My trip to New Zealand was the most emotional trip I have ever been on. I was staying at my friend Annabel’s house which was great! But the first few days she had to work every day, and I hitchhiked (which is normal in NZ) up to the mountain every day. I was alone. I didn’t ski the park or pipe, I had no coach, no training, no teammates. I would remind myself every day how awesome it was to be alone. Last year at this time I couldn’t drive a car alone, I couldn’t even go to the grocery store alone, this year I am halfway across the world hitch hiking up a mountain ALONE. I felt so guilty because I knew I was so lucky, but why did I keep having to fight back tears?
Then one night sitting in Annabel’s car I had a breakthrough. I was listening to a song about moving on after you get dumped. I realized slopestyle and I had a serious relationship. That relationship ended and it wasn’t a mutual split. One day we were an item, the next day being a professional competitive slopestyle skier was gone. I was dumped, and my heart was broken. I still loved skiing, like a dumped girl still loves boys. But this specific role: a professional, competitive slopestyle skier dumped me. I can love skiing forever. Maybe a new type will capture my heart but I can never go back to slopestyle so it’s time to take a deep breath and move on.
After I had that breakthrough my trip got loads better. I had a release and no longer wanted to cry. Annabel and I went to Milfordsound, and her friend who works there gave us a free ride on a cruise so we could see it all from the water! We went to Dunedin which is a beach town, and explored all around the South Island of New Zealand.
We went to the mountain Remarkables where a girl who didn’t know my backstory convinced me to sign up for the Big Mountain competition. I was cleared by my doctors to compete. I signed up, but told no one, not even my mom, which is very rare. I didn’t want the excitement, comments, fear, and joy from everyone. I wanted to keep it subtle, and casually compete. The day I tried to sign up it was closed online, but a Freeride World Tour employee opened the registration back up so I could compete. I had two days before I competed. It was a wonderful job of reminding myself to stay in the present moment not worry about the future or compare yourself to the past.
Before the competition I would talk about my story with no one, after my run I got bombarded with cameras and interviews and was happy to tell everyone what a big deal that competition was for me. My goal was to recognize how magical it was to be at the top of a mountain ready to compete. Make it down the run very safe, and have a magical blast. I did all that so I would say my competition was an absolute success.
Overall I would say my trip to New Zealand was a blast and extremely success. I got home at 11PM on Tuesday and started college at 10AM on Wednesday. No time to sit around and fret! Onto new exciting opportunities!