So this weekend was the Animal British Slopestyle Championships at Castleford. The BoyfÂ & I headed up on Friday when he finished work and I spent the evening getting used to the comp set up while he took some pictures. It was an awesome evening and not only did I have loads of fun with my friends but I started to get some good tricks laid down ready for the comp (building on the switch work I’d done the week before).
Saturday started with a 9am call for registration, this suited me just fine as I’m a morning person and would much rather be first on the course that ride in the afternoon when it’s been mashed by the skiers (like I’ve had to do for the last 5 years!). Of course everyone else was whinging about it, it was too early, they weren’t awake enough and the course was too hard! Of course I almost didn’t make it out on time for the warm up because despite the fact that we were supposed to pre-register online and pay our license fee and bib deposit before the competition it seemed that I was the only person to have done so, so rather than it taking each person 30 seconds to collect their bib and hit the snow I was 8 back in the queue and starting to get stressed 30 minutes later. The BoyfÂ was dispatched to get me breakfast from Subway while I waited, finally grabbed my bib and headed out for warm up.
Warm up started well and after a run through the course to get my eyes and contact lenses used to the cold air I started working on my runs for the comp, it was all going well and I was about to hit the big kicker-gap box when I hurt my foot. I hit the kink box with a switch 50:50 to front side boardslide but didn’t make it fully round as I rode out, my board stuck in the snow and my foot bent, not at the toes but at the arch, I (apparently) shouted OUCH! and in a great deal of pain slide down the slope to check out what I’d done.
So The BoyfÂ comes out on the slope to find me in tears at the bottom, with my foot in the air, too scared to take my boot off in case my foot instantly swelled and feeling rather sick. So we ummed and aahed about things and in the end he persuaded me to come off the slope so he cold take a look at it, he then proceeded to rub all round the affected area and press a few pressure points to try and numb things. I was crying in pain and totally convinced I would have to pull out of the comp but I decided to head up to the top to see how many people I was up against and make a decision on whether I could ride. It turned out that there were just 3 of us in my age group so I figured that I’d just ride down the slope and claim 3rd. Then I decided I’d hit the top rail and if it hurt too much I’d ride down……by the time the comp kicked off I did 2 full runs hitting the raised 3m rail, the kink box and kicker. I even rode some of the tricks switch because it hurt less! The main problem I had was that not being able to put any weight on my right (rear) foot I couldn’t steer or break, not good when you land off a kicker, avoid screaming in pain and can’t take off enough speed to hit the wall ride.
All of this reminded me of the days when I used to compete in gymnastics and would be sure to twist my ankle before a competition and have to compete strapped up and buzzed on pain killers, I should have known the moment I hurt myself that I’d still give it a go but I don’t think I realised that the competitive edge in me was still so strong. I also had too much pride to just ride down and claim a prize for doing nothing, I wanted to earn it even if it did hurt me so much that I thought I wouldn’t stop crying. Some people might think I’m stupid but there’s something about competitive sport that hooks you in and keeps you trying until you can’t try anymore (although I was exceptionally glad that I didn’t qualify for the overall final!).
So here I am at home, my foot bandaged and raised, dosed up on pain killers, arnica and covered in magnetic plasters working at home for the week because I can’t walk well enough to get down to Southampton and what am I thinking about? This weekend’s British Big Air Championships at Milton Keynes and whether I’ll be fit to ride! Thursday’s my cut off, so until then RICE will continue and I will keep planning what tricks I should try in the 2 runs I get on the main kicker with the 9m table!
Wish me luck!