We’re Going To Sochi! (12/16/13)

BY JESSICA SCHULTZ


We are going to Sochi!!!!

Emotions flying after the last rock came to rest

Team USA with some of the Schultz crew

If you see a girl by herself smiling from ear to ear, it's probably me, and I think you can guess what I am thinking about. One month after the trials, the feeling still grabs me, sending a wave of energetic emotion through my veins. We did it. Our team is going to the Olympics!!! It still feels surreal. Every Olympic commercial, social media post, phone call and personal interaction resonates through me making my legs do a little ditty before I can gain composure.

The whirlwind of training leading into the trials has paid off. The hours of mental and physical training helped us maintain composure until the very last rock came to a rest at the back four foot. There was an odd calm that came over me with Erika's last shot, a moment of clarity if you will. Time slowed down and I couldn't hear anything but my teammates and I talking about weight and ice condition. The subconscious mind taking over in a game is a powerful thing in competition. As E was sliding out of the hack I couldn't help but smile to myself. She had such confidence and determination, her slide was spot on, and when she let go the weight was perfect. All Ann and I had to do was clean the path of the rock until it stopped.

When it came to rest at the back of the four foot, the emotion was overwhelming. We started jumping up and down hugging each other and screaming "We did it!" I felt weightless and floating along Cloud 9. (A place I'm going to be hanging out on for a while.)

My next step was to see my parents. Before the media and USADA could grab hold of me I jumped the boards and sprinted up the arena stairs. When I came around the corner the Schultz crew had tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces. I couldn't have made it to this moment without their love and support; and there we were, hugging and jumping around, celebrating a milestone in our lives.

I think I will always get choked up and goosebumps when remembering these moments. This team is awesome, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. We have stuck together through tough losses and interesting moments; learning from each experience and  applying it to make our team stronger. Winning the trials is bringing us one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal.

Planning for the next few months has been an interesting whirlwind. Training and practice has taken to a whole new level of intensity. Our travels have expanded to Europe for competitive events, completing it with a trip to Alaska to promote curling in my home state, and Las Vegas for the Continental Cup.

In the meantime I would like to give a special thanks to those who are helping us along the way; you inspire us in our journey. Also, thank you to my employer Twin Cities Orthopedics for allowing the time off and being such a support system; my new friends who kick my butt at Higher Power Training in Eden Prairie; and Four Seasons Curling Club and St. Paul Curling Club for preparing "pretty girl ice" to allow for the ultimate practice session. You guys ROCK!

Let's make history together. Follow along, ask questions and get involved on Team E. Brown on Facebook and @RockEBro and @Jess_curls on Twitter.