It's nice to be back in Europe. Back to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Everything always seems to be 2-5 hours away here and we've definitely taken advantage of that. After landing in Zurich on Jan 3rd, we were in and out of four countries in 5 days. We decided against the trek to France because there was too much snow. The irony never gets old. So we headed to a couple GS races in Oberjoch, Germany... one of two were canceled due to, wait for it, too much snow. Next stop, the daunting Bad Kleinkirchheim that's been on the schedule staring at me for weeks. It would be my first downhill race and just my second day on the long boards in over two years. A personal bucket of challenges. A new-to-me track and bib #1 on the first day of training. It was understood that if I didn't feel comfortable, I didn't have to go through with it. Minutes before the start, I was still torn. It's a very fine line between feeling nervous because it's something that will, ultimately, be rewarding, or feeling nervous because it's just not right. I guess my indecisiveness pushed me out of the start. My technician, and angel-in-outdoorsman-disguise yelled, "Rise to the occasion!" All I thought on the first forty seconds of flats was, "Hell ya, what else am I going to do?!" It was fun, just like everyone said it would be. If nothing else, I got to go 100km/h and no ticket. But the following days of downhill got tougher. The track got slick and dark and I felt full-frontal fear. I knew racing down that I should want more speed, but I was opting out. My coaches have been telling me to 'give yourself a break', so I'm trying. But I'm keen to make sure I'm progressing forward also. I know I want the speed, but it has to be in sync with my confidence. It was so fun to be back in it though. Today I was 9th in the SuperG race and I know I have more to give. Just need more time to find that level of sanity, er, insanity, required to reach new heights in these disciplines :) You gotta be a little crazy. But like I said the other day, downhill is crazy but not doing one thing a day that scares you is crazier. I used to love hate ski racing, but now I just love it... because I will be forever recovered (mentally and physically) from my injury due, solely, to this incredible sport and this intense passion. So thanks, Europe, for being another page in my book. Next stop is Cortina, Italy for the World Cup SuperG. I'm psyched. I've been there a couple times and it's one of my favourite places to ski. And by ski, I mean, turn around on the chairlift and soak in the views. The Dolomites are something magical. Following Cortina, we're headed to St.Moritz, Switzerland for both the Europa and World Cup weeks. Then, home for a break to take in the, equally as magical, views of Georgian Bay from the Georgian Peaks chairlift. See you soon. Auf Weidersehen.