New Site

Hi wordpressers.  I just wanted you to know that I will not be maintaining this blog site any more.  The folks at have helped me out with an all new and have integrated all of my blogs in there as well.  So… for all of my future updates on skiing, living life to the fullest, and pursuing your passions, please visit

Thanks for always showing me such great support!  Happy day to all!


World Championships


Last Saturday, February 5th, 2011, was a historic day.  It was the first time that the FIS Freestyle World Championships was held in the USA.  Representatives from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) were in attendance watching ski pipe and slope.  They were using this event as an evaluation for both events’ possible inclusion in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Finals started at 11:00 am on Saturday and when the 24 finalists showed up for training the weather was questionable.  Snow was falling and the crosswinds were blowing at about 25 miles an hour.  Keeping your speed up was going to be quite a challenge.  But all of us saw the bigger picture and instead of showing up to be number one that day, we were all on the same mission to put on a good show for the IOC.

We made it through training and by the time the contest got underway the snow had mostly stopped. The pipe was a bit quicker, but the wind still made it nearly impossible to land high tranny on the skier’s left wall.  If you went big enough the gusts would blow you into the middle of the pipe, making it hard to maintain speed into your next hit.

My first run I dropped in with a lot of speed and landed my 900 tail grab high on the wall.  Skiing into the next hit, the inside edge of my left ski got caught in some sluff and spun me out of control into the next hit.  I only scored a 24.8 out of 50 for that run.  Everything would now be riding on my 2nd and final run for the 4th time this season!  Mentally I was freaking out because strange things like this have been happening a lot this year.  It felt that no matter how prepared I have been things outside of my control have been trying to stop me.  On my 2nd run I landed my 900 cleanly, but the wind had its way with me on my alley-oop and I flailed… My alley-oop 5 wasn’t grabbed and I landed low so my speed was slow going into my 540.  I missed the grab on my 540, but carried on… I ended my run with a 720 tail grab and it would be enough for 2nd place.

Considering the conditions of the day, I was happy to be back on the podium and relieved to know that I am still capable of pulling out runs in clutch moments.  The ladies put on a great show with lots of inverts and 900s despite the nasty weather.  I got to share the podium with Roz-G of Canada who took home the gold.  Her consistency this year has been exceptional and her technical run paid off on Saturday.  In 3rd was another Canadian, Keltie Hansen whose amplitude, back-to-back 540s and 720 landed earned her that position.  Sarah Burke took 4th and is letting the world know that her 1st place run at X-Games was no accident. The 5th and 6th place positions were rounded out by Americans Brita Sigourney and Devin Logan.

Though I wanted to win World Champs at home I am really happy with 2nd.  Not to mention I feel like another victory was achieved.  All of us put on a spectacular showing regardless of the weather and without a doubt the IOC took note.  They can walk away saying “even if the weather in Sochi is bad, these athletes will put on good show.” In some ways the weather may have ended up working in our favor.

Follow this link to watch my run: 2nd Place Run World Championships

Thanks for reading… off to Snowbasin this week for the final stop of Dew Tour!



the uneXpected…

Boy do I wish I could turn back the hands of time.  Again, I get to build character this season, with one of the most incredible and simultaneously most frustrating moments of my life.

On Thursday night after the men’s snowboard pipe qualifiers went down, the 6 ski girls who made finals dropped in to a chewed up halfpipe.  Conditions were certainly not ideal, but everyone has to ski the same pipe.  So I stuck with my game plan and I was ready to throw down.

My game plan was to do a “safety run” on my first run, land it and then replace my 7 with a 10.  900 tail, alley-oop critical, mute, alley-oop 540 , 540 mute, tail, 720 tail.  First run, my ski popped off when I landed my 7.  It shouldn’t have, but it did.  So for run 2 I went with the same plan as run 1, get a decent score, hopefully secure a spot on the podium and then do the 10 on run 3.

But again, my 7 gave me trouble.  This hit was far less vert than the previous days in training, and though I popped I could see that I was really close to the deck.  My landing wasn’t super clean and I definitely punched the ground a little bit, so I was a bit concerned about the score, but I was optimistic.  Sadly, the score came in a 78- good enough for 5th.

Run 3 it was on.  I was fired up and ready for the 10.  I was extremely conscious not to think too far ahead in my run and forget about the tricks I needed to do before I got to the 10.  Dropped in with heat, 10 foot 9 grabbed, big alley-oop, grabbed my 5, focused on the tail grab going into the 10, just remember to pop and grab.  So I did, and I landed a 10 tail grab.  As I began to celebrate (albeit a bit prematurely) and went to turn around, I caught an edge and fell.  The run wouldn’t be enough.

For the first time in 5 years I won’t be taking home a medal from X-Games.  But I will be taking home a new trick and a new perspective.  I have never had so many people compliment my skiing when not on the podium.  Though the run wasn’t completed, the 10 was landed, which is what I wanted to do when I woke up in the morning.  I told myself that as long as I do that trick in my run I would go home happy.  I do this sport because I love it and I want to reach my potential.  I have unlocked a new level of my skiing that will lead me to incredible places in the future.  I didn’t take home a medal, but I am taking home my pride.

