The Agony of Not Competing
Watching the US Freeskiing Nationals from the Sidelines
I never really got bruised from the crash, I think because all of the impact went straight into the bone and was absorbed by tilting my pelvis, in turn tweaking my lower back. For the past 10 days, my body has been compensating well and my tolerance of pain is pretty large, but alas my body is sick of it. And as much as I want to compete in the contest here in Snowbird (The US Freeskiing Nationals) I decided to pull out.
Pulling out of a contest at the last minute is akin to quitting. Somehow it hurts deep down. I want to compete. I want to go out and ski the best I can. I want to win for myself, for my sponsors, but above all for some deep down competitive drive, which I always give in to and sign up for more comps. I just love the feeling of being in the gate: the butterflies, the apprehension standing right next to my inner confidence, knowing that I have memorized my line, but not knowing exactly what it will be like when I ski it. These feelings you rarely get in life or in skiing.
So to sit on the sidelines of a contest I should be in, a contest I could be in, if I chose not to listen to my body, is one of the hardest things I can think of. All I can do is cheer on my bros, hope everyone skis safely and try to be psyched for the guy who is holding my trophy at the end.
Dave Swanwick, MountainZone.com Correspondent