'Live your dream, share your passion'

'Live your dream, share your passion'

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Whistler Summer Training

Summer Training

They say time flies when you are having fun, and it is true! This summer has flown by and its crazy to think the end of July is upon us. 

My summer has been the best of my life. Ive always loved Whistler and have wanted to live here as long as I can remember. Training has been tough, super long hours in the gym 4 times a week, gymnastic 3 times a week, and a ridiculous amount of time on bikes. Some of the bigger days, we managed 3 rides on top of a full morning workout. Weekends are dedicated to riding. Days off are a thing of the past!

This summer has been a big change for me and its allowed me to reinvent myself. A second chance at fixing my weaknesses and using my past mistakes and experiences as ways to better myself as an athlete and person. Looking back on my Alpine career, I believe I settled at being mediocre at some things I just accepted that I wasnt the best at. I never could jump high, everyone on my old team knew this, I couldn’t olympic lift very heavy, I didn’t have good technique. I consoled myself with the fact that aerobically I was always the fittest. I could skateboard, ride anything on my bike, I was a good skier and wasnt afraid of anything. I stuck to my strengths and I was alright. When adversity struck, I relied on my strengths to over compensate my weaknesses, with out really addressing them full on. 

Kelsey Serwa, Olympic silver medalist, Xgames gold medalist etc.. Had a huge impact on how I viewed training and what my capabilities were. I have been so lucky to have Kelsey as a training partner. If Kels doesnt get something right away, she finds a progression, chips away at it until she nails it. She also has the most ripped arms which is inspiring all alone!

Its been so cool to address training with a new perspective, and realize the limitations Ive put on myself are self inflicted and mean nothing. You can do anything you want to do. Don’t settle, be the person you want to be, and do the things you want to do.
We also had the opportunity of getting up on Blackcomb Glacier for some on snow training. We had amazing GS training, high volume and great snow. Thanks Sead and Rod for setting up the Ski Cross start gate. It was so fun to pull some starts in a real gate as this is one of the main things I have to work on. Skiing a GS course with someone is the best way to ski GS. I had the dumbest grin on my face the whole course!

Last weekend, I raced the first Canadian RedBull 400. This is the steepest uphill race in the world, you are basically spider walk bounding up a wall. This race went surprisingly super well for me. My goal was to qualify top 20 and make it to the finals. I ended up 5th overall which was awesome. I did this race with my team mates Kevin Drury and his girlfriend MK, and Matt Brady. We all pushed ourselves as hard as we could and made it through the pain together. Cant wait for next year, we are thinking of maybe training once or twice prior to the race :p.

Summer training is still full force but I am heading back to La Belle Province next week for my best friend Cath Blanchards Bachelorette. Cant wait to spend some time in Tremblant and see my family. 

Wednesday 6 May 2015

On to the next

On to the next

2 months post torn calf, I got back on my skis in Whistler. I can't thank my physio Jenny Delich enough for all her hard work in getting me healthy. I spent a ton a time with Jenny this year especially, and with out her help and hard work, I would probably be in a wheelchair or something.

It was so great to be back on skis, and whistler is always a great time. Thanks Mom and Pops for letting us stay at your place and live the high life for a couple weeks. 

After whistler, I came back home to Canmore, and to real life. After a season of injuries and bad luck, the Canadian Alpine ski Team informed me that having failed to meet the set criteria, I was not to be nominated to the team for the upcoming season.  I respect the difficult financial situation of the Team, and I understand that there hands were tied. Past success does not ensure a spot on the roster, and the unfortunate injuries I sustained this season put me in a real difficult place. 

After many sleepless nights, tough days, and a ton of discussing the future with those close to me, I finally came to a decision of what I wanted to do. I want to keep racing, doing what I love, just with some added airtime and traffic.

After the news of not being invited back on the National Alpine team, I was beyond blessed to be offered a spot with the Ski Cross National team. It is an amazing opportunity for me, and one I want to take. Canada has the best team in the world, and I am beyond honored to have the opportunity to learn from the greatest ski cross racers in the world. 

I am halfway through my first on snow camp with SX, and I know already this is where I am meant to be. The first day, I was told by the coaches to go do some turns and hit the jumps in the park. Sold! 

Ski Cross was always on my mind, and something I wanted to do. I love skiing and It's what I'll be doing my whole life. I'll miss slalom and Alpine Racing  more then I can say, it already feels like I've lost a part of my soul.

