Skiing in the summer might sound crazy to you, but for me it sounds awesome! For most kids summer means trading in textbooks for flip flops, but instead I’m stepping into my skis and strapping on my helmet. There’s no snow right now up in Lake Placid, but that doesn’t mean the training stops! Summer is when I learn and perfect new tricks. We learn our tricks using a ramp and a swimming pool (so I still get to go swimming!) and in order to “master” a trick, I have to do it 100 times in the swimming pool before I can try it out on snow. While performing new tricks can be a bit scary sometimes, it’s actually my favorite part of the sport. Of course, there’s always some nervousness and hesitation, but that’s when you have to focus in and give it your all. Anyway, it’s the nerves that get the adrenaline pumping; and that makes the process even more exciting!
In the past month, I’ve learned two new tricks: a Full Tuck, which is a single twisting double backflip, and a Full Full which is exactly what it sounds like—a Full Tuck, but with two of everything! Learning these tricks was the first time I’d ever done a full twist in the first flip off of the jump. It felt amazing to finally get that down. The process of learning a new trick is the hardest part of this sport. You have to be dedicated and focused on learning and perfecting the trick and you will perform the trick hundreds of times before you get it right. My coaches film me while I practice these tricks and then we sit down and they point out where I could have been straighter or where my knees were bent too much or not enough. One of the things I’ve learned through my training is that this kind of criticism is just your coach’s way of helping you and that to achieve something really great, you have to be willing to put in the time and hard work.
When you accomplish something like mastering two new tricks, that’s a reward in itself, but these two tricks are among the hardest I’ve done so they were especially special. I was excited that I had done these tricks so well and had, in fact, exceeded my own expectations. There is nothing more satisfying than when your hard work and dedication pays off—that is a reward in itself, but it’s even better when you get to succeed and have fun at the same time!
Check out my newest trick in this video: