Dondé Esta el Autobus Amarillo?

20 Jun

abbyghent:

In case you haven’t seen Erika’s new summer blog, here’s a little snipit. It’s pretty awesome. Go ahead, indulge.

Originally posted on HEL-lo Euro:

Our day began in a very civilized manner. We were organized, prepared and caught the early train from Madrid to Valencia. When we successfully got to our seats on the train, we thought to ourselves, “Great! We are winning this day!”‘ We spoke too soon.

Here’s what happened next:

1) Upon arriving at the Valencia train station, gigantic packs on our backs, somehow a bug flew into Hannah’s eye and stung her in the eyeball, rendering it blood shot for hours. True story. Stung. In. The. Eyeball.

2) Our directions told us to find the “old” train station. Once we arrived there we had a skip in our step, and said to ourselves, “Booyah! We got this day in the bag. Gonna be on the beach by noon.” HOWEVER… We still had to find the mysterious yellow bus, line 190, which was supposed to arrive every hour on the hour…

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Adventures on Crutches

21 May

The first ski camp of the summer, I fractured my tibial plateau. Sounds bad, but it could’ve been a lot worse. I sustained no ligament damage and the fracture was small enough that I didn’t have to get surgery! The only downside is I have to be on crutches for four weeks with limited weight-bearing. Being on crutches really limits you in the activities you can do, but I am making the best of it and found some things to keep me busy this past weekend.

I was trying to come up with an idea for things to do while the Crazy Canuck was in town. He left on Monday so I thought we could go down to Denver and find something to do. Thinking of everything fun down there was difficult because I am so limited. I did however think of how awesome it would be to go to Elitch Gardens. Then I remembered how long I would be standing in lines, so I emailed them and figured out a way to get a line-cutting pass because I’m a gimp. ;) It totally worked! We got to skip all the lines and, even better, got to sit at all of the front of the rides! It was a very good shoulder/hand/wrist workout for me, and I got tired fairly quickly, but we definitely got our money’s worth!

Then we went to Boulder, I took a nap, and Crazy went out on his new bike, which then broke. He came back and, with a little help from our bike expert, Chris, he fixed it up and decided to go back out again. Not long after, we hear him outside and hear him say, “This has not been my day for biking… and I need a nurse.” He had crashed and ripped up the skin on his knee pretty good. Gimpy as I am, I think I’m a pretty good nurse!

Dustin's Boo-Boo... He really is crazy.

Dustin’s Boo-Boo… He really is crazy.

The next day we woke up early and drove to DIA so Crazy could fly to Calgary. :( I then drove back up to the mountains on a lovely spring day only to get stopped on Vail Pass because of a vehicle fire. What the heck! Fortunately I was right next to the exit and knew of a road less traveled that would get me home. Tennessee Pass is a beautiful pass through the high mountains up to Leadville, a very old town that has some great history. So great, that I had to stop in and go to the Mining Museum. I’m kind of dork like that. But let me tell you, it was impressive! I was on crutches, and it took me about two hours to tour the whole place on my own. There were some cool sections they had made that took you through what appeared to be an underground mine shaft, with mannequins and sound affects and “Warning” signs and rail tracks and… you get the point. There was an elementary class that was touring too, and I felt like asking the teacher for one of her handouts so I could learn like an elementary student again (I told you, I’m a dork).

Mountain lake on the drive up to Leadville.

Mountain lake on the drive up to Leadville.

I went mining for a day.

I went mining for a day.

After I had my fill with mining history, I popped in at the cutest cafe in Leadville, Cookies With Altitude. The nice lady made me a delicious sandwich, and I picked six different cookies to bring home to share with my mom and dad. I decided to make my lunch a picnic and got in my car and drove a few minutes past the Continental Divide to Camp Hale. For those who aren’t familiar, Camp Hale was home to the 10th Mountain Division, the only Alpine specialized army group in the United States, which makes this site extremely cool.

The remains of an entertainment building at Camp Hale.

The remains of an entertainment building at Camp Hale.

Can you imagine 15,000 soldiers living here in the winter?!

Can you imagine 15,000 soldiers living here in the winter?!

I finished my sandwich, took a bunch of pictures, and then drove down past the Gilman mining ghost town (one of the first mining towns open during the Colorado Silver Boom, and was closed down because of toxic pollutants in the water), and stopped in Minturn for one last adventure on my crutches. A couple months ago a huge slab of rock slid all the way down from the ridge right onto the railroad tracks, sliced them right in half! I had to see it.

Creepy...

Creepy…

Sliced right through!

Sliced right through!

 

 

Summer Is On It’s Way!

25 Apr

Summer is almost here in the Rockies, although I have already spent two and a half weeks in summer. The Crazy Canuck and I went to Maui to rest up after a long winter. This season was interesting, for both of us. You can read about his on his blog: www.dustincook.ca .

My season, was very difficult, mentally and physically. After dislocating my elbow at the end of October, I missed my opportunity to start the World Cup circuit. I never another opportunity and without any World Cup starts, I had no chance to qualify for the Olympics, which was a long-shot no matter what, but disappointing nonetheless.