Change is hard, and new things are scary. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I've ended up where I needed to be.


Sunday 15 February 2015

Keep on Keeping on

This ski season has been one for the record books, not in a good way. I went into the season skiing through pain and with less then ideal training volume. Every race was a struggle, and I slowly eventually got kicked out of the top 30 on the World Cup start list. 

The Europe trip was great, I love training and I love being in Europe. My parents, brother Mike, and his girlfriend Bianca came over for a few weeks and got to watch a couple races. Its great having my bro around because he's so honest about what my racing looked like to him, often he's spot on with what isn't working. He always skied similar to me, we both are probably the worlds fastest hikers in slalom, and have some pretty good recovery tricks. 

My boyfriend Matt also came to Europe for a week to watch Zagreb World Cup. Although my result was disappointing, it was so nice to have him there and get to experience our world. Thanks for making a tough race into a great day. Boy you make me happy!

January was in general going well, I was feeling good and I was skiing fast, something I had not been doing prior to the new year. Unfortunately I couldnt put it together in Flachau, Austria, the last world cup before World Championships, hence not being named to the Team set to compete in Vail/ Beaver Creek. This was disappointing and hard to deal with, but I saw it coming with my lack of results, and it did not come as a huge surprise. 

After returning from Europe, I was set on making this disappointment into a positive. I started straight back into training in Calgary and Nakiska with the Devo Team. The training has been unreal, and so fun. Slalom was going great, and my Giant Slalom was slowly getting better every day. I also got to train some Super-G which was awesome, took me awhile to get comfortable with being patient in the turns but everyday was getting better. 

Huge thanks to PL Dumoulin and Peter Rybarik for the great coaching and training. These past 2 weeks have been so fun and amazing on snow training. Also big thanks to my first ever ski technician with the Natinoal Team, Aaron Speeden aka Speedy, for prepping my slalom skis to perfection for the ICE box known as Calgary Olympic Park. Everyone was saying how icy it was but I didn't really know what they were talking about :p

Unfortunately, last thursday, my season came to a halt. I was training on the race hill at COP, when second run in the course, I kicked out of the start, heard a pop, and felt a searing pain in my left calf. I stopped immediately and knew that the upcoming NorAms and probably the rest of the season were not going to happen. It felt like a bad dream, I stood there for a couple seconds trying to process what had just happened. I made my way down slowly and eventually got my boots off and went straight to the Canadian Sports institute medical centre. Thank you to Peter for driving me around, and Jocelyn Mccarthy for taking care of my skis and getting my stuff for me.

After a day of seeing our Physio and Doctor, and getting an Ultrasound on my leg, it was confirmed that it was a indeed torn in 2 places, one being quite bad, worse then originally assessed. Time frame of when I can ski is still unknown, its sounding like the end of the season for me, but hopefully things progress faster then estimated. 

 Going from the ultimate high of my life last year at the Olympics, to the worst season of my life, ending with an injury is a tough one to swallow. Sport is hard, and even when everything is going well, sometimes things just don't work out. All things in perspective, its not a big deal. I am thankful for everyone in my life who has supported me in my career and my life as a person. I wish I could have made this year exciting and inspiring with my skiing. 

Racing is what I do, and skiing is who I am. My love and passion for skiing has never wavered, and this is just a rutt in the course.


Big congrats to my team down in Vail/Beaver Creek. Dustin Cook silver in the Super-G and then another career best in the GS, 12th. Phil, Trevor, Erin, and Candace SLAYED the team event claiming another silver. Mikaela Tommy (Killer/Kaylers) got her first top 30 result of many more to come. Trevor sent it to personal bests in both SL and GS. Erin and Mitch both gave'r in the slalom and ended up 6th and 10th. Homegirl Val Grenier  first World Champs with a top 20! SICK

Saturday 6 December 2014

World Cup start

World Cup start 2014-15

In general, it seems people don't like to write about the hard times, only the good. Me, I like to say it how it is and not hide under a rock when the tough gets going. I could say I had a pretty rough start to the race season, but all things in perspective, its not too bad. I came into the season a little less prepared then I had hoped. I missed the fall ski camp recovering from injuries, and up until recently was not skiing full form. 

