This year has definitely started on the right foot. My 3 weeks at home in Connecticut was the perfect amount of time to reconnect with my family, remember what is important in life, and to get grounded heading into this winter. I arrived to Copper's pipe in great shape and off of a healthy and surgery free summer! I haven't had one of those since 2007! That being said, tricks came back quickly. I'm beginning to notice the difference that my strength is making- certain tricks are easier because of it, and certain tricks are more challenging. I will be relearning and adjusting my 900 and my alley-oop 5 this year, most likely to a more corked axis; an axis that in previous year's I could not have handled. These are mostly positive changes, but changes none-the-less, and change is always scary.
Tomorrow is the start of the Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. This is the first time that skiers have been involved in the event and overall things are looking good. We will have to adjust to the short training time on qualifier day (only 25 minutes), but it's nothing that we can't handle. The top 12 men and top 12 women will advance to Friday's finals. The goal for tomorrow will be to put down a safe and solid run. Hopefully I won't need to pull out all of the stops to land in the top 12, but there are a ton of girls raring to go this year!
If you would like to watch the event live, go to www.urtur.com/live.html. The men's first heat starts at 9 am and the women start at 1 pm.