A little about the tracks we slid on in Europe:
La Plagne, France
15 curves, 14 timed (One of the curves is part of the breaking stretch)
St. Moritz, Switzerland
These curves are named, not numbered (Sunny, Horseshoe, Telephone, etc.)
Telephone got its name because so many people would crash out of Horseshoe they would have to call for help. This track is built up every year with only snow. Also, this is where bobsleigh started.
We hit (but didn’t crash, though) so hard out of the curve called Horseshoe in Switzerland I literally saw stars. I made a really loud “ughhhh” sound and my pilot heard. We laugh about it now. I’m just excited I don’t get dizzy anymore. Thank you, Jesus.
A few things about the trip:
Nutella is everywhere and served everywhere. Like butter in America.
You don’t see pickup trucks anywhere.
It snowed 90% of the time.
I slid with the Australian pilot going to this year’s games and also a former World Cup German pilot (male) for practice/fun.
In Austria, we had no dryer for our clothes, but our floors were heated.
McDonald’s have bakery’s in them here.
You need a prescription for ibuprofen.
Chow means hello and goodbye. That can get confusing.
Anywhere we went we got asked if we wanted still water or prickled (sparking).
An interesting conversation I had:
Bob? No, sparkling.
(When you don’t know another language, obsessed with sparkling water and in a grocery store...
I was looking at the waters, an employee saw my coat and said Bob? I thought he meant what kind of water do I want so I said, “no, sparkling” and from then on he thought I did Skeleton.)
We spent Christmas at our Swiss pilot friend’s house and with our Australians in Lucerne, Switzerland.
It’s interesting how all other countries know their language and pretty fluent in English too. I’m just like, well, I know what “mas o menos” means in Spanish. I really need to learn other languages.
You realize how everything is so convenient in America. For example, I will not miss scrambling for Euro/Swiss Franc to use the bathroom at a gas station.
I have to carry around my helmet, spikes and booty covers (aka rubber covers for my I-spikes) in my carry-on luggage. Makes for a heavy bag, me being uncomfortably hot and extra security checks.
It’s crazy to think I have friends from so many different countries now; Australia, Austria, Germany, France, Romania, Switzerland.
Incredibly thankful for travel. On the flight home, I was overwhelmed with just how faithful God is. I’ve prayed for years to not be done with athletics and also to travel the world, not knowing how either would ever happen. These last 8 months I’ve gotten just a taste of how much bigger God’s plans are for me than I have for myself.
From the friendly blue skies, XOXO.
P.S. If anyone is curious about bobsledding or has questions, feel free to ask! I had a million when I started.
La Plagne, France
December 14, 2017
It snows everyday. Around 32 F / O C. Track is located way up in the French Alps.
Race day is tomorrow. Unfortunately, I lost my race off by 1/100th of a second to Kyle, so she will be the brakeman for Kristi in tomorrow’s race.
Not going to lie, I was really upset. I wanted to race. Of course, we both came here for this day. But, I have to remember that it was all planned out by the big man upstairs and good can still come out of all of this. Plus, Kyle has worked her butt off to get to race, and deserves to. When Kristi and I won in Calgary, Kyle cried in happiness.
Tomorrow is my time to “cry” for them. I love these two girls and excited to cheer them on.
Shared joy, is double joy.
Things I say on repeat when life doesn’t go my way...
1. He will work all things work out for good (Romans 8:28)
2. He knows the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4)
3. He will do more than we can even dream or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)
Tomorrow after the race, we leave to visit Lake Como in Italy and then head to St. Moritz, Switzerland. St. Moritz is the only “natural” track in the world. Literally, built up every year with just snow.
From La Ploo (our nickname for this place), XoXo!
Germany -> Switzerland -> France
Europa Cup / La Plagne, France
December 8th, 2017
First thing’s first:
Jet lag is real.
Not knowing a lick of German or French makes everything tricky.
I swear everything has chocolate in it and it’s turned into a biscuit or cookie of some kind. Not complaining.
In the ‘start house’ at the track in France, men and woman share one public restroom. Walking into the room named “toilets” and having a guy friend follow me in is…interesting.
We are driving a large cargo van (U-haul) to drive our sled place to place. That means, for the 8+ hour trips, we sit three deep in the front seat.
People drive fast on the autobahn.
You can order as much wine as you please at dinner, for free. Just staying.
I flew into Frankfurt, drove to Winterberg, Germany with Kristi and Kyle (like the boys name, but a girl..LOL). We picked up a sled we rented from the German team and headed out the next day to La Plagne, France. We left at 11am and got into La Plagne at 2:30am. Besides the every hour stop to use the restrooms (that you have to pay to use), we also got lost in the mountains.
We slid for the first time today. My run was smooth and I was able to ‘count the curves’ and know where I was. The pressures can be intense here (kind of like sitting on the floor with your legs straight out, bending over, and then someone stepping on your back). We have a few more days of training before the race on the 15th. Kristi is the pilot and then Kyle and I have push off’s to see who will slide on race day.
I have had 'heart eyes' the whole time I've been here in France. It is stunning.
From the French Alps, XOXO.
Park City, Utah
December 3, 2017
The rollercoaster ride: not just the actual slides but the highs and lows of being in athletics.
From Whistlers crash, I was fortunate to have better outcomes in Calgary. I took a 4th place with Nicole Vogt and a gold with Kristi Koplin. Standing on the podium while they play the winning team’s national anthem makes me stare straight forward and not look around because I would start crying.
Not only am I extremely honored, and feel under qualified to be representing the USA, but I am overwhelmed with the way God has answered my prayers. For years I didn’t think I was done with athletics, but didn’t know what to do. I didn’t even have a gym membership and I definitely didn’t have bobsled on the radar. One by one, and years of waiting (literally 4), doors started to open.
Calgary was a high moment, and then Park City was a low. North American brakeman did not get to compete because the World Cup team was there. It was tough to not get a chance to compete but that is just how works. The World Cup brakeman are obviously on the World Cup for a reason, and God already knew they were going to race anyway :)
Off to Europe! Heading to the track in La Plagne, France. We will have race-offs when we get there to see who will race. Either way, I am excited for this adventure. I’ll celebrate my 28th birthday and 2017 Christmas in Europe.
You could’ve given me 3 million guesses last year on where I would be in a year, this wouldn’t have made the list.
Thanks for the support. XOXO.