit for a day or two so it can begin a climb again through the selection."

He smiled. "It either will or it won't. Just keep trying the right way." And that's why I'm so grateful for him. 

Feeling the nerves and the dip in performance before the day is important to me, its part of the procedure, but it doesn't always happen in time. I try to manage it well, its pretty reliably brought on my the approaching deadline or the change in routine, but sometimes I hold it off on purpose. It shows up anyway.

Today, I felt it coming, and I welcomed it, like having a dress rehearsal with a couple of hiccoughs in it. The audience usually doesn't notice, but the cast and crew kind of freak out. We open TOMORROW! How could you have flubbed that line? Flown that piece of scenery late?

But there is something in that magical thinking that works, a dirty dress rehearsal makes for a beautiful opening night. You've worked out the kinks.

And that's not to say it was bad today, it was acceptable, just not shining. It had some kinks. It was a working day. Notes still happen, tweaks still happen, focus still happens. Its not performance mode yet. Its still work mode, even though the audience is there. 

We spent this afternoon writing out the coaching cues that work best for me into my iPhone and making sure that each thing has its cue, and that the cue is succinct and understandable.

While we were on the chair, I realized that this is my least favorite part of the process, (and therefore in my next journey I will work on making it my favorite part of the process) the waiting two days before a change.

It was the same before we traveled here. I felt one part of my journey ending, the training for the goal that was a long way out. It was time to get the oil changed and the brakes checked and the travel confirmations made and the bowl hiked with Bodhi, but it wasn't time to pack yet, and it wasn't really time to leave yet.

It was an out of sorts time, where I wanted to stay in my routine, but it was hard because I knew it was ending because we were leaving soon. There is this strange inertia of impending change that pulls at you. So I looked at my tattoo in the mirror. (that's another post) and I kept going as best I could.

And then we were on the road, which can be fun, and we were in this state of flux for about 48 hours, when things settled down, and the routine of the Snowbird hotel started to make sense.

Yesterday, the change was coming again, but I took a full rest day and went exploring in Salt Lake, and went to the Bikram studio in Sandy, UT, which was great, suddenly, I'm in this hot room and I'm breathing in and out and sweating all over the place and I feel connected to my routine at home, I feel my training and my effort and my ease and it feels right and good.

Room to live!
Today, I hadn't been on the snow in a full day, and I felt unplugged. The candidates started arriving a few days ago, and we've all been running into each other. Its amazing to see everyone, and its interesting to feel the intensity already. I'm so grateful for the gentle, even space that Kurt and I have carved out. It feels familiar, it feels whole and it has depth in training, in eating, in moving through the day.

We packed our hotel room up and got on the snow, where I floated around in my body a little, spotting packs of candidates skiing together all around some of the runs where tasks are traditionally set. I challenged myself and practiced good decision making, pulling up the coaching cues while feeling the slightly foggy space of nerves. It was good training.

It was about 65 degrees on the Little Cloud lift, and, sweating, we headed in to grab our yoga stuff and get back down to the studio in Sandy. Wham, back in my body, breathe in, breathe out, 26 postures, two breathing, the nerves go completely away, the body loosens up, I am not thinking about skiing because I'm trying to keep my balance in this freakin' hot room on one leg.

Grounded, we head out to some sub par discount sushi in Sandy (bleh), and then head over to Whole Foods to buy provisions for the week, where we run into a couple of smiling candidates with the same idea.

Grocery bags full of heirloom tomatoes, almonds, and oatmeal fixings, (minus blueberries, couldn't find them...) we head back up to the hotel and see our condo for the first time.

Clouds part, angels weep, we have a full kitchen, a living room, a hot tub, we have space to tune and write and unpack. Its homey, its big enough, and by midnight, we are settled in, SNL on in one room and blogging in the other.

I feel right on track, dirty dress rehearsal happened before Go Time, I was widened, with diaphanous focus today, and now, beginning to re-narrow, ease being the signal that I'm floating back down into my body, into my feet, into the joy that is skiing!

Cant wait to get out there tomorrow and make the final adjustments, and then... get started!


5 comments:

Agape Ann said...

Whatever happens will and I have faith you will BE KATE and do your best. However, I am personally most grateful for your spiritual growth and insight into life's challenges and how you turn them into opportunities for growth. Your willingness to share your vulnerabilities and your ability to turn what others see as disappointments into positive experiences has taught me so much about the importance of the human journey. You have worked extremely hard and the result is an astounding wisdom. Whatever happens know that I am so proud of the human being, teacher, mother, friend, professional you have become. You were born to be a teacher and this is the gift you leave to all of us. Love you intensely, Kate. Go for it. Annie and Charlie

Jen said...

Um...you could have asked where to get good sushi!!! Silly Kate! Good luck! Let us know if we can meet up anytime and you can meet our lil monster Zoey, broken arm and all! Jen

judyanne said...

Show them your joy!
Best wishes to you on your journey.
Thanks for sharing, my life is richer because of you.
Great to see you and Kurt this past week!
XXOO
Judy

Darcy said...

You are one amazing person, Kate.

Kate Howe said...

Thank you so much, you guys! It is amazing to hear from all of you. You are all so much a part of my journey, I have realized that I couldn't do it without you, because we all kind of do this together. Thank you for making my community a large and supportive one. Thank you for sharing your stories and your hard moments and your lessons. And thanks for encouraging me. I'm really grateful that you came on the journey with me!