This article was originally published on Erin Mielzynski's website.
noun, plural journeys.
- a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather longtime; trip:
- a distance, course, or area traveled or suitable for traveling
- a period of travel:
- passage or progress from one stage to another
As ski racers, we journey, in all definitions of the word. This particular journey in my life has been a crazy one. Filled with many ups and down, highs and lows. I knew my journey wouldn't be a linear path, however the past few years have taught me how true the image below is, as well as that there are many ways to define success.
Recently I was asked how I continue to believe in myself.... Well some days I take this goose's lead.
Here are a few pictures from the last few months.
Our camp to Pitztal and Solden was difficult and challenging, as usual. It's always an eye opener training/racing on these steep, rough pitches.
Somedays I look towards nature to cheer me up. At times, I think that animals can feel our emotions and know exactly what we need.
Next we travelled to Colorado for our Levi prep. I felt prepared, strong and fast, and I was ready to begin building after last year. However, this was not what was in store for me.
In Levi, Finland I straddled at the top of the last pitch.
The sun shone in Levi this year, helping me overcome this curve in my path. And I tried to learn from my mistakes and look forward.
Next we travelled back to Colorado to begin our prep for the Aspen World Cup and Nor Am races. My prep went well, and we trained hard in the days leading up to 6 races in a row.
However, I straddled the the top in Aspen, and a little piece of my heart broke. This was not part of the plan. The plan was to build and learn and grow.
Sometimes when difficulties arise all you can do is go back to your roots. My favourite place in the world in my cottage. A road runs around the lake, which my grandpa cleared himself. Every day he takes his motorcycle or tractor out to the beaver dam to control the levels of the lake. Every few days he picks loose rocks out of the road, so that he doesn't run over them and fall.
I needed to pick a few rocks out of my road.
I had to get back to my roots.
Our next race was in Are, Sweden. I raced to finish. I started 33rd and ended up 16th after first run. As soon as I crossed the finish line, relief washed over me. I finished a first run! I ended up 21st overall and it was a great day. It was my first finish in about 10 months. (Photo: Pentaphoto)
Again I went back to the basics. I spent Christmas with my team in Europe. I was able to see Lenny race in Switzerland and cheer from the sidelines. Then Lenny came to Italy to spend a few days with my team. It was refreshing and rejuvenating and put a fresh perspective on skiing and training. Despite our car getting broken into... it was a great Christmas.
Next stop, Kutai. My rabbit heart almost couldn't take Kutai. It is an interesting feeling standing at the bottom of the race, after you have gone, waiting to see if you were good enough. I didn't think that I would get a second run. When I realized that I made it into the second run, I felt lucky and I wanted to take advantage of what was given to me. I moved from around 28th to 16th in the second run. It was my first time standing in the leader's box in a long time :) (Photo: Pentaphoto)
After a few days of training we headed to icy Zagreb. One of my favourite races.
After the first run I ended up about 16-18th, but I knew that I could make my skiing flow more. I had a plan. In the second run I put this plan into action. I moved up to 6th place after the second run. I had so much fun skiing that second run and felt in control and calm. And I was able to share the leader's box with Mitch :) (Photo: Pentaphoto)
After Zagreb I decided to try to get better at Lenny's sport...It's a work in progress.
Which brings us to our most recent race, Flachau. Everything did not go as planned leading up to Flachau, however I knew that I needed to trust my skiing. I was excited because I love night races and my dad was going to be on the hill taking photos. I ended up 12th and it was amazing sharing this experience with my dad. (photo credit: Andy Mielzynski)
Thank you to my sponsors Polar Securities, the Dattels family, Rossignol, Uvex and Leki for joining me on my journey and making it possible.
It's been one of heartbreak, happiness, tears, believing, failing to believe and so much more; but " the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." (Lao Tzu)