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Bronze in World Cup opener

 

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Another great start to a World Cup season with a Bronze medal performance in Igls, Austria!! I had a lot of reflection this week, as this was the 3rd track I ever slid on in my career and won a bronze medal here in 1996. I also won my 1st World Championship medal here in 2000 (silver). As a competitor of course the goal is to be the best, but for some reason where I am at in my career and my life I’ve completely stopped thinking about the end result… given up on expectations and solely focus on the process and my self-awareness. This is my 17th year of sliding!!! I can remember the days where I’d stand in the phone booth at the end of the street to call home to my parents and receive “GOOD LUCK” faxes from home… I have no idea how my folks allowed me to tour the world on my own when I was 16 without being worried sick about me, but I thank them for allowing me to live my life and pursue my dreams.

Even tho I am a dinosaur at this game, believe it or not I am still learning so much. I made a big decision this summer to rodeo professionally in Canada, mainly because I wanted to put myself in pressure situations as much as possible in a competitive environment. I wanted to improve on my self-awareness. In a World cup skeleton season I will only get 9 opportunities to race. This summer I bet I ran through the gates at a rodeo or jackpot 50 times… every time I was putting my self in a situation where I could learn and hopefully I could translate it to my skeleton career. Not to forget it has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to be a Professional Barrel racer with big dreams of someday running at the biggest rodeos in North America. With my mounts “Rascal” & “Pepi” I had some memorable experiences learning so much about horsemanship, training, therapy and competition… With this crazy busy summer I decided that my dry land training would be put on hold, needing a rest but trusted that my fitness would be kept up by the functional work it takes to ride and take care of my horses. I also wanted to focus on my health, after a full season of being injured I wanted to give my body a break from the training.

This proved to be one of the smartest decisions I have ever made when I came back to the Icehouse this fall and pushed a personal best time. And I have actually found since I’ve turned my horses out for them to get rest and for me to focus on training for skeleton, I am in worse shape!!! We’ve joked that now all of my team members are going to start riding horses for next year’s dry land program! That being said I’m not in terrible shape because I pushed a new personal best here in Austria a 5.52 and previously it was a 5.55 from the 2005/06 season… sure wish I could have Rascal & Pepi here on tour.

My horses are a big part of “My Team”, but I am extremely fortunate to have a fantastic “skeleton” team this season. This is the happiest I have ever been on tour. We have a great dynamic with both the men’s & woman’s teams. Everyone is respectful and supportive of each other and I appreciate every day I get to spend with this elite group of people. I know I stood on the podium today, but I honestly feel it was our team’s medal with all the hard work we did to figure this track out.

We head out to La Plange, France tomorrow a track I haven’t been to in 10 years… I look forward to our teamwork to break down this track and of course experience some of the culture we haven’t been exposed to in a very long time!

Keep tabs on us on http://eurovision.digotel.com/fibt/index.html or http://www.cbcsports.ca for live streaming during our races, next race is Dec 10 at 9am European CST


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One Comment

  1. David
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear you are off to such a great start Mellisa! I had a coach in college who always told me to concentrate on the process, and the result will take care of itself. Mind you that was for a 40 min basketball game, and I’m not sure if it applies quite the same to a skeleton run. Anyways, best of luck in France!

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