Friday, November 26, 2010

Back Yard Bang 2010

The first rail jam of the year! I didn't know if I was ready or not, but I decided I'd give it a go anyway. A few of us drove out to Colorado friday and stayed with Red Gerard's family in Frisco. They were so hospitable and nice to us, we had such an awesome time. Red is our youngest kid on the team. He is only 10 but can slay it better than some of us! We got up super early Saturday and drove to Denver with Red and his older brother Trevor who works for Salomon. Salomon sponsored the event and Trevor had to be there early to set up. We walked around trying to find something to eat and drink, but could only find a convenient store. Finally after hours of waiting around, we had our riders meeting and started the heats. I was in heat 1, so I got to start right away. The set-up was kinda sketchy, but I did a few good tricks to get me into finals. Jose (a boy on our team) also made finals and I was super proud of him. During finals, they opened the car gap and I got the courage to spin over it. I didn't know how my knee would do, but surprisingly it didn't really hurt. (But maybe that was all adrenaline 'cause it hurt the next day) I did well enough to get 2nd and won myself a board, boots and bindings. Oh and don't forget my cool trophy! I was pleased with myself and was stoked that I got up on the podium. Another Arbor rider Cody Boane got 3rd in the men's so that was cool too. The next day we rode Keystone for a few hours and then headed the 8 hours back to Utah. It was a quick trip, but well worth it. In a week, I'll be going back to Colorado for the month to train on some big jumps. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finding Myself

I always thought I had a pretty good idea of who I am and what I want to do with my life. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. I loved animals and wanted to help them. My very first job was at a vet clinic when I was 15. I witnessed some things that haunted my dream of becoming a vet. After months of working there, I decided it wasn't the pretty picture I always thought it was. I stopped dreaming of becoming a vet. Throughout high school I was clueless as to what I wanted to do when I got to college. I thought I had it all planned out, but now I was going into college without any idea of what to do. I've always loved sports and helping people, so my mom pushed me to think about physical therapy. The only thing I could think of was 6 years of college, which I was not pumped on. I've never been an over-achiever, just plain achiever. I settled for Athletic Training. I took a year of it and realized that taping stinky feet and icing athletes wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe I should go for physical therapy? At this point in my life, I had never even thought about becoming a professional snowboarder. I loved snowboarding and wanted it to be a big part of my life, but didn't think I could make a living at it. After winning almost all the amateur competitions in the U.S., I thought, "what now?" I decided right then and there that I wanted to try to make it to the top. And in order to do that, I would need to dedicate myself 100% and stop messing around. I finally found my calling.
A lot of people think that pro snowboarders have it made. But I found out that it is a lot harder than it's made out to be. Sure, it's awesome going to work on the mountain everyday, but there's a lot more to it than that. Sacrifice. I've had to sacrifice so much to do what I'm doing today. First of all, money. I have none. And unless I win some major comps or get sponsored by companies with lots of money, I will probably always be broke. But I'm doing what I love to do. Which is more than I can say for probably 75% of all people with jobs. Every time I whine about not having any money, my boyfriend says, "well you can go work a 9-5er if you want" and I just think about all those people sitting in their cubicle answering phone calls and watching the clock all day. Office Space, such a great movie. I shake my head in disgust. I LOVE my job, even though I don't make much at it, YET. In the snowboarding world, your career is what you make it. You get what you put into it. It might have taken me 10 years of recreational snowboarding to realize this, but now I'm in full force, working toward my goal everyday. It's very important for me to have goals, because if you don't, then you don't know what you're working for. I've always made goals for anything I do. First it was for ice skating, and I accomplished my goal of testing through my gold level. Then it was in high school, and I graduated with a decent g.p.a. and got into college with a fair amount of scholarship money. Then in college, I got my associates degree. If I don't make a goal for myself, I find that I float around aimlessly. And that doesn't get you anywhere. So now I actually have a snowboarding career and all my hard work is paying off. Last year I realized how close I actually am to becoming one of the best girl snowboarders in the world. Crazy. I would've never thought that 3 years ago. I may have been a little slow figuring out what I want to do with my life, but at least I figured it out. I also had to sacrifice family and friends. I spend so much time snowboarding and traveling that I put my family and friends on the back burner. This one kills me. My family has always been supportive of me and my ambitions, and sometimes I feel that I don't give back enough. I try to make the time to spend with them, but it never seems like enough. I find myself surrounded by friends who I ride with, but what about the friends I had before snowboarding? My friendships with them have dwindled. Sacrificing things for your dreams is the hardest thing. I've also sacrificed my love of eating. I am an athlete now, which means you can't just gorge out on a tub of peanut butter or chocolate anymore. It's so hard for me to eat healthy, but it's worth it. Along with diet, comes working out. I finally have a personal trainer now and boy does it show. After having both ACLs repaired, I am determined to get into great shape so I can prevent future injuries. Which brings me to my last sacrifice. My body. I've had my fair share of injuries from snowboarding. Surgery on both my knees, broken ribs, broken neck, jammed fingers, sprained wrist, dislocated elbow and many bruised asses. But this comes with the territory. I don't know any competitive snowboarder who hasn't had injuries. Just part of the game. These are all sacrifices I am willing to make for my career. Sometimes it's hard to see, but it's worth it. There's nothing better than having that feeling of accomplishment. Whether it's just dropping into a line that you hiked an hour for, or standing on the top of the podium, or simply just having an awesome day riding with some friends, I never regret the decision I made when I committed myself 100%. Now my goal is to reach the top, to go beyond what I think is possible, and to surprise myself everyday in some way. I want to push the other girls to progress and I want them to push me. I thrive on challenges and if something isn't challenging, it's boring. I guess I just have a competitive nature, but I've always competed and wanted to be the best at what I do. So now I'm on the road to success and one day I will be able to afford a nice house and start my family knowing I lived my life the best I could.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spring Massive

