2012 at last!

Jan. 08, 2012, 10:14 a.m. (ET)
Happy New Year everyone! 
My team and I had the privilege of training up at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center for 10 days, ringing in the new year with high intensity aerobic training, weight lifting, and some cross country skiing. I am now home spending some time on the Potomac and spending time with family before heading to Australia for six weeks to race and train in summer conditions. 

Our current NGB CEO Joe Jacobi coached me to the US National team for the first time five years ago, during which time he introduced me to an exercise I now do each new year, the three words. Jacobi explained that I should come up with three words to keep in mind throughout the year that point to important aspects of my slalom game and goals I have for my racing. 
2012 will be the year of PEP for me. Presence, Extension, and Persistence. Presence, another word about which Jacobi and I have discussed at length, reminds me to stay in the moment. I have a tendency to want to focus on what's next, thinking, 2, 3, 4 steps ahead. While there is a time and a place for planning, I want to make sure I am more conscious of being present at critical times, like race days. Extension refers to a more physical goal of mine, to maximize the length of every stroke I take. I am not a tall or lanky athlete by any means so making sure I use every bit of my reach is critical to optimizing my efficiency. Current National Team coach Silvan Poberaj and I have been focusing in on this goal over the course of the past year during workouts and video review. Fortunately Persistence comes naturally to me, but I still included it in my three words because the Olympic year has additional challenges that will undoubtedly require some additional mental energy.  

I am very excited for the year to come! Check back for more updates, particularly once I am in Australia!