It’s now been yet another
year since that camp
and it’s working. This re-
turn to ski racing is pan-
ning out. I still have fear
and sometimes doubt,
but I like to think it’s
healthy and motivat-
ing. This past summer,
in Zermatt, Switzer-
land, we trained
downhill. We were
skiing 130 km/hr over 40 meter crevasses. If
that’s not ‘back’, I don’t know what is. With that said, mileage
is my friend. On the first of four days back-to-back of training
at this speed, my knees were stuck together. They were stuck
together in a snow plow sort of way. The coach said some-
thing like, “...Larisa, you can’t ski like that because you repre-
sent ski racing at the national level and it’s embarrassing.”
By the third and fourth day, I could feel that smile creep across
my face... an Oprah Aha! moment... remembering that I do
love the speed. In the big picture, I haven’t logged many hours
on snow in the last while, but with a clean slate this summer I
feel prepared. I’m riding front seat into this season with the
tools to tackle most anything.
One hurdle I know I’m up against this season in the downhill
discipline is my start number. Because last year was dedicated
to progressing up through provincial, national and then inter-
national circuits (and my results weren’t yet stellar), I will start
at the back of the pack. I’m sure it will be somewhat nostalgic,
in the crowd’s-gone-home kind of way. But I’ve taken Re-
silience 101 and I’m excited.
By the time you’ve picked up this magazine, I will have raced a handful
of World Cup downhill and superG starts including my first return to
Val d’Isere since my crash. You might assume that I’m freaked out
about going back to the same track that cheated on me. But the truth
is, Val d’Isere is the one of the most beautiful stops on the circuit and
hotel Kandahar is quaint and kind to us Canadians. Oh, and the moun-
tain and I went to couples counselling and we’ve made great gains in
the last three years. I asked for forgiveness for ever degrading its in-
tegrity in the heat of my recovery and he, in turn, will protect me for the
remainder of my career. I say “he” because, according to the Inca Em-
pire, “apus” or mountains are generally male spirits. And I’ve always
felt that I understood males better anyway.
So that brings me back to the boys in my life. The supermen. My two
older brothers and Dad are my teachers. I learn creativity and
charisma from Harrison, business and critical thinking from Mitchell
and humour and humanity from Dad.
challenge ...a call to fight
Larisa - Fastest girl in her age
group at Georgian Peaks Ski Club
I’m riding front seat into this
season with the tools to
tackle most anything.
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