So back to Colorado for the last little bit of spring riding. Keystone was funand Sam Elliott was in the Launch- Superpark for the under 18 year olds. It was fun finally just cruising and not worrying about "training". However, that changed when I decided to sign up for the Spring Massive at Breck. They had a good amount of prize money and it was a chance to ride Breck's park one more time. The rail jam was fun, but soooo incredibly tiring. We hiked for probably 2 hours straight hitting 4 different features. I got best trick on one of the features and earned back my entry fee.
The next day was triple air in the big park. I hadn't hit these jumps since the Dew Tour back in December. Practice went good, I was getting comfortable, but kept going a little fast for the second and third jump. In the first run, I overshot the second jump and tweaked my knee coming down. It didn't really hurt, but felt really weird. It felt as though I would collapse when I put weight on it. I tried riding down but knew that I couldn't do my second run. I went back to the top to get my backpack and slowly rode down wondering what this weird sensation in my knee was. It wasn't the same feeling I had when I tore my ACL on my other knee 4 years prior. Later on, it was a little better, but still felt weak. I was thinking that maybe I tore my meniscus or something small, because it never swelled up. I was thinking really optimistically and hoped it would get better. But I made a doctor's appointment back in Utah for when we got back the next week. The next day I just hung out in the apartment while the girls finished up the Spring Massive with the slopestyle competition. Dustin helped cheer me up by telling me that he thought I did something to my knee earlier in the year when it swelled up a lot and now finally I finished it off, and I have all summer to get better and be back next year stronger than ever. I agreed and decided right then and there that whatever the outcome of my doctor's appointment, I will promise to be as optimistic as I can and grow and learn from it.
Sitting in the doctor's office was nerve wrecking. As always it took forever for the doctor to finally come in and introduce himself, ask me what happened, type on the computer and leave the room again. Then this assistant girl came in with a huge machine on a wheeling cart. She strapped this contraption around my good knee and explained that the machine will do tests on my knee to find out the displacement. When your ACL isn't working, your knee has a displacement of movement which creates that "weak" feeling. I knew as soon as she did the test on my bad knee, it had a lot of displacement. After she took out the chart the machine made- which looked like a graph that earthquakes are measured by- she told me that it was discplaced so much that it is a 99 percent chance I tore my ACL and it isn't functioning at all. I couldn't help but shed some tears knowing what I had to go through, again.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ride Shakedown- Quebec, CAN

