Yesterday I woke up feeling really weird. I’ve felt that way since they’ve announced the olympic team. I’ve spent the last bit of my life trying to get here and now besides looking to get a medal when I compete I having trouble making sense of everything. Last night was the grand opening of Ridley College’s new hockey complex. I went down to Ridley to watch my brother play. He’s in grade 12 at Ridley and plays on the starting line for their varsity team. He’s obsessed with hockey… They were playing against Saint Andrews College, a school whom they hadn’t beaten in 10 years and who hadn’t lost a game this season. The whole school showed up.. all the boarding kids, alumni, parents friends.. it was a good scene. I went into it just thinking that I didn’t want them to lose to badly at the opening of their stadium. Then as the game got underway, I started to get really really excited when my brother had the puck.. or was slamming someone into the boards.. which is good because there were 50 mothers who were all talking about how their son was the best son that had ever walked the earth.. aka I wasn’t sticking out.. Before I knew I was screaming the loudest.. then Carson scores 1 goal.. 2 goals…. 3 goals!! haha I was so pumped I was the only person in the place to throw my hat on the ice. Seeing Carson do what he loved and being there to support him was by far the best moment in my life to date.. I think I almost got emotional.. so what I’m trying to say is that I learned again that night that the only thing that matters in life is being happy, being there for the people you love and that love you.. it was a great way to learn a great lesson… Go Carson!!!
But don’t think I’ve gone soft and I’m not looking to kick some euro ass and bring a medal home.
Since 2004 I have been searching, non stop, for a secret. I’ve wanted to know, how can I be fast, faster than anyone else. How do I become good enough to go to the olympics. Trying to figure out these answers took me 5 years, and I don’t know if I fully have the secret yet, but I know I’m close. I spent 3 years with talent, a huge ego and no discipline. It got me to world cup but It stopped there. I then spent a year hating myself and realizing that I wasn’t doing any of the things nor was I being the kind of person I needed to If I wanted to be the best. Then 18 months out of the olympics I realized I needed to change my entire approach to life and snowboarding if I wanted to stand a chance at achieving my goals. I didn’t know if it was going to work but what I did know is that I wasn’t happy and at the end of the day thats the only thing that matters. I started to let go of my fear of not doing well, let go of the idea that I needed to do well in order to be happy. I let go of the need to be a better snowboarder than anyone else. I spent the summer meditating to try and get rid of anxious feelings and learn to concentrate. I went back to doing things that made me happy like spending half of each day in the gym and half sailing instead of thinking that just training and nothing else was going to make the difference. On snow I wasn’t wasting a second, I was trying to step out of my comfort zone every turn and let everything go. After all of that I knew it was going to come down to my ability to perform in 5 World Cups between Dec 15th and Jan 24th. Coming into the events I was so nervous I thought I could vomit at times, but I just tried to stick to my plan… Breathe… focus… attack… and it actually worked. Before this year my best World Cup result was 8th place at the 2009 World Championships. In the 5 Olympic qualifying events this year I managed to get 6th, 2nd, 15th, 1st, and 7th. Not only securing my spot on the olympic team but sending me into the games ranked 4th in the world.. I see now that the secret is… there is no secret. I always felt like I wanted to puke after hearing how cheesy peoples “Olympic journey” stories were.. I guess I’ll be making someone feel like that now… haha so I apologize to those of you who read this and cringe because I’ve been there.
It happened… my first World Cup win.. and its all happening at the perfect time. It was our 2nd last qualification event for the olympics and I’ve been stressing about the games for the last 12 months. I learned that day that the secret to riding is that there is no secret.. I’m glad that one is out of the way because it only took me 4 years to figure it out. So now I’m in quebec getting ready for the last World Cup before the games. My family is coming, they announce the team in 4 days, and I’m going into all of it straight off of back to back wins and ranked 3rd in the world… ok I’m done rolling around in my awesomeness.. I’ve just been waiting for this for a very very long time.
Back to sleeping pills and a lack of food… annnd sweet cars and amazing views.. its a toss up really… not as bad as korea.. but not nearly as sweet as CANADA… We had a race the other day and I’m not going to lie.. it kinda stung. I’ve been feeling good and I wasn’t able to make it past Jasey in the first round of the finals.. leaving me with a 15th place finish.. thats leaves me with a 6th, 2nd and 15th place finish for the oylmpic qualifiers..
I’m working hard on re grouping my mind and I get another crack at it in a few days in Nendaz Switzerland.. re focus.. re focus.. attack…
I hate nothing more than people saying “stay tunned more to come” or “I’ll be writting regularly” then not doing it.. good thing I didnt say that..
So we’ve had 3 of the 5 Olympic qualifiers so far. 2 of the them were in Telluirde and we just had one in Austria..
The stress factor is so weird.. It tries to bring me back to a place where happiness is linked to performance which is just so sick and twisted… I just keep telling myself.. all you can do is take it one turn at a time and let go of all your fears… I hope on Jan 25th it works out for me.
This has been years in the making and its here…. the start of the races that will decide if I go to the Olympics or not. They’re taking place in Telluride Colorado over the next 7 days. We had a night race here in Steamboat today with a lot of great wolrd cup riders who like me, are getting ready for the upcoming World Cups in Telluride. I had the honor of racing someone who I looked up to and admired since I was 12, Mathieu Bozzetto. Along with Jasey Jay Anderson and Sigi Grabner, he is one of the 3 best racers of all time. I liked him so much that when we got our TTC student cards made in grade 9, I put my name as Michael Bozzetto. It was strange to see someone who was your hero become human. Although I beat him I know that there is still work to be done to take on the rest of the World Cup… but it was very cool moment for the kid inside me.. I’ll definitely remember it forever. I look forward to the upcoming races with anticipation, nervousness, excitement and the feeling that I’m going to attack every gate like its the last one ill ever see.