Midsummers Blog

Alright, Hi! Welcome back to my blog! I hope you’ve been having an absolutely lovely summer wherever you are. How’s my summer going you ask? Let me give you the short of it; it’s been hot.

…kidding! There is more. Let’s see, so I arrived in Calgary for another summer of dryland training with the team and so far it’s been a great few months of pushing past old limits. Having a good group of hardworking guys to sweat, suffer, and improve with each day is an absolutely invaluable aspect to training out here. Only seeing the inside of a stuffy gym all the time will drive a person insane over time though, luckily I got a nice break from it all to go skiing in Mt Hood, Oregon.  In all seriousness this time, it really was hot and we’re talking sweatpants in Africa hot, not just pleasantly warm. So as you might imagine conditions were a bit challenging some of the days, but it was juuuuust good enough to get some solid work done. I did a lot of short turns and banged a lot of plastic over the week of skiing, and despite some real iffy… or be it slow runs I’m starting to feel much better about my tech skills.

On a side note for those who follow my skiing more closely, I wanted to talk shop real quick. As I mentioned above, Hood was a tech camp (GS and SL only with our WC technical team), and I ski primarily speed. Odd right? Yep, I thought so too but I’m working hard on improving technical aspects of my skiing and this was the perfect environment to do so. Next I will be re-joining the speed team in Chile and staying with them for a while to further my craft skiing the big turns.

Let’s see, what else exciting happened to me. Oh, well there was this one day where I woke up and decided I would catch up on watching some Game of Thrones. One of the little joys in life right… Wrong! It happed to be the episode where they pretty much kill all the sweet characters and then don’t have a happy ending. So needless to say I was a little rattled and kind of melancholy, but errands were calling and I had to go out and face the world anyways. I stop at a red light coming home, it turns green so I do what anyone would have done and press the accelerator, good move right? …Wrong! Transmission calls it a career, and instead of going quietly decides to take some, what were apparently important other parts with it. Now all the good characters in Game of Thrones are dead AND I’m in the middle of a crowded intersection pushing across the carcass of my car. Luckily I had Conrad to share my sorrows with that day. A week later though the rains came and Alberta experienced the worst flooding it had seen in century. All of a sudden my “bad day” seemed too trivial to even think about. Now I could sit and write for days about how Calgary responded to this crisis but it’s all been said before. What I will say is that very rarely have I ever felt so proud to be human, strangers helping strangers in ways that were so above and beyond the norm it completely surpassed extraordinary.

What’s next for this guy? Skiing now!! I arrived in Chile a couple days ago and hit the slopes as soon as possible. Not too much to report just yet other than I’m jacked to be skiing on my new equipment and am excited to see how this camp progresses. Right this minute its puking snow outside and looks a heck of a lot like winter, and I kinda like it. Forecast has blue bird days on the horizon too, so hopefully I’ll have some solid footage to put up and give you a look at what I’m doing on skis these days. Until then I’ve thrown up some photos of the summer, it’s not a ton but it should link the past months up a bit and I hope it gives you a sense of things in my world.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Morgan

Putting this season in the books

 

Where should I start? It’s the end of another year of racing and just like all the rest it’s been an incredibly unique and exciting experience for me. I visited many of the usual stops as well as a lot of new ones during my season long tour and together they shaped my year into what it was. Some places I wanted to have a complete do-over, others I wished I could have just skipped entirely, and then of course there were the times I wouldn’t trade for anything. Now, as I get to look back on it all I can see that if I didn’t have the times where I got my ass kicked I wouldn’t so easily have found the motivation or perspective I needed to improve and that without the bad days the good ones never could have felt so great. Anyways that’s the deepest opening I could manage so let me recap the last several weeks (if you were with me on tour or know already just skip ahead, I won’t be offended… too badly).

Oh dear, so I just looked back on where I brought you up to date on my last blog and it appears I’ve been slacking off… and it would also appear that this could take more than a couple sentences so get comfortable.

This is the story of my recent months, and it starts quite similarly to any other; I was once again boarding a plane and heading east. This time it would be for my seasons only two World Cup starts, both in downhill and both on awesome tracks: Garmish and Kvitfjell (Both are in my videos). I was  very excited as always, and nervous too. I felt ready to go and really put the screws to it, you know, send it hard and make some points. That didn’t happen… I made some silly mistakes that stifled my chances of putting down fast runs. It was sad times for Morgan, but it was also a turning point for me. I had gotten the wakeup call I needed and worked hard to reign in my focus and technical basics, and over the next week of training I began skiing better and better. The way I had imagined skiing before the World Cups… odd how it often takes small failures to breed future success, and odder still how easy it is to see it now compared to how tough it is to understand it at the time.

