The first real challenge came when it was time for my first FIS race, in December. I felt somewhat unprepared, because I hadn't had that much training on snow, and I knew the hill was going to be extremely icy. Sure enough the slope looked like a skating rink. That first race series, putting it quite bluntly, sucked. I didn't feel confident, I was tired and sick, and my nerves were not helping the matter. After four races I only managed to drop my points to 250 in GS, and to 185 in slalom. I was quite disappointed in myself.
The next race I had was in February, so I had lots of time to gain confidence and to work on technique (especially getting used the new and "improved" GS skis). The training wasn't great, but we managed. No ski hill in BC had a lot of snow, so we felt lucky to even be able to ski. The only setback that really frustrated me was that I hurt my shoulder again in January, but fortunately it was only a subluxation.
The camp/race in Kimberley was a great experience. It was a downhill camp, a discipline that I had never had a chance to do so before. I loved it!! Sadly, because of the lack of snow on the hill, the speed races were canceled, as well as 3 days of downhill training. We did have a night slalom race, where I placed quite well (17th out of 54 girls), which proved that my training was paying off.
When we arrived home the Canada Winter Games was already underway. I got the privilege of forerunning for the ski racing. I also got to watch fellow Sports School athletes win numerous medals, lots of golds included. I am so proud of them!
I had a few more races at the end of the year, and I have to say that they were definitely an improvement over the start of the year. I dropped my slalom points down to 120 and my GS points to 200. There is most definitely room to improve, but I am still proud of my results.
I also got the opportunity to participate in the Ski Cross Nationals. I placed 4th in both the Junior Nationals and the Senior Nationals, and managed to achieve a 3rd at a FIS race that was tied into the event. I even beat some girls that had gone to Junior Worlds! Because of my performance at this camp I, and a few others, were invited to a National Team and National Development Team Camp. I don't think I had ever been so excited in my life. I learned a ton at the camp (you can watch some of the video of it on my video page), and now I know exactly what I have to work on so I can get better at ski cross. Again, the only downfall about this camp was hurting my shoulder. By then I had dislocated my shoulder twice, and subluxated it at least six times. Therefore it was extremely weak when I subluxated it once again, and I to be way more careful than I like to be.
This spring has been all about trying to get my shoulder back to normal, which is proving on being a difficult task. But it is slowly (too slowly!) getting better. Of course, I am also training and playing soccer, as well as trying to get my school work done. Exams are tomorrow, wish me luck!