Not even being gone for a week, I was now back in Montreal, Quebec for the Shakedown. This trip was so unorganized I was pretty much winging everything. Luckily things fell into place. Pat Bridges, along with Ride Pro Hana Beaman and Volcom rider Jess Kimura flew into Montreal 20 minutes later than me. We all got into a taxi and drove about 45 minutes outside Montreal to St. Sauvier. It was about 1pm and the rail jam started around 6pm. Jess and I both didn't have anything set up for lodging, so we tried a few spots but they were so expensive! I was just now realizing how big of an event this was. As we drove up to the resort, I was hit with the actual realization that this was Canada's largest snowboard event. There were 3 bleachers full and bodies walking around everywhere like we were at some kind of concert. By night time there wasn't even room to walk from the course to the lodge. I was very tired, and didn't want to exert too much energy on this rail jam, especially considering the outcome of the last Shakedown in Washington. I got use to the features, because the next day I was going to slay it. Jess ended up winning the rail jam and we left the mountain pretty late. We got a hotel for only $100, pretty cheap compared to the other places who wanted a deposit of $1000! At least it was a nice hotel with big fluffy beds, and we were both so tired, we crashed right away.
The next day we got to sleep in and head to the mountain in the afternoon. Semi's started around 5pm or something, I liked how relaxed the whole comp was. The way this competition is set up is, you have a certain amount of time and within that time, you get to call 2 runs, and if you land what you say you're going to do, then you get your run scored. During the semi's I landed my first run with a 360 and then I called a 720, but failed to land perfectly. I still came in 2nd though. After a few hours of break time, it was finally time for the finals. All I had to do was land my 720 and I'd have 1st on lock. Standing at the top of the course, my heart started pumping so fast just looking down at the tiny people that resembled ants. My warm up was good, and I was finally ready to call my first run with a 360. I over-rotated and caught my heel edge and slammed against the snow. It gave me an instant headache, but I knew I had to refocus and land my next run. I took a few more practice runs before I was ready for my 2nd run. I wanted to try my 720, but so far no one had outdone my 360, and I knew I could at least place with my 3. I decided to play it safe, but it ended up biting me in the butt. After my clean run, Megan Ginter decided to call a 720, even though I've never even seen her land one, she did right then and there! I give her props for trying and succeeding and regret going for the easy win, when I could've probably beat her. Oh well, getting second at my first ever Shakedown comp was satisfying enough for me. I went out that night, and hung out with some of the Shakedown crew. Those french canadians are funny!
The next day, I got to hang out with the Billabong Team Manager Catherine at her and her boyfriend Yan's cabin not far from St. Sauvier. We had an awesome Easter BBQ and the next morning enjoyed French toast made by a real French man! Yan took me to the airport and everything! They were so nice, I owe them big...Hope they come to Utah some day! I wished I was going back to Utah, but my flight was to Denver where everyone on the team was spring riding at Keystone and Breckenridge. One more stop, then home....

Check out photo 4 on's article on the 2010 Shakedown.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ms. Superpark

