Friday, May 4, 2007

On Gratitude

I am a bit overwhelmed, and I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to everyone who is making this possible for me. Never in my many pursuits have I had a team of people pull so hard and willingly behind me, gathering me up and pushing me onward.

Ever since I made the decision to train to the D team, I have heard nothing but "Go for it!" "Let me help you!". I must admit, I am at a bit of a loss. I remember when I was skating taking the buss to the rink at the crack of dawn to get a patch session in. Standing next to my friends while they had their lessons, and then making them re-teach me what they had just learned. Sewing my skating dresses in my underwear so I could try them on and fix em.

There are two careers that my mom never wanted for me, one was that of an athlete, and the other was as an actress. Both are such tough roads, with such enormous competition, and with such huge possibility for failure. Unfortunately for mom, I pursued both of them rather vigorously. And here we are again.

But this time, something is different. The amazing Mike Hickey, a gold mine of skiing knowledge and passion for the sport, former D team member (1976) and race coach, has agreed to coach me. His colleague at Bridger Bowl, Kurt, is going to supplement the training and coaching. My sister, Liat, a nutritionist, has agreed to donate her time to my nutrition coaching. The Ridge Athletic Club is being incredibly supportive with sport specific programs, and is allowing me to run a hiking group this summer (now I can get paid to get my cardio in.)

I can't ski without gear, and honestly, Tom and I are flat broke right now, and lo and behold, Megan hands me her skis. And offers to train me. She handed me gear I desperately need and can't afford, and I can't wait to get out there and get my ass kicked by her when the season starts again.

Then there is my incredible husband. Tom comes home early and gets the kids ready for bed so I can get to the gym and get my strength training in. Weekends, the only time I'll really see him, he's watching the kids so I can hike for snow.

And speaking of my kids, I come home and they want to know how my workout was. They are practicing on the balance boards with me. Ethan is doing boot drills in the kitchen with me. "Mom, are you skiing in the kitchen?" "Yes..." "Can I ski with you? Can we go fast?" Look at those little 5 year old ankles flex...

And my older sister, who sent me a credit card. For emergencies. For training. So I can go to places like Snowbird when I don't have any money for gas or food. But she does much more than that. This woman tells me I can do it daily. She emails IMS from Germany (where she is working on the new Speed Racer film) and makes it a priority in her 18 hour day to tell me she is proud of me. This is the girl that used to throw me out of her room for having sticky fingers!!

My mom flew out from California to watch the kids so I could go to the Academy, and she ended up paying my way. After buying me all my backcountry gear, which I taught on all year and will be training on all summer.

This doesn't include the incredible notes of support from Nick McDonald, trainer extraordinare, and Rob Sogard, the coach of the team I dream of. Thank God I have people like Josh Spohler and Nick Herrin to tell me I suck and slap me down, all the while grinning and challenging me to try harder, because you need that too. They set the bar high.

All of this hit me kind of all at once, and here is where Shannon came in. We were at Snowbird, and I noticed that my face was leaking. I was an emotional wreck. I am used to having to fight and swim upstream so much, that all this help and support was downright strange and foreign. And Shannon said, Kate, what you are feeling is good, its called gratitude. Enjoy it. Allow it. So I did, I sat in the bathroom and cried for a bit, feeling what it felt like to have a huge group of people pull together to make your dream happen, and then we went out and ripped it up on the hill. So thanks for putting me back together and being the chick I can ski with...

So thank you. If I never made it further than this point, it has already been an amazing experience for me. And since we WILL be moving forward, I want to say thanks to everyone who hangs in there when its tough, not so fun, scary, and looks impossible. With your help, we just might get there!

In utter amazement,

No comments: