Lake Louise Downhill
It was a dream reshaping to memory.
Rewind two weeks, the moon was waxing. December 4th 2016. A ski race marinated in adventure skimming disaster.
When the doors to the airplane closed just 20 seconds behind us, should we have been forewarned of our fate? Kayo needed a visa for Canada. That took every extra minute we had given ourselves to check in. Incredibly she applied for the visa and we made the flight…so did all of our luggage.
Alberta is sensually sexy.
Stimulation for your eyes from the magic of sunlight touching her golden alpine.
Imagining of why and where we came.
You learn the course and then you run it a dozen times in your mind. Testing out memory to reality comes quickly. It’s best when your going full speed to know what way you want to point. Racing downhill is intimidating. A million things can go wrong at any moment. The track gets icy and bumpy and the jumps and terrain and forces to the turns. But when you get things right, the rush trumps all. Blown out knees, pre-releases, breaks and bruises are eclipsed by the rush, the thrill.
Racing downhill, like sex and surfing is why gods come back to Earth. #Feels.
Kayo was scared. Tickety rocked her all five runs. On the second training run she targeted the fence and rode up the A-net like a World Cup Skier in Wengen. She has a samurai mindset: 5 days going down Lake Louise and 5 days launching off Tickety towards space and 5 times standing in the start pushing out with determination, testing to see if her visualization corrections might pay off. She finished all 5 races. She didn’t score but she got world class Downhill experience.
Abigail is fast, and getting faster. She is a determined to win racer. I like her mindset on race day. She wants it. Most days she wants it so bad it backfires. Her training runs were top 5 fast. First race day she knew she had to gun if she wanted to get on that podium. Coming of Tickety a little loaded but would have landed fine until she caught her edge. She managed to get out of the spin but just then rocked to the back seat and couldn’t get everything under control before the A-net was ejecting her skis and flipping her back onto the course at a speed of 103 kmh. It was a hit, and would end her series, but not her season.
Heidi is on a come-back from an ACL injury in 2015. She is tough to have made the commitment to come up to Lake Louise and race. Heidi confronts fear demons everyday. I know how she feels. Thoughts of fear of doubt of crashing and failing. She also had a crash. In the second training run her ski pre-released from the force of fishnet mixed with rough terrain. She flew up a good 8 feet in the air on the A-net and cartwheeled to a stop. After that she has a hard time committing to a race run. She pushed out the next day, losing a pole in the start and then skiing the entire Lake Louise downhill track with one pole. The girls has skills.
As for me. I was just slow. Moving laterally? On a safe line? Slow skis? Whatever. I still got the rush. I enjoyed myself completely. Until I saw my times. I have been working with my mindset. Remaining in presence is always reassuring.
Harnessing presence to omit both fear and hope.