But before I go, I need to leave you with this: Sarah Burke is back in action and I couldn’t be happier.  With a newly revamped cork 900, and back-to-back flairs that took a year of sacrifice to get dialed, Sarah is looking good. She took home the gold.  X-Games newcomer, Brita Sigourney took home silver throwing a massive 900 landed consistently throughout the night.  Roz-G took home bronze for the 2nd year in a row, and her consistency is certainly being noted.  In 4th, my teammate, Anais Cara

deux.  She made me so proud with both way 5s and massive 900.  I ended up in 5th.  And last but not least was fellow east coater and the number 1 qualifier from Wednesday, Devin Logan.  She threw back to back flairs, steezy 5 tails, and a solid 7.  It was by far the most progressive women’s ski pipe comp that I have ever witnessed.  This sport is going to incredible places.

For photos and a full recap visit this link:

Almost X Time

It’s Saturday January 22, 2011.  On Monday January 24, 2011 I will be dropping in to the superpipe at Buttermilk for Winter X-Games XV for the first night of training.  This is my 7th (believe it or not) X-Games but it’s my first time returning as defending champion.  Being in this position makes me respect the athletes that have achieved back-to-back  gold medals.  Like Sarah Burke who had back-to-back-to-back gold medals in superpipe until last season.  Her ability to always focus on what she needed to get done is amazing, and to never be thrown off course because of the added pressure from “expectations” is even more admirable.

That being said, I am so energized to get in that pipe at Buttermilk.  I have done all of the preparations that I am capable of outside of that pipe.  I need to get in there and get going- only then will we be able to see what the possible outcomes will be.  It is a really exciting year to be involved in ski halfpipe because for the first time the world is aware of our push for the Olympics.  Previously it was just us in our industry who knew what we were working towards, now everyone will be paying attention- hopefully the IOC will take note.

Tomorrow I will be driving to Colorado and staying with a friend in Avon.  My skis need some special attention for X-Games to make sure they will be fast enough, so I will get those dialed.  Then Monday morning I will head to Aspen for registration and at 4 pm I will drop into the best halfpipe in the world.  Ready to charge, ready to push myself to max capacity, ready to watch everyone else do the same.  That is where the motivation comes from, the inspiration.  It is what I live for right now- it completes me.

I encourage you to get out there doing what you love and find the motivation to stick with your goals.  Be inspired by those around you who might be your biggest competition, but look at what they are doing right and figure out how to apply it to your life.  But most importantly stay true to yourself and make sure you are in it for the right reason- because you love it and you want to be doing it.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for updates from X!

New Year, New Motivation

Spending Christmas at home in Connecticut was just what the doctor ordered. I may not have been in the house I grew up in, or the apartment my parents moved in to, but I was still “home”. Not only did my knee need a break from skiing, but my mind and spirit did as well. Seeing my parents and understanding their struggles allowed me to put all of my struggles in perspective. I live a charmed life. I am surrounded by people who love and support me, I have a small, but very powerful fan base that encourages me to keep going when things get tough (thanks guys!), I get to pursue my dreams everyday and travel the world doing so, I have a house over my head, a car to get me where I need to go, a dog that loves me unconditionally and a sister and a boyfriend in Salt Lake that do a phenomenal job of keeping me grounded.

Strange then isn’t it, that stress can find its way into my life the way water finds it’s way through small cracks. It seeps in, soaks into the wood, weakens it until the wood gives way and all of the water (aka: problems) comes flooding in. This is how things seem to happen with challenges that we face. We think we have it all under control, but we are perhaps ignoring the under-lying issues.

I have been reading a book by Deepak Chopra, (I may have mentioned it in a blog last month), called “Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul”. Most recently I have been reading the chapters on resurrecting the soul, and am very excited to start implementing some of Chopra’s incredible insight. No change can happen without first being aware of what it is that isn’t making you feel good. Right now I am becoming aware of certain thoughts and feelings that are making me unsettled, to the point that physical pains are popping up. I have been suppressing these thoughts, suppressing these feelings because I felt “I shouldn’t be having these thoughts, they’re irrational”. But, ignoring them doesn’t make them go away, in fact it makes them come back stronger. It is time to release the boundaries of my competitive nature to see what unlimited options there are for me in the world.

This is a paragraph that Chopra wrote about competitive people and it sounded all too familiar. Just what I needed to help me grow.

Competitiveness, overachieving, and acting overbearing is a very general ego strategy, one that externalizes fulfillment and makes it dependent on winning. The underlying feeling can be hard to read. It could be anger or fear. It could be anything, really, since the person is so fixated on outer accomplishment that there are no windows looking inward. The physical cues are also hard to read, because competitive people exert constant efforts to be energized, up and running. They are easy to read when they fail, however, since this leads to anger, frustration, and depression. Instead of examining those feelings, the born winner waits them out until he has recharged his batteries and is up again. But no matter how exuberant and energized they appear, overly competitive people secretly know the price they are paying for being number one. Climbing to the top excites them, but they feel exhausted and insecure once they get there, anxious about what tomorrow will bring- which is inevitably newer, younger competitors just like them. In time, winners can end up baffled and confused. They have built so many inner barriers to protect their “weak” feelings as they would label them- that when they decide to look inward at last, they have little idea how to go about it. (Chopra, p. 168-169)

Therein lies my next challenge. To look inward: face my horrible fear of failure, embrace and accept it, let go of boundaries, rediscover why I started this journey in the first place. In 2011 I will be committed to remember that this is the path I chose for myself because I LOVE IT- to be my personal best not just number one.

