A different approach

AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott

"I’m going to approach every race by taking my time, getting to know the course and not trying to get it done in one run," Lindsey Jacobellis says.

With the season's first FIS Snowboard World Cup race fast approaching, Lindsey Jacobellis gave us some insight into preparing for life on the road.

I spent the last week packing up my place in Park City and putting everything in storage since I won’t be there for the next five or six months. I didn’t want to pay for a place I wouldn’t be living in! I’ve been chipping away at my Christmas shopping too, since I know I won’t be back for the build-up to Christmas. I tried to get everything done beforehand and then just ship it out and tell people not to open it!

Now I’m en route to Europe for a training camp in Soelden, Austria, leading up to the first World Cup race in Montafon, Austria. And along the way I managed to squeeze in a visit to my best friend, Emma, by scheduling my flight pattern to stop over in Washington, D.C., for a couple days. We’ve been friends forever -- our moms actually went to pregnancy classes together -- and she’s now a trainer at the White House. Pretty cool!

Approaching the first contest I always try to win, but my coaches and I have laid out a really good plan that involves playing a little more conservative. I have to see how it feels going in -- there’s no rush! I’m going to approach every race by taking my time, getting to know the course and not trying to get it done in one run. It’s a long season and I don’t want to get tired and run down. Goal No. 1 is to qualify for the Olympics. I just have to go out there and ride the way I have in the past. The coaches are really happy with where I am physically and mentally, so it’s just a matter of putting it all together.

I was feeling really good at the training camp in Park City earlier this month. It feels like me riding again, and I don’t feel my knee at all. Mentally, that was a really nice thing to come back to. We had a miniature course made for us at Gordoza Park, this sledding hill off of I-80. The whole team got to break out shovels and change up the start sections how we wanted them instead of having them built for us, which was cool. We were all out there shoveling, trying to build technical features similar to what we’d seen at some of the World Cup races. Then the employees brought in a Bobcat to smooth out the stuff for jumps. It took some muscle for sure, but luckily the weather cooperated.

Having to go through this knee injury twice now has really pushed me to strive to break through that crux that I’ve been stuck in. And not having competed in a while, there is definitely some anxiety associated with going into the first event and not knowing how it will go. But I’m confident once I get this race under my belt it will be back to normal. Ordinary things like getting back into my routine, doing recoveries after my workouts, taking things day by day and being in the present moment that have helped me.

And I’m used to living on the road by now. This has been my life for the last 10 years. I just pack a lot of stuff and try not to leave too many comforts at home. I have my comfy clothes, my books, my movies. Luckily I’m a premier exec on the airlines, so I’m able to take three 70-pound bags and I just drag it along.