Snowboarder Magazine brings together all the talented ladies once a year to shred a park specifically designed for us. This year it was held at Snow Summit, CA. Located right next to the famous Bear Mountain in the quiet little town of Big Bear Lake, a couple hours from Los Angeles. Every year my team goes there, but I've always missed out, so I was super stoked to finally get to go there. Funny enough, the canadian girls, Marie and Joanie, that I roomed with at the Billabong Flaunt It were also making the journey from Quebec to L.A. I didn't have a place to stay yet, and they hadn't rented a car yet, so we teamed up and I rented a PT Cruiser for all of us, and they let me sleep in their hotel room on a roll-away bed. (I ended up owing them $5)
Before we drove up to Big Bear, we wanted to check out Venice Beach since we were right there. Finding parking was so frustrating seeing how it was Sunday evening and everyone and their dog was out for a beach walk. After about an hour, we finally found a place not too far of a walk to the beach. There were vendors lined up to take tourist's money for their artwork, little restaurants with tables extending out into the sidewalk and many bikers and rollerbladers, and walkers crowding the sidewalk. We found a little restaurant that looked good and finally got to get some dinner. The sun was setting and the palm trees silhouette against the orange sky. It was beautiful. But time to go because we had quite the journey ahead of us.
I followed the GPS while the girls dosed off and we finally made it up the winding road and found our hotel late into the night.
We slept in, tired from traveling and adjusting to the 3 hour time difference. Today was a free day...we didn't have to be at Snow Summit until Tuesday. It was a gorgeous day, and I didn't want to pass up my chance to finally ride at Bear Mtn. We got up there for half day and rode the park top to bottom. They had so many different options it was hard to decide what to do every run. We saw girls we knew who were also there for Ms. Superpark. It was fun but short-lived. We were anxious to see the set up for the week, so we drove over to Summit to register and check it out. Nothing could be seen from the bottom and the lifts had already closed, so we would have to wait till tomorrow to see.
The next couple days brought some good weather, some wind and clouds, and a little bit of snow. But standing out no matter what was important because this was an opportunity of a lifetime. Anyone who knows about Superpark knows that what Pat Bridges thinks is crucial to you becoming pro. He is the senior editor of Snowboarder Mag and he is "The Eye" in snowboarding. He will take you from the bottom to the top if he sees potential in you. One night, when no one came back to get shots in the dark, Joanie, Mary Rand and I rolled up to the pole jam to wall ride set up where Jess Kimura was getting done with her shoot. She was over it, but we had just begun. It was the scariest thing I've ever hit, but I did it with confidence and started to get comfortable. We were there for probably 4 hours and finally, at 10pm, the photographer and I both accomplished our goals. It was a sick shot, and after about 50 times hitting it, a couple falls, and a lot of snowmobile rides back up to the top, it all worked out and I got the shot. (G.T.S.) How good of a shot, I'm not sure, but Bridges told me it could be cover worthy. Could be. I was tired, but my mind kept me up that night, thinking about how much fun my first photo shoot was. It had been 3 long days of trying to impress everyone, and now it was back to Montreal for the Shakedown. The season was coming to a close and only a few more events until a long break. I was excited but sad at the same time. It had been a long and successful year with bumps along the way...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Billabong Flaunt It Finals @ Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Due to my dislocated elbow, I changed my competition plans a bit. I decided to go to the Billabong Flaunt It Finals instead of the Roxy Chicken Jam. The TTR points weren't as great as the Chicken Jam, but going to the Flaunt It turned out to be a good decision. I hadn't snowboarded since I injured myself at the Shakedown in Washington, and I didn't know what to expect in Canada. I flew into Montreal and got a ride with the event coordinator's boyfriend Yan who was super cool. Mont Tremblant is about an hour, hour and a half from Montreal so we didn't get to our hotel room until pretty late. Catherine (event coordinator/team manager for Billabong) was waiting for us and checked us in right away. Billabong paid for my flight and room because I won the stop at Tahoe, thanks Billabong! It just so happened that I was rooming with Nicki and Natalie, two girls I shredded with in Argentina. There was also a couple Canadian girls I met who ended up traveling with me to the next couple events, but I'll explain more of that later. Everyone speaks french in Quebec, but most people speak english as well, so it wasn't too bad trying to communicate with them. French is awesome to listen to, it sounds so romantic and smooth- someday I will learn some!
So I get to the mountain a day before the comp and get to ride the icy hills of Tremblant with teammates Elin Torterice, Jessika Jenson and Mary Rand. The slopestyle course wasn't quite ready for us, but we got to check it out and get an idea of what will be going down the next day. I really don't know why people would want to ski there during those conditions- it was super icy and cold- welcome to the East Coast! It had been warm and slushy a couple days prior to us arriving so everything was frozen slush...yuck. But sometimes, you just have to roll with what's given to you. It was a nice relaxing day, not needing to be anywhere at any certain time. The village was so cute with Euro-type shops all the way down and a little gondola that took you from the bottom of the village to the top where you get on the lifts. My mom would've loved to go shopping there... good thing for her wallet she wasn't!
That night, Elin and I went to the grocery and got spaghetti to cook in the little kitchenette in my room, then we checked out some breakdancing that was going down. It was freezing out and even the dancers had a hard time staying warm. We didn't stay too long, and warmed our bones up in the hot tub at the hotel. After a laid back day, it was time to get rested up for the big day- slopestyle in the morning and rail jam in the afternoon.
The comp day turned out to be warmer and less windy so it was a great day to throw down. It was jam format, so no pressure on landing your first run. We each got about 3-4 runs to display our skills. There was a flat down box, then an option of a down box or down rail, then two jumps, not too big, not too small. I threw a cab 540 on the first jump then a backside 360 on the second jump. My last run I decided to lock in 1st place by landing my backside 720 on the second jump. I hadn't done it for awhile, but to my surprise, I stomped it. I won best trick and first place with it, so I'm so glad I went for it. After lunch, we headed back up for the rail jam. It was fun, but I didn't have any great tricks and was a little cautious because I didn't want to fall on my elbow. My friend Nicki was killin' it and thought for sure she'd podium, but they decided to give it to a couple other girls. I won $5,000 for slopestyle and $100 for best trick, a big Dakine travel bag, a couple goggles and tons of t-shirts and shwagg. And don't forget the best prize- a ceramic Nixon watch that's worth like $2,000! So in the end, it turned out to be a great comp! It was awesome shredding with all the ladies and meeting new friends! I will definately be doing some Flaunt It comps next year!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I always tell myself...

