The last month has been a little rocky, rolling my ankle the day before New Years Eve…I was meant to fly out to Absolut Park in Austria for some training before the Russian World Cup Big Air event. I had to cancel Austria… and Russia :( A casual “hike” at home turned into 2 weeks off my snowboard rehabbing a grade 2 Lateral Ligament ankle sprain… far from Ideal! However, it happens and you can’t wrap yourself in cotton wool! Ha.
So the ankle has been a bit of a pain to be honest, I didn’t want to leak any intel about it until I knew the full extent of how long it would take to heal, my physio back in Belfast gave me the great news of 2-4 weeks! “REALLY it would be 4”! Two weeks into the injury I decided I would try and ride the first Slopestyle World Cup of the season. My foot was still very tender from the sprain which meant I couldn’t train at all. A weak pressure point on the bone, meant even when the physio tapped my ankle and compressed the tape I burst into tears. For the qualification day we managed to get a good grip on it, with a strong dose of pain killers and a solid tape job it allowed me to push through and put a safe run on the board to score some valuable FIS points for the Olympic qualification process.
The next mission… LAAX, Switzerland. 1 week later… it was the same scenario, with a demanding course, and no practice it was tough out there. I suprised myself and rode strong and confidently all things considered with zero practice until 45 minutes until the contest, which meant 5 runs through the course! It was intense and the pressure was on, this time the lack of practice didn’t put me in good stead for the contest, falling on the last feature in both my runs meant I did not progress to the semi-finals.
With no further riding to be done in LAAX, it was a blessing in disguise as it gave me 6 days before the next contest to recharge the body and focus on recovery. With some pool rehab in Switzerland, time on the bike each day, single leg balancing work and at the physio every day my foot was in good hands.
Next stop on the whirlwind Slopestyle tour was South Tyrol in Italy. Feeling stronger and in a lot less pain than the previous contests it was finally go time. With my foot still casted up in a tape like boot, I had 2 great days of practice. Blue-bird skies, a great course, I was on good form. Qualification went off, with a strong field of 37+ girls. I managed to stick down both of my quali runs, improving my 2nd run with my Back Rodeo, I was really happy to qualify 2nd in my heat direct to finals.
Put your HANDS up in the air! Happy to Qualify in 2nd :)
Finals day was Friday, with blue bird skies, 4 Brits in the finals, 3 of the Men on the GB Team, Billy Morgan, Jamie Nicholls, Rowan Coultas and myself representing for the ladies we had a strong squad. I landed my first run placing me 5th overall. So chuffed after a rough few weeks managing my foot I couldn’t be happier to put down a run and get my first result of the 2017 in the bag. Big shout out to the ladies on the podium for throwing down, Sina Canadian with the Front 10, and Enni Rukjarvi fresh off her win from the LAAX Open, taking her 2nd Win of the Season. Also congrats to my good friend Mr Jamie Nicholls for brining home 2nd place. TEAM GB! YEAH !
Really chuffed to be back on it, however, that’s just the warm up ;) bring on the next one. The whirlwind continues! I have a few exciting things in the pipeline which I can’t wait to tell you! FOR NOW it's a long drive from Italy, through Austria, into Germany. A Flight to London, a 3 hour layover, another flight to LA, and then a 6 hour drive to Mammoth. I will be competing in the US World Cup Grand Prix!