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Big Jumps!

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American kids have different dreams to Brits. Often on the ski lifts an instructor will ask you to take one of their kids up and make sure then don't fall off. We got on a lift with little Mikey the other day, a 4/5 year old American kid who proceeded to list all the American and Canadian snowsport medalists from Sochi for us.
"Wow!" I said. "Do you think you'll be in the Olympics one day?" assuming that was his dream.
"No. I'm probably going to go to war".
Wasn't sure what to do with that.
"Yeah, I'm going to be an engineer, or maybe a medic. In a war." Ok, so something slightly better there to work with...
"Oh, well being a medic would be cool. You could help lots of people."
"No, not that of medic. A medic who makes weapons. For war."

Anyway, one of my goals here in Whistler was to get more comfortable on jumps, and progress to bigger ones. So far I'd only been hitting the "small" jumps here (which are big enough!) but after 5 weeks I was feeling pretty confident and despite being terrified of the bigger ones, decided I had better man up. On Sunday I thought it was time, so got some tips from the other guys in the house and spent an hour trying to build up some confidence. There are three jumps in the Whistler park that were the next level up, increasing in size. Despite being pretty scared, I eventually hit the first of the 3 "big" jumps in the Whistler park. Fantastic! Felt great! Far easier than expected. Feeling a lot less scared I decided to try the second one. Despite maybe not getting many points for style I landed that one as well. I don't know what I was ever scared of, this is easy!

Big1.jpeg Big2Snow.jpeg

So, full of confidence I decided to go for the 3rd one, despite it looking a lot bigger to me. David the park loving dutch kid assured me it was just the same, so I went for it at roughly the same speed I had the others. As I took off I realised, mid air, that I was nowhere, nowhere near fast enough. Shit.
Came up well short of the landing, bounced into the air and landed hard on my back. After groaning for 30 seconds, then laughing for another 30, I realised it wasn't funny and I couldn't move my neck. I wasn't sure how serious this was, but it was the end of the day for me, and I was really worried it could mean worse than that.
After a trip to buy an ice pack and as much ibuprofen as I could, a night of no sleep propped up on pillows and a worried morning, I started to get some feeling and movement back, and realised it wasn't too serious. Managed to get back on my board the next day, but I wasn't going anywhere near a big jump or spin. The next couple of days were taking it easy with Pro-ride and working on technique. I decided that was enough of the big jumps for me.
Until Thursday. I was feeling nearly back to normal, and head coach Duncan was taking people back over the first 2 bigger jumps, so I decided I'd get back on it. All went great again and I started to get some confidence back. He then took us to the infamous 3rd one. They'd made it even bigger. No problem, said Dunc, either hit it or go round, no worries. I sat at the top of the slope saying I was definitely not doing it. Definitely not. Then EVERYONE else did it. Ah crap. I can't be the only one not to hit it, but I was pretty terrified after the last attempt. Anyway - result in the vid below!

It may not look like much but I'm pretty pleased with that, and have never felt as relieved/euphoric as I did after landing. To put it in context though, this is an "M" jump in Whistler. and some of the guys wouldn't even think of that as a warm up. In the bigger park they have "L" which are probably twice that size, then the "XL" line which are probably double again. Madness.

So other than one awesome powder morning we had here there's been hardly any snow the whole season in Whistler, and apparently it's been the worst one in 50 years.. But still, the house has been great fun, the time with Pro-ride has been incredible, I've made some great friends and the whole thing has been a blast. Cheers Whistler! Awesome!

Posted by Matt Cocken 23:42 Archived in Canada

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