Athlete Blog: Alex GoughThe first few days of the new sliding season have come and gone and, like last year, we have started out the season in Whistler. The last couple of days have been plagued with the usual early season issues. The warm fall sunshine has melted the outrun twice and sent us home from the track without getting to train. We were also delayed a day getting started which was hard on my nerves. I always get anxious for that first run of the season; I need to remind myself that my body and mind do actually remember how to do this sport.
The first run came and went and as it turns out I do remember what I'm doing. In fact, it almost feels like I haven't been away from the ice for seven months. After nine years of doing this you'd think that I'd know by now that the feeling will just come back, like riding a bicycle (to be cliche). Of course there are always a kink or two to sort out. This year it's teaching myself to 'lay down' differently, I'm learning that a nine year habit is hard to break.
All things considered though, even with the frustration of re-learning my 'lay down', the first week of sliding might be one of my favorite times of the season. It's all fresh and new again and, even being an Olympic year, the stress has yet to set in. It's really the only time of the year where I get to slide just for the sake of going down the hill and enjoying the ride.