Levi: Is AWESOME. I have not really had very much success there, but I love that place all the same. Its pretty much santa claus village. The sun never really gets very high in the sky. I love sunrises and sunsets and night time darkness, all we get in Levi!

The race was half good, I was 13th at the last interval before the pitch. Then I went junior Britt style on the pitch and lost a bunch of time and did not qualify for the second run. I was pretty bummed, as you always want to start the season off well, makes ya feel good. This did not, but made me pretty hungry to get after it in Aspen at the second race a couple weeks later.

Aspen: SO amped, too amped. Trying to go for it and leave everything on the hill is always a good choice, except when you forget you still have to ski on the way down. I forgot that in order to ski fast you have to ski well. My whole run was a little disastrous, finishing off with missing a gate and hiking..(never give up kids :P ) 

Raced some North American cups in Copper and Aspen after that. Almost had a good slalom race, had my butt handed to me in  Giant Slalom. Found new respect for how solid Leki poles are made.

Winning is easy, and being happy when you are doing well is easy. Sucking is a whole different story. I like it cause it really brings out who you are, and how tough you are. I got to say I wish I was tougher. You don't really know who you and how you will react to adversity until it is smacking you in the face. Then, if you don't like who you become, you change it. Fight for what you want, and who you want to be, and where you want to go. 

Skiing is easy, its the mind that makes it complicated. 

No time for a pity party, on to the next one.


PS: Home girl Val Grenier is starting her first World Cup tomorrow in Lake Louise, new era of speed Queens on the rise with Larisa Yurkiw leading the way with her 4th place today! Congrats Shink

Monday 22 September 2014

New Zealand

Going down to NZ is generally always a good camp, but this year it was great. Every day was bluebird sunny and the snow was about as good as it gets for the training we were doing. Being a ski racer we get to see some of the most beautiful places and mountains on earth, and New Zealand is definitely up there in the most scenic places I've been to. 

We started out at Roundhill in Lake Tekapo for the first 7 on snow days, then travelled towards Queenstown for our first day off and next training block. We trained at Snow Park and Coronet peak, alternating from time to time. Then headed to Mt Hutt for some SPEED training. It ROCKED, literally… the snow that was on the hill was great, but it was littered with tiny rocks that by the end of the course would have severely damaged your edges. Our technicians did an amazing job in maintaining the edges almost every run. Thanks Martin! You Da Bomb Digadee. Despite ruining  some speed skis, the training was awesome and I was pretty pumped about training Super-G. Something about going fast just makes ya feel good.

After about a week in Hutt, we headed back to round hill to finish off the camp. It was a great opportunity for me to put to test what I had been working on the past month. Its hard sometimes when you are making changes to really commit to it, because you want to ski fast and it to feel comfortable. When your mind is working as much as your body while skiing, no way is it going to look/feel normal or flow like a river. So after a month of skiing with my head, I let my heart take over, and things came together.  Still lots to changes and stuff to  work on, but I am pretty ok with where my skiing is at for this time of year.

We left New Zealand winter for Canadian Summer! Always sweet when it snows in Canada way before it should. Makes the mountains look beautiful. My parents spent a few days visiting and my older sister Reb moved to Calgary to go to UofC. Just missing the young blood Mike! Spent the weekend off in Fernie riding bikes and jumping cliffs. Best recovery days! Special thanks to our Physio Jenny Delich and her pops Michael at FernieLodgingco.com for the great stay.

Now we are back in the gym crushing it, or getting crushed I should say. We didn't get much dry land in in New Zealand due to all the volume on snow we were pushing, so now we are making up for that. Its nice to have the time between on snow camps to hit it hard again in the gym and let the body recover from skiing. I also got myself a new whip, a DOWNHILL BIKE! Thanks to Intense Cycles for this amazing bike. Early birthday present to myself for the next 10 years.

Looking forward to getting back on snow for the final camp before the season starts! Training is fun, but racing is better. 

Also huge congratulations to Eric Harlow for proposing to my Best Friend Cath Blanchard and getting a yes! SO happy for you too and can't wait to be a part of this amazing time. 

See ya

Rest in Peace Uncle Peter Austin Phelan. Love and condolences to the whole Phelan side, and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Thursday 31 July 2014

Our first ski training trip of the summer was pretty successful despite a few cancelled days due to weather. I think this could have been a blessing in disguise, because everyday we did ski, we skied as if were to be our last. I think this should always be the case, not just in skiing and training, but life in general. But we all humans here and sometimes its difficult to give your 100% all day everyday. Generally its safer to give more then your 100% everyday, so when an off day happens, you have a little leeway.