Skipping ahead through the set of mind-numbingly long travel days to get back to Canada, I will say briefly that it’s pretty darn hard not to feel epic and maybe a little emotional when you are always flying off into the sunset. It’s easy to get lost in some obscure thought while you stare into endless orangey clouds over the middle of nowhere. It’s the only part about being on a plane that I really enjoy. I mean the food is pretty good to though….

Anyways, let me set the mood, its Nor-am finals at Nakiska, there are two Super-G’s left. Beauty conditions for a race. I’m nervous, I have to win, I have bib one, and I’m nervous too. At least though my nerves weren’t about winning so much as they were about whether or not I would ski the way I had been in training. I push out of the start and then shortly after that I cross the finish line. Naturally being the only one to have come down the course I was wining, this was a relief. I held on for 29 more racers and got my first victory of the year! I also got the ball rolling and kept my good form for two more races, winning me the Nor-am Super-G and Super Combined titles! Happiness at last for a long hard season.

I’m now looking forward to some summer and time out of my boots spent in the sun. I want to wrap this up right and without sounding too man crushy, thank all of my teammates for making this a heck of a season. You guys are my family eight months of the year… some of you are my family all time. See you all in Calgary (yay) where it all starts over again.

Thanks for checking in,

Morgan

 

Going back and forth.

It’s been a long while since I last updated my blog, and not for a lack of things to write about. It just didn’t happen, that’s my bad. But the New Year has been going on regardless, and it’s already nearing two months old. I’m happy about how it’s been going so far too. This bit of my story starts in Zurich, where naturally as soon as the plane landed the plans for training and racing started to change. But what would a Europe trip be though without having to freestyle things a bit? What was for certain though was that I would be racing four Europa-cup speed series in four weeks in four different countries. That’s more speed than I have gotten to race during entire past seasons. So needless to say I was kind of excited about it. Anyway, to keep this manageable I’ll leave out the incredible amounts of driving that took place and focus on the skiing. Stop number one was Wengen, Suisse. Luckily it was a shortened version of the track, but I still got to jump through the rocks and do all the parts that I’ve watched on TV so many times. It was tough slugging for me to put a whole run together, and the entire week I didn’t manage to get all the pieces in the right places. I did take one big thing away from it all though: for the first time, I won an EC split, and on the technical bottom half of the course. As cool as it was it is sort of meaningless in all ways but one: I now had proof on paper that I have the speed to win these races, and not just the feelings and hopes that I had carried with me from training.

Onto the next one: Hinterstoder, Österreich. It was a drag race—short and not really sweet—but also an important building block and a really good place to work on the basics.  There were some good parts but come the end of the week I simply just got out skied. It was a solid bit of training for the next series though, and the place we stayed had an amazing shower. Those were the positives. Val d’Isere, France. I had run the track the year before so there was no awkward “get to know each other” phase and on race day I skied my best DH run yet this year. It was my first EC top 5, and best moment of the trip! The final stop for me was a place called Sarntal, Italia… And that’s all I have to say about that.

Now with Europe in the rear view I had a really, really short one day turn around at home before the Apex Nor-ams. More speed (yay!) and a nice race to come home too. I skied well, I made mistakes, and most importantly I learned. So I call it a success so long as I put that into practice next chance I get. Not long ago now I got my ticket back to Europe, and with it some shots at a bigger stage. Now I sit with a nervy excitement and can hardly wait to get back at it. As always I hope to write again soon with good news and exclamation marks, but for now thanks for stopping by.

-Morgan

2012 wrap up

This has been a serious elevator of a beginning to my race season… lots of ups and downs… get it? hah… but really things have been a little all over the place for me, I’ve had my emotions running high and had images in my head of how I thought things should go. Then of course life steps and re-routes me in different paths I had not imagined what-so-ever. This all sounds a little dramatic and I assure you it’s not, but it was my last two months and I’ll try to explain it to you. Here goes,

Summer is over and that signifies an end to the prep period. It’s time to train to race and smooth out all the kinks. At this point I’m separated from my team and get to work in with the big dogs in Colorado for a little more speed oriented training. Skiing is going well, I’m all smiles and putting down fast ones most days. Then here goes my first hiccup. I get a chance to do six races at Copper mtn. I jump at the opportunity and then immediately do horrible… one, two, three, four, five, six, starts… all kind of going from bad to worse. Yeah, not ideal but I shrug them off and pretend they never happened. Denial is always a good way to deal with things right?

