The journey to Beijing was unlike anything that we could’ve expected. It was certainly nothing I expected. Training lacked in aspects due to COVID, situations were less than optimal for training and luck just really wasn’t on our side.

I was determined to make the best of the situations that were thrust at me. though everything was moving uphill I was determined to find the top, to persevere and to overcome. We lacked speed training prior to the games. It had been months since we had any speed training. Much less downhill speed training. Which is my best event. Then the moment we did get downhill training. On day one. A broken binding landed me in the hospital with a broken nose, cheek bone and concussion.

Recovery for me began a week before the games even started. My uphill battle became even steeper. Not only did I miss out on training I also had to be cleared before I could ski. Training on the hill was a flip of the coin and my disadvantage against my competitors grew. When I just got back on snow. I knew I had to get comfortable and renew my comfort on snow. Feel out the conditions as well as prepare myself to race. Once I was cleared to be back on snow. In Beijing, I had to rush and prepare myself. A new mono ski made by team Toyota, a new hill, an event I haven’t raced in and weeks off snow, were a few of the challenges that stacked on top of the lack of training and now weather. It was horrid, cold extremely windy hill. That brought challenges none was expecting, from Sand storms to slow times. Though racers were competing on a superb level. Unfair disadvantages were thrown at them. Just due to unlucky weather patterns.

I was one of those athletes. Unlucky unfair disadvantage sprung on me, yet again a challenge faced me. On race day, a heavy gust took me right into the fence. Breaking the greater tuberosity in my right shoulder and tearing my ulnar ligament in my right thumb. I knew from the pain right away something was wrong. But after everything, I wasn’t about to quit. I raced, and I lost. Finished in 3rd place, but ended the day in 4th place. Just outside of podium contention, with a broken arm and stacked disadvantages. Sadness filled my soul and a sense of depravity overcame me. This moral injustice this unlucky coin flip in life wasn’t going to hold me back. I was better than this, I knew it, my competitors knew it and everyone knows it. 4th place with a broken arm and stacked dissatisfactions over and over again. When the sport I compete in is based off of consistency.

I am going to continue to recover, continue to improve and get better everyday. I will focus on the things I can control and I will overcome the difficulties I face. One day at a time, because my failures will never define me. But how I overcome them, will.

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My Journey to Beijing

Covid struck, then lives were instantly changed. There were positives and negatives that inflicted my life. I found my soul mate. I built my bed and breakfast. My dream business in a beautiful little part of Alaska. But while I was accomplishing my life tasks. My job suffered. My skiing career, was on hold. My training had halted and I couldn’t continue to compete like I had hoped. Especially in the disciplines I excel at, speed. SuperG became hard to come by and Downhill was even tougher. I began counting down the day until I could compete again. Feelings something I hadn’t felt in a long time, anxious. Was I still at the top of my game? My training has suffered. My life has changed. Is it time I switch focuses?

This skiing career I chose. Is based on time and experience. Just as much as physical skill and courage. With so much time away from the WorldCup. My confidence was at a teetering point, and I knew, the only way to get it back. Was to compete. After two years of lack luster competition. Not getting a chance to face my rivals and some of my best competitors. I finally found myself in the gate. Doing my best to keep myself calm. Laughing and placing that quiet pressure on myself.

For a moment, I was back on top. The fastest in the world and a solid competitor. Podium placement is a possibility once again for me. After two years, I hadn’t lost my edge, it was just a little dull. I will sharpen and hone my skills as this season continues as I pursue my competition but more importantly, the constant perfection of myself. I look forward to Beijing 2022 and my journey to get there.

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Forever And Always

I TOOK THE LARGEST STEP OF MY LIFE. I got engaged, and I couldn’t be more sure. I hope to look back years from now with the love of my life and laugh at all the good times we had.

