Friday, July 29, 2011

Road trips!

This week I feel like I’ve been all the way around Australia and back!

NSWIS induction was held in Jindabyne, where winter sports athletes were awarded with scholarships for 2011. Fortunately a few days earlier our brand new ski cross track was built up at Perisher. On Saturday, the National Ski Cross team had our first training session on the track. Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Border Cross World Champion, joined us for the session. Up in the trees and away from the public, we had the run to ourselves. We trained all morning on the start, working on the first five technical features. It was a great feeling being back in that competitive environment.

(Anton and I soaking up the sun) 

(The boys racing, Anton and Scotty)

(Hair going crazy!)

(Early morning sunrise at Perisher)

On Sunday morning we drove to Canberra for a three-day physical training camp at the AIS. As usual, our days were filled with various sessions, ranging from strength and explosive sessions in the gym, wind gate testing on the bike in the lab, cross country running, training on the ‘dryland’ start gate, and many more! We also did group nutrition and sports psychology sessions, which were insightful. 

(John Marsden and I experimenting with some pretty interesting equipment..)

Following the Canberra camp, I headed to Buller for the Victorian University Games. I took out the GS, dual slalom, Ski Cross and Overall female skier titles. Melbourne Uni also won the overall which was great. Over the weekend I also found time to pull some starts on the brand new ski cross start which Mt Buller Race Club purchased this season. It’s a great set up, and a valuable asset to the mountain and the club. Now hopefully this means we’ll do a little more training at my home mountain in the future!

On Saturday after the ski cross event, I spent the afternoon coaching Chicks with Stix with Zoe Jaboor and Katie Blamey. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had a lot of fun cruising the mountain. About 20 girls showed up for the session. We did a few fast carve runs down summit, worked on skiing switch, and finished off in the terrain park. The girls who joined in on the session had a great time, and everyone enjoyed the sunshine, skiing and each others company!

(Chicks with Stix girls)

(Making some turns on Fast One at Buller last weekend)

On Sunday I coached a group of young girls from Team Buller Riders in prep for the Junior National moguls comp at Buller next weekend.

Finally, to top off a great weekend, we celebrated Cadel's win at 2am on Sunday morning. Congratulation Cadel on the amazing achievement!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Freestyle weekend at Buller

This weekend I headed to Buller for what was to be a weekend of new experiences!

First new experience... Driving into Yea solo at 7pm on Friday night, I was asked by police to do a U-turn, drive all the way back to the Hume Highway and take a 1.5 hour detour to Buller (due to a road closure in Yea). I was not in the mood to turn my already 3.5 hour drive into 5 hours, so I decided to take a risk and follow the directions of locals, guiding me to a dodgy single-lane dirt road in the middle of nowhere, with not a light in site. After 30 minutes on this dirt track, I ended up getting lost in the dark, having basically no idea where I was. Luckily a local driving past noticed the hazard lights and a 22 year old girl with a massive map splayed on the dash of the car. Kindly he stopped to give me directions. Thinking back on it now, probably not the smartest move... Let's just say I'm just glad I haven't seen Wolf Creek!

I spent all of Saturday guest coaching TBR, teaching the groms how to lay down some carve turns. In the afternoon, the coolest chicks on the mountain all met at 3pm at Koflers for a quick hot chocolate before we ventured out for an hour and a half of skiing. Despite the weather not being 'brilliant', the snow was great and everyone was really enthusiastic. We skied the recently opened Standard Run, as well as a few down Shaky Knees. Due to the massive turn out (over 25 girls...), we decided to split the group into three. Zoe took the girls who were up for learning 180s; Katie, with her moguls experience, worked on short turns; and myself and Nat took those who were keen to try some big carve / "big mountain" turns.

We had girls of all ages and from all skiing backgrounds. Everyone seemed to have a really great time, meeting new people and doing what we all love... skiing!

At the end of the afternoon, the Chick of the day was awarded to Alice (from Australia's aerial development program) for nailing her first 180 spin! She won a pair of sexy hot pink poles, kindly donated by Shafted ski poles.

To finish up, the girls unwinded by doing a one hour yoga session at the La Trobe Centre. A great way to finish off a fun afternoon!

I'm looking forward to joining in the next Chicks with Stix session at Buller in two weeks time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Swapping the books for the bikini in Bali

Last week after exams, I ditched my uni books for my bikini, and headed to Bali for a 6 day pre-winter holiday. Being a skier, it’s not often that I get the chance to have a summer holiday, so I grasped the opportunity and soaked up some rays before the winter really kicks off.

I stayed in Seminyak for 6 days with a friend, Julia de Campo, where we spent copious amounts of time on the beach and in the surf.

The highlight of the holiday was the adventurous day trip to Lembongan Island, a beautiful tiny island 30 minutes off the coast of Sanua, Bali. Cruising around on scooters, I managed to find the infamous turquoise-water cliff jump, recommended by a friend. Jumping off the 12m cliff was the easy part. The scary part was trying to grab the dodgy ladder in a big sea swell, and then climbing back up.

The running (wo)man

Cliche but nevertheless still beautiful

Getting my surf on with three new friends from Hong Kong

Within 24 hours, I went from being on the beach in a toasty 30 degrees, to getting off the plane in Melbourne at a chilly 6 degrees. I jumped straight in the car and drove 7 hours solo to Jindabyne, where I am now spending the next week training on snow.

I’ll be a Buller next weekend, and am really looking forward to my first Chicks with Stix session of the season on Saturday afternoon.