The hardest challenge I faced this year was getting my head back into actually racing. I thought I was racing right when I went out of the gate the first time this season, but what I didn’t realize was that I was mostly going to the motions of racing instead of trying to win. It was hard to realize that, but once I did, I knew that my injury threw off my game a lot more than I anticipated and I had to approach things differently. I trained a lot more than seasons previous, but not quite enough for my race mode to be automatic.

Eventually, I had two good races and won the NorAm Overall in Super-G, which was unexpected! This title allows me World Cup spots in Super-G for next season, which is a huge relief! The US Ski Team is pending announcement. Cross your fingers for me, as I await their decision.

Dustin and me with our trophies and hats.

Dustin and me with our trophies and hats.

On the podium!

On the podium!

Now that I’ve told you, roughly, about my season, I can tell you about MAUI!! Crazy Canuck started planning our vacation some time in January. Because of our crazy schedules, we basically had to pick a date and hope that our coaches wouldn’t schedule any camps during that time. It ended up working (surprisingly) and we spent two and a half weeks in paradise. Randomly, we were there at the exact time that seven of our friends were there, staying in the same town! What are the chances!

The first few days of the trip, Crazy and I did the touristy thing, rented a Jeep and drove the Hana Highway. It rained most of our drive which made for some spectacular waterfalls, and some slippery hikes. We bought the world’s best banana bread (which was so delicious) and walked through a bamboo forest. The next week and a half was filled with fun group activities; a lot of surfing, barbecuing, sun bathing, hiking, and for the ladies, some bathing suit fittings. Yes I said fittings. Resi Stiegler has a friend that makes bathing suits, and we got some Maui appropriate bathing suits. We pretty much looked like locals by the end.

Maui local?

Maui local?

Looking through the tops of the bamboo. So much bamboo!

Looking through the tops of the bamboo. So much bamboo!

Heavy flowing waterfall.

Heavy flowing waterfall.

 

A beautiful Maui sunset.

A beautiful Maui sunset.

 

Fundraising

12 Nov

The season has officially started! The first World Cups were a few weeks ago in Sölden, Austria, and the first FIS races in America were a few days ago! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to compete in them due to an injury I sustained the first day of training on the 28th of October. I dislocated my elbow when I fell and crashed into the B-net training GS. Don’t worry, I’m healing! I just got my elbow brace today and I have been doing physio everyday. I will hopefully be skiing again very soon and racing in the next two-three weeks.

That is not the reason why I am writing this blog post though, I’m writing to inform you that I just launched my fundraiser on RallyMe.com! https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/214/abby-ghent

Crowd funding is a platform that many athletes are turning to these days, and with Ski Team fees at $15,000 this season I’m reaching out to my supporters to try and offset some of the costs. Donations are greatly appreciated and sharing my fundraiser is also a huge help! The more people that know, the more likely donations are.

I’m excited for my season to really start and test out my new strength I gained over the summer! I’m keeping my eyes on the horizon and trying not to think about the training I’m missing. Anything can happen and I’m hoping this will be my best season yet! Funding my season is a tremendous weight off my shoulders so check out the video below! Until next time!

It’s Been A While…

25 Aug

I know, I know. I haven’t been very good about updating this blog. I want to throw out some excuses like, “I’ve been really busy” (which isn’t fully true), or “I haven’t had internet…” (ha.. that’s not a very good excuse), or “nothing has been happening” (which is almost never true).  So here I am, updating.

Let me see… the last update I remember… New Year’s! Wow. It has been a while. A lot has happened since then. I think the best way to go about sharing my experiences with you is through pictures, otherwise, this would probably turn into a three page post. So without delaying any longer, here’s a little summary based on a thousand words per picture. :)

Training in Hochgurgl, Austria.

Training in Hochgurgl, Austria.

A bit of snow and wind makes great pictures in Austria!

A bit of snow and wind makes for great pictures in Austria!

First World Cup in Europe! Very exciting, and kinda scary!

St. Anton World Cup. First World Cup in Europe! Very exciting, and kinda scary!

Look familiar? This is our other favorite place to train in Europe, Maria Alm, Austria.

Look familiar? This is our other favorite place to train in Europe, Maria Alm, Austria.

Stopped in Vienna on our way to Slovakia. Artsy fartsy (or trying to be at least).

Stopped in Vienna on our way to Slovakia. Artsy fartsy (or trying to be at least).

Another shot from the church in Vienna.

Another shot from the church in Vienna.

We had some beautiful mornings in Slovakia.

We had some beautiful mornings in Slovakia.

We made our way back to North America, to Apex, British Columbia.

We made our way back to North America, to Apex, British Columbia.

Then across the country to Quebec to ski at Le Massif for World Juniors. Stairway to heaven? Thank goodness we didn't have to climb up those this trip.

Then across the country to Quebec to ski at Le Massif for World Juniors. Stairway to heaven? Thank goodness we didn’t have to climb up those this trip.

Two ski racers driving across the country to spend a month in California… we have to bring everything! Duh!

Two ski racers driving across the country to spend a month in California… we have to bring everything! Duh!

