This article was originally published on Larisa Yurkiw's website.
It’s Sunday.. quiet time before another race week. Well, not quite just ‘another’. This is my first time at a World Cup finals. Interesting to be 26 and still lots of firsts left in this sport for me.
Today I was skiing and all these feathers were on my jacket. Mom says ‘when feathers are here, angels are near’.. I don’t tell her there's a hole in my down jacket. I prefer to see it her way.
I feel very fortunate. I’ve had results I’m very proud of this year and I see so many girls.. no.. powerful women around me working their asses off too. Having awareness for others isn’t always the best quality for sport but I’ve always preferred to observe and take it all in.. ‘Blinders' or thinking only of myself will never feel authentic to me. Sometimes I think of how much a race coming up will mean to someone. Carolina Ruiz Castillo, from Spain, is at her last World Cup race weekend of her career. Last time we were in Méribel, she won… her first and only win of her career. I can honestly say, I hope she does it again. That’s not to say I don’t hope hard that I win too.. that’s just the awareness that feels true to me. Or Daniela Merighetti. She’s not at these Finals even though she’s more deserving than most of us. She was 4th at the Sochi Olympics.. but no one knows that she landed with her butt (and private parts) on the bindings of her skis just 48 hours prior to being 4th.. at an Olympic Winter Games. This year she broke her jaw and lost some teeth (still doesn’t have them), got a plate put in, hopped on a flight two weeks later to race the World Championships in Beaver Creek. Continued her season only to break her leg in Garmisch at the last stop before World Cup Finals. But manages to look beautiful and poised in an interview from her hospital bed. Or what about our Canadian rookie rocket Valerie Grenier.. top 20 result at her first World Championships and 13th at her first World Cup race in Switzerland.
There are powerhouses all around me.. I have pity parties sometimes.. I get feeling bad for myself and sad about pain or fatigue.. or missing my family for months. But I always remember I have a choice and I choose to keep finding out what I’m made of. That’s not to say I have an endless supply of grit. But that is to say that I generally have what it takes to do what I want to do. And if I’m unsuccessful, I’m still somewhat successful because I practiced believing in myself. I’ll never regret believing fully in the chance that I could be great at something. That’s the funky part about sport.. you can believe completely in yourself and prepare fully but it will only give you the chance at a result. There are no guarantees. So I’ve chosen to continuously redefine success. If I failed, did I fail completely. Am I an idiot or did I just miss the mark in a split second? Probably the latter.
I had a tough experience here in Méribel last time. I was told at 5pm the night before my race that I would actually not be racing, the spot would be given to someone else. With that said, I had bronchitis in Garmisch last time and came away with 11th this time. And I had the shits my last two times in Cortina and came away with my first podium this time. So I feel confident that I have an ability to redo these stops on the circuit because my life experience is just a bit further along... and I’m drinking bottled water.
I didn’t have much of a point to this blog, only that I’m often humbled by the skiing around me. I’m proud of my skiing this season and I guess I feel a bit sentimental being at the closing races of my most successful season to date. “All we did was take the long way.” I like that because, very simply put, it’s true. So I fell off the wagon a few years and had to go it alone.. I’ve had a choice with each step I’ve taken and I’ve arrived here, in a beautiful hotel room in the Trois Vallées with fresh sheets and a great rain shower.
Doing my best to ski fast and be brave.