Yesterday I competed in the penultimate world cup of the season which was held in La Molina, Spain.
I was looking forward to this race as I really like Spain, not least of all because it is usually warm. La Molina wasn’t a disappointment there; it must have been around 20 degrees during the competition yesterday!
I had qualified in 6th place giving me second lane choice in my first heat. I was in second going into the first corner but passed on the inside to get into first where I stayed the whole way down the course so winning my first heat and putting myself through to the semi finals.
In the semi finals I had third lane choice and then there was a lot of contact over the first few features which meant that I was in fourth around the first turn. I was riding faster than the girls in front of me though so was aiming on passing one or maybe both if I could by taking the inside line in the second turn. Then the unforeseen happened. The two girls directly in front of me hit each other and started wobbling then full on crashed with one of them falling so she was lying on the ground with her board across the burm right in front of me. There was enough time for my brain to think “jump over her board!” but not enough time for my body to do it, as I was only about 2 foot behind her. I hit her board and my feet stopped dead but the rest of my body kept on going, slamming me into the snow in one of the worst face plants I have ever done. I then slid over the next gate before I managed to stop myself. I remember thinking “I have to hop back around the correct side of that gate and carry on, I may be able to get going again faster than these other 2 girls who have fallen” I got as far as rolling over and bending my knees up to start hopping before my body realized it had no oxygen whatsoever and refused to move for the next 30 seconds or so while I gasped for air knowing that I wasn’t injured I was just winded. Anyone who has been winded badly will know that the worst part is there are people asking if you are ok because you’re not moving or getting up and you can’t tell them you are because you just can’t talk!
After a minute or two I had got my breath back enough to communicate that the side of my stomach hurt but I was ok enough to go back to the top to race in the small final.
A few minutes later I was there and in the gate again. I got into third into the first turn then passed into second the in the second turn, then the girl I had just passed came from the inside and took out my board from underneath me, under normal circumstances I think I would have been able to hold myself strong and stay on my board but after my core stability had just got hampered by the injury to my stomach in the last heat I was once again sliding over the snow thinking, “oh no not again”. Luckily this time I was left with air in my lungs so I could get up again and finish the race before one of the others in the heat placing me 7th over all. My world ranking is now also 7th.
Today, the day after I feel like I have been hit by a truck but I should be ok by the next comp which is in Valmaleco, Italy next weekend.