Water on the Salt Flats by Salt Lake City, Utah.
Water on the Salt Flats by Salt Lake City, Utah.

Donner Lake is on fire!

Donner Lake is on fire!

Happy, sunny, exciting day in Squaw at NorAm Finals. I scored my lowest score ever!

Happy, sunny, exciting day in Squaw at NorAm Finals. I scored my lowest score ever!

I won the Super-G at NorAm Finals! That was a happy day.

I won the Super-G at NorAm Finals! That was a happy day.

Yea… I don't know about the modeling, but being a passenger in this car was a blast!

Yea… I don’t know about the modeling, but being a passenger in this car was a blast!

That's Lake Tahoe in the distance! What beautiful weather we had a US Nationals in Squaw Valley, CA this year!

That’s Lake Tahoe in the distance! What beautiful weather we had a US Nationals in Squaw Valley, CA this year!

One of my favorite places on earth, Lake Tahoe!

One of my favorite places on earth, Lake Tahoe!

Stopped at my one of my mom's favorite attractions, the Bodie Ghost Town in California.

Stopped at one of my mom’s favorite attractions, the Bodie Ghost Town in California.

Spooky! Off to Mammoth!

Spooky! Off to Mammoth!

So if my calculations are correct that’s 19,000 words! I think that’s sufficient enough. Next time I’ll update you on what’s been happening this summer! Exciting stuff leading up to Olympic year! Thanks for reading… or looking!

San Dimas Stage Race

27 Mar

570

No pressure, just ride your bike up the mountain as fast as you can, try not to get caught, trust in your training, and believe in yourself. Words that I kept repeating to myself this morning. As we are warming up I am on a trainer set up next to Lauren Tamayo, Mara Abbott, Cari Higgins and Alison Tetrick. HELLO! I am last to go for the team and within the last 15 girls to go off. I am not nervous which is new for me, and I am a little bit unsure why I am not. But I will go with it. This whole weekend is a learning experience for me and all i can do, is learn.

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So today I learned I can go up mountains, and I like being early.

image After spinning lightly to cool down we pack up quickly and get the heck out of there! Our soigneur, Andrew sets up the massage table and we quickly shower and get off of our feet. This is where people get jealous and think we are lazy, and for the most part we are, except for that 3 hours of pedaling we are planning on doing tomorrow on top of todays race and our race in 2 days, we are lazy.

The afternoon and night mushes together with eating and sitting and laying with our feet up and a little bit of race tactics. 9:30 and lights are out.

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Our awesome backdrop to our massages and down time in the afternoons.

Waking up the morning of the Road race I am a little more nervous because we actually have a job today after Mara winning the TT… “KEEP MARA SAFE”. Words I kept repeating to myself, as well as “STAY AT THE FRONT”! I am normally good at keeping myself up at the front of the pack, the key is to be confident in yourself and others around you will not be scared about you. But this is bike racing and you don’t get into the sport thinking you will never crash, and crash is exactly what happened. One of the key things I learned from the weekend was; if one of your teammates is in the yellow jersey and there is crash, STOP.  Somehow I pedaled right through the crash that happened right in front of me. Being an ex-ski racer I was just thinking, “look ahead, look ahead, look ahead”. I am pretty sure I rode over someone’s arm and a few wheels, but I made it through with the rubber side down. Looking over both my shoulders I saw my teammate Rebecca and no yellow jersey, so I continued on. Just barely making contact with the back of the pack we hit the base of the climb, and was promptly spat out the back. I finished the race, and was not time cut therefor able to race the next day. And thanks to my awesome experienced teammates we made it out of the day with the yellow jersey, safe.

FELT Bicycles and Zipp Wheels. Hella fast!

FELT Bicycles and Zipp Wheels. Hella fast!

On the last morning of racing we wake up to mist settling in around us on top of the hill. Some rustling and men’s voices mean our director and mechanic are here setting up our bikes to spin and wake up the legs in the morning. This morning is a quite one. Everyone is on their own programs, no community breakfast as at this point we are tired, sore and not in the mood to chat. We race at 2pm so we have a lazy morning and plenty of time to prepare for the crit, my favorite. This race was a repeat of my entire weekend. I stayed at the front for as long as I could, and with one attack up the hill I was hanging on for dear life on the back of the pack. Once the elastic broke, I joined another of my teammates along with a few other girls, made it over halfway and was pulled.

Mara in yellow with my teammate and me

Mara in yellow with my teammate and me

A rough weekend for me, but we finished it in the yellow jersey. It was a nice “slap in the face”, but showed me how much I can push myself and how fast you are actually supposed to go. A big accomplishment for our team, and exactly what we came to do! I learned a lot about myself, and how the team works, and I am excited to do it again.  

On top of this race, I competed locally in the CSU Oval Criterium, where I ticked off my first win of the season! Below is a race report from that race…

http://exergytwenty16.tumblr.com/post/45630162446/collegiate-win-for-christa-ghent-1st-christa

CSU Oval Crit

CSU Oval Crit

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Abby World Junior Championships

23 Feb

Abby World Junior Championships

So fast right now. Everyone wish Abby good luck for the rest of World Junior Championships in Les Massif, Quebec.

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