Inevitable! Thats one of my most used words this season. When asked about my injuries, my answer is always, ”in a sport like this, injuries are inevitable“. Taking 5 years from a sport that I love just gave me a drive and a passion built of concrete. I realised this week that the reason I can continue through every injury is because I love this sport. I had a break and chose to come back, you would be surprised how refreshing and strengthening that is. I now have something to prove, and thats to ”never give up.”
Coming into the final race of the season was weird for me. I had raced just 4 races and arriving in Austria knowing this was the last World Cup for 2013 actually made me feel un easy. All of a sudden the off-season was ever so close and the memories of the last one came flooding back. Not only had the last off-season been but a nightmare but this season didn’t really go as planned either.
I didn’t know what to expect as I had raced here just once over a year ago. Last year when the World Championships were here I was at home with crutches in arm. Racing this race was significant in both the positive and negative. I had come into the final race of the season without injury, but on the down side I had been through another World Cup season incapable of competing in every round.
The thoughts of injuries, teams, surgeries and the off season lingered in my mind as I got ready for practice on the first day. The hardest thing about riding is separating the way you feel in your mind from the way you ride your bike. Over the whole weekend I had a constant battle between the way I was feeling mentally and how I was riding physically. The first day of practice ended in not one run without some kind of crash or mistake. An extremely tiring first day.
Saturday we practiced early again and then seeding was later on in the afternoon. I went up for my first practice run and as I jumped down one of the sections I landed on a rock and smashed the drivetrain of my bike and had to roll down to the pits for repairs. The bike was ready just in time to make it up for one last practice run. I rolled down fast trying to practice my lines ready for the qualifying run that was to come later on. I made a few big mistakes but I wasn’t to worried as I had felt like i was just rushing the last practice run.
Race day was upon us and I looked outside to a beautifully freezing, sunny day. I was in a great mood ready to go. The final race of the season had arrived and it was a perfect day to ride. I went up for some practice runs and it was a mess. In the 2 practice runs I did I was able to crash my bike 4 times. I had dirt and mud all over me, it looked like I had literally rolled down a hill of dirt and mud for fun.
Because of the way practice went I decided to sit down and consider what was going on. I realised that I had been putting pressure on myself to do well here, in a way I guess I felt I wanted to redeem myself for the lack of World Cup results that I missed out on this season. Finally I decided that I needed to race for me, race my best race. Relax on the bike and ride to my current best ability.
One of my main goals for this race was to get through it without injury. I wanted to be as healthy as possible to have the best off-season I’ve ever had. With that in mind I headed up for my race run. I spent time warming up on the trainer before it was time to go. I was in the start gate, ready to go. I had a good run, it was the first full clean run I had all weekend. I was happy to get down with out a crash and not too many mistakes. I know that I rode slow but this season wasn’t the goal anymore. My eyes are on 2014!! I am healthy and ready to get fit and strong so I can have my best season.
I just want to take this moment to thank my fans, my family, friends, my team Hutchinson UR and mostly I want to thank my sponsors.