BY CHAS GULDEMOND
After 13 long weeks in the gym, I was way ready to get back on the snow! The plan was to head out to Whistler with the U.S. Snowboarding team and get some training in at the Camp of Champions facility. Whistler glacier is known to have some of the best summer snowboarding North America has to offer. Its one competitor is Mount Hood, which is equally as awesome. The reason we chose Canada is because we knew that the jumps were going to be on point and that stoked me out!
When I arrived I met up with our team — guys like Eric Willett, Sage Kotsenburg and, of course, our awesome coach Bill Enos. The day after we arrived was an off day for the camp, which was perfect because it gave us a chance to get food from the grocery store and get settled in. I am always going from place to place and when there is a day to get my life organized it helps me feel stable. I managed to snag a fishing license and went out to the famous Lost Lake to cast a few lines. Lost Lake is the spot where everyone hangs out on a sunny day after shredding. To my benefit, it was lightly raining and there was not a soul in sight. Perfect for fishing! After two hours of casting and tangling lines, I ended up catching a nice little trout! It was a good 13 inches and worth every bit of time. Of course I let him go.
The next morning I woke up to light blinding me through my bedroom window and I knew it was going to be an awesome day. Our group gathered, got our tickets and got on the lift to start our beautiful, one-hour commute to the glacier. This ride up can get annoying after a couple weeks, but if you stay positive it can be a really relaxing ride and no doubt incredibly scenic. You take two long lifts, a bus to another lift. On the last lift you arrive at the glacier and there is a perfectly groomed park.
Dropping in on the snow felt so good; it's amazing how taking three months off can make you appreciate your job so much. All the simple things I do on the snow are so fun and I felt incredibly blessed to be back on my board. I had to start off slow and work my way up to every feature since I was a little rusty. Sometimes this can be a pain, but this time it was amazing — making turns, doing little ollies and talking with old friends! Good times up on the glacier for our first day!
Over the past couple weeks here in Whistler it was a slow progression to get back to where I left off in April. It was fun riding with my teammates, learning new tricks and dusting off the old ones! It was a mental battle, though. To get back to where I was before was not easy. Sometimes my body was saying go and my mind told me no — it can be a frustrating and confusing process. On the upside, I have learned a lot about myself and my body. It was an awesome couple of weeks and I am stoked to say that after the last day I feel as strong as I have ever been! Now I get to go home and relax with my family for a week and then head off to New Zealand for some more summer shredding!
Until next time, my friends.