Adventure comes in many shapes and sizes. Some live a life of adventure, some live to experience adventure. Some make it their souls purpose. For me, adventure is a pastime, something I seek with every chance I get. Something easy when skiing on the US Ski Team. Something that helps make the days away from home and the long moments that fill the days go by much easier. This last trip filled with adventure ranged through a good deal of Europe. The trip started with landing in Munich Germany, the first World Cup race was in InnerKrems Austria with Downhills and SuperGs, followed by GS and Slalom in Kranjska Gora Slovenia. The last race of the recent trip was World Championships in Tarvisio Italy, where the races started with Downhill and SuperG where I managed a Gold and bronze. Marking my first major win, becoming world champion in Downhill, managing a bronze in the SuperG and silver in the GS. Crashing in the SuperCombined and Slalom.
Making this trip mean even more on a personal level.Was the fact i was able to overcome a busted rib from a slalom injury in Slovenia. Making the victory mean that much more on a personal level. The journey to being world champion though fun and sprinkled with slight disaster. Had moment of memories that will forever stay with me. From winning gold and becoming world champion to taking a take and finding peace at the top of a mountain with friends adventuring ruins. This World Championships is bound to be one i am always thankful for.
Hello from Aspen! Where the training has been fantastic and the racing even better. SuperG training has been in full swing, preparing us for the second SuperG races of the season in Winter Park Colorado. The first races of the season, for the national team, have just ended where we went from some Europa Cups in Pitztal Austria, to a WorldCup in Kuhtai Austria and St Moritz Switzerland. Team USA put down a consistent showing with podiums in nearly every discipline, with Tyler Walker to Laurie Stevens and Thomas Walsh. All putting down consistent finishes.
My personal story though, is one of consistent learning experiences. Though I’m accross the world, with a chance to represent my country, in a beautiful place. Knowing I have been blessed up to this point. Sometimes things just don’t seem to go as perfect as they could. That’s where I would remind myself of a lesson a day. Though I was able to put down a solid performance and a third place in a SuperG in Pitztal. I had some troubles everyday, from a blown shock to technical and personal issues. The thing with the issues are, I looked at them like issues. When truly every tribulation was simply a learning experience. Every learning experience has a positive outcome for the future. Which helps to define the rest of our lives. Though I was sent to represent my country and I did my best in every situation I could. Their were issues and their were learning experiences. Their was a perspective I had to overcome to do the best for myself and those around me. For my country, so I can take the opportunity to inspire and help others, not just with what I’ve learned but in my perspective on life and choices. That’s where a lesson a day can truly make a difference. Even if it’s something that seems difficult and you don’t know how to handle it. Sometimes you have to take a step back, look at it and learn from it. An issue now, can make a difference later.
I’m currently in the process of raising funds for Pyeong Chang 2018 and the dreams I have to make a difference for others. From a simple website, to an adaptive boat and fishing program.
Please share the link with everyone you can find. Please share the story and the difference that can be made for those with disabilities.
The weather was fantastic and the times good in both Valle Nevado and Portillo Chile. With constant training, every day we were either on the snow training for SuperG or GS. The snow conditions were icy and hard, making for challenging but great terrain for training. Every night it would get cold and freeze, then everyday, it would warm up and become slushy. This helped pack the snow in a manner fantastic for setting up a race course. Imitating true race conditions, preparing us for the rest of the season. A substantial advantage was the fact that many teams from around the world were training there are well. Giving us a chance to train and work with them. Helping us to know exactly where our weaknesses lay and how they need to be worked on.
After training everyday we had team exercises and recovery in the gym. Then as night would blow through it was amazing to see the sunsets and change that would almost miraculously take place. Because just near us in Valle Nevado was Santiago, and over Santiago. Every night the sun would set, and the smog sitting over the city, would send out a glow. Though caused by something less than appeasing. The beauty of the sunset was still mesmerizing. The second week we spent training was in Portillo, a very unique place to train. With a beautiful surrounding lake, and a ski lift that takes you over the road. The conditions though oddly more challenging were great. Nice hard icy snow and the conditions were placed on a fun cross slope. Making keeping a edge on the hard ice challenging yet fun. The great thing was, much of the competition wasn’t getting the same training as we were in Portillo Chile. Helping to ski different conditions, really brings a good perspective and strong unique style to the team. It helps me to truly look forward to what the season has to offer. There were a few adventures and fun had off the snow! My favorite, was the chance to kayak the beautiful glacial lake of Portillo.
The Early Season training is about to be underway, with the team leaving for Portillo Chile and Vale Nevado in early september. Where we will be on snow and training for a strong season to try to get the edge over our international competition. The few summer months are just about over with many of the team staying on snow and constantly training. The team as a whole, has a set schedule for dryland training and heart rate monitoring to keep us in prime physical shape to enter our season. from monthly camps at the OTC and daily heart rate monitoring we are able to use technology to help give us the edge, for our endurance both on and off the snow.
As for the summer, between the training camps at the Olympic Training Center, the traveling and the heart rate testing. I have found the time off to do those rare things that i enjoy, the unique moments to find my soul. Taking a chance, where we have traveled to enjoy the local scenery. Try new things and make the experience of lifetime, every time. From being a healthy hero for the Alaska Running Club to Snorkeling and Surfing while at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. To fishing new remote locations in Alaska and biking the highest mountain passes i can find. To Qualifying for the Boston Marathon and hiking the highest hill i can find. Its the new experiences that will ultimately make me who i am and help my story shine. The dreams , the many dreams i have and the many ways i plan on helping others are still in full force. Just taking more time, with limited funding. Though i cannot be more thankful to all those who help and believe in me. From Netcracker Technology who funds my skiing season to the HighFives Foundation, Kelly Brush Foundation and CAF who have come together to help make my Summer Paralympic goals achievable with a new Hand Cycle. I plan on pursuing a life of adventure and unknown, moving forward, trying new things and helping as many as i can a long the way.
I cannot be more thankful for all of you who follow on my adventures and i cannot be more excited to tell you how training in Portillo and Valle Nevado turns out.
Tagged adaptive, andrewkurka, biking, cycling, disabled, inspiring, monoski, Olympics, Paralympic, Racing, sitski
Inspiring video on the life and times of Andrew Kurka. Sometimes when all else fails all you have to do is keep moving forward.
Posted in Life and travel, SKiing
Tagged adaptive, Alaska, Alpine, bodybuilding, Colorado, disabled, Downhill, inspiring, monoski, Motivational, Racing, sitski, Skiing, Slalom, X-Games