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2021-2022 Para Alpine Team

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Monoskiing 101 THE RACE TURN

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Intro Into Monoskiing-Starting The Race Turn

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Loading the Chairlift-Monoskiing 101

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Intro into monoskiing 101

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Strange Times

Day after day in this day and age everything is ever fluctuating and changing. With unique times, comes unique adaptability. It’s when our own individual strengths shine. SARS COVID has made an indisputable impact on the world and all of our lives. What strengths do we hold dear? What obstacles are you willing to face and overcome? Things haven’t become hopeless, just different. Are you willing to adapt? View the world in a different manner? And over the new and unique challenges the world is presenting to you?

I find those with disabilities are able to more easily adapt and overcome in these times. Is it because of the past trauma? The everyday occurrence of the mindset to adapt? We already live a world different than most. Adapting to stairs. Overcoming the obstacles of outdoor travel. The construct of a different life. Uniqueness is in our nature.

Personally I see the challenges I’m faced with. I welcome them with open arms. These challenges in this new world are but ways of making me stronger. Mentally, physically, I still seek out a path of safety for my future and those around me. But I also seek the strength and willpower to fight. Because I know the challenges won’t be easy, otherwise, they wouldn’t be called challenges. My life has evolved gradually throughout this time, from typical races and weekly competitions to socially distanced training. From meet and greets, to online zoom calls and speeches. I’m both proud and happy for those who still believe in me. Who help me face these challenges and give me a leg up. That’s what friends and family are for. We’re a team, a team that pushes through until we achieve victory. I’m hoping that the race circuit will get back to where it was before and that the US para alpine team will be back in the thick of World Cup competition.

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With the world turned around.

A simple virus changes everything. It seems like yesterday I was an athlete arriving in Norway. Preparing to race, readying my gear to compete. Then again, it seems like a year ago that we were told to leave. We can’t stay in Norway, the borders are closing all across Europe and we need the next flight home. It seemed surreal and it almost seems fake. For most people it still seems like it’s settling in. Especially in Alaska where finding distance from others has never been an issue. The confusion with this life they call “the new normal” is very hard for some to settle into and accept. Any kind of change is hard to accept. I have found with most people in a situation like mine, most people with a disability. Aren’t having as hard of time, a lot already feel like they’ve been living alone. Or thaht they’ve been living a life that people don’t understand. I think it’s a mind set forced upon us, because the world was never meant for us. It was meant for normal. It’s been adapted for us, or we have to adapt to it. The mindset that happens after a life changing Injury, is that of forceful acceptance over fear. We have to accept the changes our bodies have gone through, we have to accept life is different, and we have to accept our new normal.

I’ve found lots of people have to face these challenges daily. It doesn’t mean you have to change the way you live. Or do every little thing different, it’s simply a way of being aware. Cautious of yourself and those around you, while caring for those you could possibly hurt. On my way back from Norway, the last race we arrived at before COVID canceled the ski season. I was on the phone with my mother, her throat was course and her cough was rough. First thing I said was “get tested” she didn’t want to leave her bed. This thing, this, virus. Hadn’t quite hit Alaska, much less the United States. Tests were few and far between, people hardly knew where to get one. Just as I arrived home, my stepfather and brothers all ended up sick. With the importance of their jobs, they needed to be tested. Come to find out, they’ve all been sick with COVID. Luckily none of them were dreadfully Ill, the older family members had flu symptoms and fevers while my younger brothers had what seemed to be a cold. Nothing more than a 101 degree temperature was recorded. But all of them can easily see, that if they were unhealthy or had any other ailments. It could’ve dreadfully damaged them or taken them out.

Right now everyone In my family is focused around keeping my 88 year old grandma safe. Masks are worn in public, even though antibodies have been built up, everyone is still cautious for those we care for and for those who could be afflicted. With the world being a bit different for a while it’s okay to adapt. To overcome, that’s what humans are all about. That’s what adaptive sport is all about. Living to your fullest potential, the best and safest way. Adapting, overcoming, while hopefully being an example to so many others.

This summer has been an interesting one, and lots of things have changed. But the great outdoors, wilderness and my lifestyle in Alaska. My home and my pastimes, honestly haven’t.

Grandmas pies
Fishing Silver Salmon
Fishing Humpy Salmon
Fishing Halibut
Fishing Bigger Halibut
Fishing For Cool New Catches
With Family And With Friends
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