Life lessons aside, I was so stoked to be back skiing. I received my new skis and boots, and have my set up dialled for the upcoming season. The new slaloms were actually unreal and I don't know what magic Fischer did to them, but I am feelin like Harry Potter on them. The new GS and boots are also pretty great, I think being more a slalom skier I just notice the difference more with the slaloms. 

On snow training in Zermatt is always hard long days. We are up before 5AM, on the lift at 6:15, on snow around 7:15, then ski till around 11:30-12. Then we head down, stop at mid station for lunch, get back around 1:30 pm, nap till we HAVE to get up for dry land usually around 4, then video/meeting. Then someone cooks dinner, then someone cleans, then we read about 2 pages of some book, then pass out. Love it! 

Our camp was mostly GS and super-g based, which was a change for me as usually I train more slalom. I think this was great for me. In slalom, I can get away with bad technique and still manage to be fast. I can make mistakes and rely a lot on my inside ski, as we've been tight for my whole life. WIth the new GS and Super-G skis, you can't afford to be on the inside ski, or lean in or get lazy. You will just fall over or look/feel completely incompetent. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. I accepted right away that I wanted to change some stuff in my skiing and there was no better opportunity to make it happen. Definitely had some frustrating days at first but things for sure started to come together. Pretty at ease with the work I got done and excited to bring some speed and the changes over to slalom in New Zealand in 2 weeks! Can't wait.

Now I'm back in Canmore and have already been hitting the gym in Calgary and riding my freshly renovated bike! Thanks Outside for the tune up, its riding incredibly.
See ya

Sunday 29 June 2014

Summer Time


It may be only end of June, but summer is coming to an end for myself and my team. As much as I love summer, (it is one of my favourite four seasons), I am pretty excited to get back on snow. Training has been great this year at the New Canadian Sport Institute at WInsport in Calgary. 

It was great to work with our new trainer Jeremiah Barnert, and some new training concepts. Its easy to believe in a program when you see not only your own gains, but those of your teammates. Everyone is looking great and moving well. We have such an awesome team and its super motivating to be surrounded by such an inspiring group of athletes. Everyone has some hard days and no matter who's having a hard time or who's doing well, we help each other, and push each other. Although Alpine is an individual sport, I know I wouldn't be able to do this on my own, (or want to). SO thanks girls, you all the bomb digadee. 
                                                  Stoked on having my own locker. havnt had one since high school.
                                        Running shuttles, quadzilla came out that day.

Summertime for me also means lots of time on my bike. I love riding more then almost anything, and I'm pretty lucky that our schedule and training allows me to incorporate it. I got to ride lots of sweet new trails, and dial in the oldies. Skiing and biking is the same deal. The speed, turning, committing to the outside ski/pedal, constantly trying to push your limits and get out of your comfort zone as much as possible. Nothing makes me happier then being out on my bike, and living in Canmore this is all too easy.

Unfortunately, I took a pretty big crash a few days ago and cut my knee pretty bad. It was pretty scary when I saw the state of my knee and I knew I needed to get to the hospital ASAP. I was about a KM out from the end of my ride to where my jeep was parked, so I awkwardly rode down the still gnarly and technical trail as fast as my leg would allow and booked it to the hospital. I jumped out of my car and ran in with out locking or even doing up my windows ha. ALl the blood was freaking me out. When I checked in and was assessed quickly by the nurse, I was escorted to my own room and told to take a shower! I was too muddy/bloody to be properly assessed haha. You know you are dirty when…
                                                     Showering at the hospital...

A few hours later, and 9 new stitches, I was good to go. Mikaela Tommy showed up at the hospital with a bag of snacks. Literally saved my life. She also made me dinner and convinced me of all the good things and pros of this unfortunate situation. Big thank you to Young Blood for that support. Real friends show up when you are at your worst.

Knee is healing up quick, can't really bend it past 90 as the stitches start to pull, but I can hike around a bit which is awesome. Pretty great places around here that are not accessible by bike! Who would of known?!
                                              Thanks Kelly McBroom for the sweet adventuring up Spray Valley with Terra!

Less then 2 weeks and Ill be in Zermatt Switzerland, back to doing what I love. 

See ya