Hello from my (new) favorite place on Earth!
Okay, so I don’t have a definitive list or anything, and that’s a pretty bold statement, but St. Moritz, Switzerland is seriously amazing.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to come to St. Moritz to slide for the first time. I’ve always said that if I had to give up skeleton today but got to slide one last time at any track, I would go to St. Moritz. It’s the oldest bobsleigh track in world and the only naturally refrigerated track. Because of such, it’s incredibly smooth and quiet- unlike any other track I’ve ever slid before. And let me tell ya, I’m in love!
It felt like I had a permanent smile on my face all week. St. Moritz is a gliding track and is just so. much. fun. This week I got a whopping 8 runs before race day (as opposed to 6 last week) and as the week went on, my training got better and better. I had a great day of training on the final official training day and felt ready going into the race.
I set a new PR push on my first run, but because I didn’t relax and trust my instincts, I had a big skid on the top portion of the track out of Kink 1, which absolutely killed my speed. I was able to save it at the bottom and pick up speed, but not trusting my steers and my overcorrections really hurt my time.
On the second run, I fixed my mistakes in Kink 1 but overcorrected to Kink 2 and took a few taps before Wall– the curves here are all named, they don’t go by number– and again my time suffered. In the end I maintained my spot and finished in 16th.
On Race Days I seem to get myself worked up, and on race day you need to relax even more. Once I get several curves in it feels like I’m finally able to relax, and it feels like the track is moving around me. I get so hyped and want to perform well and that takes away from my fluidity. It is imperative that I am relaxed from the get-go.
I think my other struggle this year is learning to manage my expectations and remembering to acknowledge the positives each week. I’m brand new to the World Cup tour (and new to 5 of the 7 European tracks we’re racing on!) and while it’s perfectly okay to set high standards, it’s also important to remember that I’m gaining experience at each track I race at and that as long as I’m learning and progressing, I’m good to go. Shout out to our Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird for the perspective on that one…thank you! While the discomfort of not performing where I want isn’t completely eased, it does keep me hungry for more which is never a bad thing.
So anywho, it’s off to La Plagne, France tomorrow morning for another new track! Stay tuned for more adventures!