Twilight along the Yarra, Melbourne
Last night I rode my bike home from work in some incredibly spring-like temperatures. In past years instead of lapping up the luxury of biking in warm temps, I’d be mourning the end of the winter. Winter is my homeboy, I hate when it deserts me for another continent.
However, I guess this year is a little different, spring in Melbourne symbolises one thing- winter is coming to the northern hemisphere and I’ll get to go skiing soon.
Since having my ACL repaired in March I have a developed a much more profound respect for friends and family who in the past have battled through injuries with a positive attitude and their heads held high. One which I don’t think I would have had if not for going through a similar process.
I knew sitting out the southern hemisphere winter would be tough, watching friends shred it up while I was stuck in a gym watching my VMO twitch on and off, but I don’t think I was ready for how mentally difficult the reality would be.
It’s as if my social media stream turned against me, morphing awesome ski and snow updates into smirking, little green-eyed monsters. To make matters worse, I’m a very competitive person at the best of times so my FOMO has frequently dipped down into the ‘crazy’ category. I feel like my family can’t wait for me to get my skis back on, in the hope that when I’m back on snow I’ll regain some type of normalcy.
“Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night”
In this vein of confessions and realisations, I’ve decided to take spring as the perfect opportunity to make some changes. It’s the season of new beginnings and baby lambs right, so there is hope for me yet!
I’ve spent the last few winters with my eyes on the prize, my goal was to qualify for the Freeride World Tour and when I did, all I wanted to do was dominate it. Last year while I was competing on the tour I was all focus and structure, in hindsight those elements were important but I think I went overboard.
This is what I’ll look like mid-November when I’m back on skis
Following my surgery and subsequent rehab I’ve found it hard to accept that the next six months won’t have much structure. At the moment I am not qualified for the 2014 FWT but I am alternate, so in many ways I have no commitments other than to get back on skis and that scares the part of my brain that wants everything planned and ordered three months in advance. Ironically, five years ago this scenario would have delighted me and it was under disorganised, crazy circumstances that I found myself competing in big mountain competitions in the first place. Go figure.
So in light of all of this and the fact that it’s spring, I’m going to take some of my friend’s advice and chill out, take the bumps as they come and have a really fun time teaching my confused left knee how to ski again. (I’ve been giving it pep talks recently so I think it’s going to do well). I am a true believer in the idea that as long as you love what you are doing, the rest will follow.
In the meantime, I’m getting all ready to head off to NZ for a week to get involved with some rad events down in Wanaka, including the NZ Open Big Mountain and the Pump Mini Mountain at Treble Cone. Spring in NZ is super sweet- whether you’re shredding or not, so I’m looking forward to some goood times and getting in some R&R with very missed friends.