everything happens for a reason. So when I get hurt and have to miss an important competition for the second time in a row, it all happened for some reason- maybe I would have hurt myself more there, or maybe I will never know the reason...but I will only gain experience and knowledge and hopefully it won't ever happen again. Graham Banks looked at it as paying your dues, so they don't keep filling up the balloon which will eventually pop. I thought that was a funny way of looking at it. Rob Macfarlane looked at it as the better you get the harder you're going to fall. I totally agree. There's tons of risk at the pro level of competition, and that's why they get compensated so much. I must say I was pretty intimidated by this down rail with a "donkey dick" (2 ft flat) in the middle of a 18 set of stairs. This was the first year for me at the Ride Shakedown, which was held in the U.S. for the first time, in Snoqualmie, WA. I got to hit the spool bonk once and the down rail once before I wrecked myself and dislocated my elbow. I was devastated and knew exactly what happened and that I had to go to the hospital to get it popped back into place. I've witnessed a few being popped back in, and I was not looking forward to it. I knew it wasn't the worse thing that could've happened, but I was so sad because I had a pretty good chance at winning. Hana Beaman took 2nd and Megan Ginter took 1st with backside 360's. I knew I could've thrown a cab 540, and I wanted to try my backside 720. Who knows why I was meant to be standing and watching rather than throwing down some tricks, but I hope it was a good reason. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Billabong Flaunt It @ Sierra-at-Tahoe

Niki 2nd, Lynn 1st, Jessika 3rd

Last weekend was a busy one for me and the Wasatch Project. Summer Fenton killed it in the Rev Tour Pipe comp and won by a mile. Sam Elliott came back from his shoulder surgery to win a rail jam in South Lake and got 3rd at the Trans Am at Northstar. I competed in the Billabong Flaunt It- an all girls slopestyle and rail jam. It was so much fun! We got free lunch and had a blast shredding with the ladies. I won the slopestyle with a cab 540 and backside 720. My teammate Jessika won best trick with her incredible misty flip 720. The rail jam, or "box" jam was fun and I ended up getting 3rd with my front blunt 270 out because they judged it as best trick. Besides winning $750 cash, a Dakine travel bag, Billabong outerwear and clothes, I won the gold Nixon watch that I had my heart set on.

Jessi Huege 5-0

Jessika Jenson Misty 720

Welcome to my new blog spot!

I'm moving up in life, and creating a space for me and my snowboarding adventures for anyone to view and follow. I will try to keep it updated with stories, photos and videos so check back to see what I'm up to lately.

Search This Blog