Fast forward and I’m at Lake Louise for the WC downhill, in my mind my first “real” race. I’ll tell you, since the pre-season when I thought I had a chance to race in the Winter start I had a plan in my head of how it would go. Right down to how I’m going to ski on race day, the bib I would be starting with, how it would feel to finish well, everything. But come the second training run, I have to beat out a teammate to earn the spot on race day. I didn’t put myself in the driver’s seat nearly enough and come race day I was a spectator. My next stop was the Beaver Creek WC downhill. I can’t describe how amazing the course is, and how excited I was to ski it, how excited I was to race down it, and again the criteria was simple, ski faster than my teammate on the second run and the spot was mine. I skied well mostly, but made a mistake and just like that I’m 0-2 in World Cup qualification. Let me tell you it hurts, a lot. To hold those chances in your hand only to have them slip away with a few missteps on the way down. That’s how she goes though and since not even my physio can fix broken heartilage I’ll have to sack up and get back at it so the next time I get the opportunity I’m ready to take full advantage. The one upside was, I had just had two weeks practicing to race at the highest level so I felt pretty ready to make it rain at the Nor-am speed openers back in Copper.

Turns out making it rain is way easier to say than actually do, especially at the American speed training centre. It was a pretty special beat down in the Downhill’s to put it lightly. The course was a question I didn’t have an answer for. That made it a long week. It also lead to me getting exceptionally pissed off. I guess it was the weeks prior compounding on top of this crappy week that really got me. There was a solid stretch where I didn’t do a lot of smiling and spent some good time starting at my shoes looking for a solution. I was roused from one of my frowny staring matches with my laces though by my coach. He had a pep talk for me. It didn’t get me all fired and ready to bust any heads, but it made me think about a few things, about having fun, and what it takes to do that.  The next day things got a little better, and soon I was racing how I wanted to.

Moving on now to the final leg of the journey before the holidays and the New Year, it would take place in Panorama. Panorama is… an armpit, dark all the time. Actually an armpit would be warm at least so I’m not sure what Pano is… regardless they put on a pretty darn good race series. I actually find it one of the most maddening places to race because it’s got a Rubik’s cube for a GS and one heck of a tough Slalom. It’s been good to me in previous years and was good to me again this year, letting me finish the first block on a high note with back to back silvers in the SG’s! My first ever Nor-am podiums. It was the satisfied feeling I had imagined all the way since Lake Louise and carried with me along to Beaver Creek and Copper. Finally I had it and finished the races smiling. Now I’m back home and getting some rest so I can battle in Europe come the New Year.

Happy Holidays, I hope everyone is finding their own kind of deep pow or sandy beaches.

Thanks for checking in,

-Morgan

Back to Blogging

After a loooong blogging hiatus I’m back at it! And, as you can see I’m doing it from a new site. Nothing against my old page but I like the looks of this one much better and there is way more I can do with it. So what else is new with the blog? Well, I’m going to try and use more paragraph breaks this time around. As much as I love writing one giant runaway train of thoughts it’ll be better this way. Other than that, pretty much nothing. I’ve got a few more pages attached to Blog 2.0, so check them out if you want because that’s where I will be posting my photos and videos from now on. I think that about covers it, please enjoy the new site and here’s the first chapter of my 2012/2013 season!

Catching Up.

Sooo… in my last post I said I would update you soon and the blog would be around for the summer… turns out that was a serious fib on my part. Its not that I didn’t try to put a few things down in writing either, it just occurred to me that writing about my days at the gym in Calgary was a bore, and that I didn’t have nearly enough female readers to make putting up pictures a worthwhile endeavour. I will give you a quick recap up to right now though, annnd I’ll do it in third person because it’s so much better that way.

-          April 17th Morgan enjoys a few days off after a long season

-          April 25th Morgan locks up a lease in Calgary and now its game on for training

-          May 5th ish… Morgan pulls the exploder into Calgary, calls it home for now and puts on his runners

-          May 10th Morgan goes to the gym

-          August 1st Morgan finally escapes from the gym and trades his runners for ski boots

-          August 4th ish… Morgan heads to Zermatt for a month on snow. Morgan takes pictures of the Matterhorn and learns to ski a little better

-          September 3rd Morgan returns to Calgary and puts his runners back on (sigh)

-          September 21st Morgan finally returns to Whistler!

-          October 3rd Morgan leaves on a jet plane for Hintertux

-          October 23rd Morgan comes home from a very GS oriented camp.

And that sums up the entire summer. Now I am back in Whistler for a very short break, one just long enough to run my clothes through the wash before having to pack them up and head out again. This time when I get back on snow though I will be skiing to earn World Cup starts and podiums at the rest of the races. I guess you could argue that I’m always skiing for those things, but at this time of year I find the impact of each day’s performances weigh heavier than in the summer. Not in a bad way of course, things just start to feel more exciting the closer I get to race season.

Although my season doesn’t start for a little while, some of my teammates are already suiting up for race day at the World Cup opener. This year we have Young Trev debuting, Dustin racing in his third Soelden appearance, and JP our veteran. I know they’ve all got what it takes to ski into the point and better so best of luck boys, I can’t wait to watch!

I think that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the new blog! I’ll actually be putting up updates on the reg now so check back soon. Bye for now

-Morgan