Sometimes, it just doesn’t happen… (Dew Tour Qualifiers- Breck)

Me on a first hit 540 mute

Yesterday was a rough day.  Coming off of the best season of my life last year, I had a lot of expectations for myself this year.  My skiing is coming along very well- I feel really strong, spins are becoming easier, amplitude is coming more effortlessly, but for some reason, the stars aren’t quite aligning like they did last year.

Last week in qualifiers for Grand Prix a snow snake caught me going into my last hit, almost taking me down, but my strong legs kept me up.  Then in finals, a low landing on an alley-oop 540 caused an insane pinch in my knee- shooting pain, and a bit of fear.  Turns out I lopped off a piece of cartilage.  For the next 5 days I just focused on getting the swelling out of my knee, eating well, minimizing sodium, physio, chiropractic, kinesiology, ice, ice, ice.

Tuesday was day one of training in the pipe at Breck.  I took 4 runs through it.  The swelling in my knee was causing my quad to shut down and I didn’t trust my leg to handle anything but perfect landings.  So I skied very little.  Yesterday was qualifiers.  My knee was significantly less swollen, and my quad seemed to be firing better.  I warmed up with a run of straight airs.  Then did a run with two 540s and an alley-oop.  The third  run I washed out on alley-oop, but gave in to the fall as to not hurt my knee.  4th run, Elana (my coach) got me fired up and I did a full safety run- 540 mute, mute grab, 540 japan, alley-oop critical, mute grab, tail grab, 720 tail.  Phew.  Finally a run had come together, not ideal, but it would do.  Now I would need to do that again when it mattered.  Ideally, land my first run and then do first hit 900 on my second run.

Wasn’t in the cards.  First run, first hit 540, landed high tranny and walked right out of my ski for no apparent reason.  I went for a bit of slide down the pipe and took my time hiking back to my ski.  Frustrated.  Confused.  But, it was a fluke.  I can land this run in my sleep these days. Forget about, focus on the next run.  Do the same thing, just better.

I got back up to the top and Todd Rash, my Volkl tech, tightened my bindings.  They wouldn’t be flying off for no reason this run.  Some of the other girls’ scores came in, and I knew that my run would score high enough to get me into finals, even though it wasn’t my ideal run.  Stick to the plan. Don’t be distracted. You don’t need the 900 right now, you can save it for finals.  Save your knee. I dropped in for run 2, ready to get things done.  Big 540 mute, safety grab, 540 japan, alley-oop mute, mute grab, tail grab, going really fast, don’t hold back, 720 tail grab.  Then the unexpected- left butt cheek nailed the deck, but somehow I stayed on my feet.  Riding out switch.  Wind knocked out of me.  Sounds like demons are trying to exit my body through my lungs.  The score came in 67.50- not enough to make finals.

More physical pain than I feel like dealing with.  More emotional pain than I’m ready to deal with.  As time passed, reality began to set in.  The 2010 AFP World Champion in halfpipe, back-to-back X-Games Gold Medalist, didn’t make finals at The Dew Tour.  WTF? But such pressure is unnecessary.  Sh*t happens.  We can’t be perfect every day of our lives.  But somehow I expect myself to be.  I expect myself to be superhuman.  To be able to ski through injury, to ignore the pressure and stress that I’m feeling from home, pressure and stress that I feel from the industry, pressure and stress that is primarily manifested in my brain.

This is not me.  This is not why I ski.  I ski because I love it, I ski because it’s fun. I ski to do my best on any given day.  To make the most of my situation even when things aren’t perfect.  Well, Jen, guess what?  Things weren’t perfect yesterday, and you did make the most of it.  Life will go on.  The season is long.  Without your health you can’t ski at all.  Take a break.  Take time for yourself.  Refresh, restart.  Chill out.  It’s all good.

Find something you love and do it for life. I’m so lucky to have found what I love, but apparently I still need a reminder once and a while, that this is what I chose.  Easy is boring.  Skiing is hard, skiing is life.

It’s all about how you look at things…

Last Friday I competed in the Visa Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.  It was the first time that skiers were involved in the 15 year-old event, and we were very well accepted.  There was an excessive, but exciting, amount of buzz regarding the FIS sanctioned Grand Prix being an opportunity for skiers to showcase their talents to the International Olympic Committee- could this be a “grand” opportunity to help our sport make that final step into the Olympic Games?!  Hard to say.  I’ve felt that every contest I’ve done over the last few years would help us earn inclusion into the Games, so the Grand Prix didn’t seem that different to me.  None-the-less there was quite an audience on Friday and the event was turned into a 30 minute show that aired on NBC, Sunday at noon.  Hopefully the right people were watching!

As far as the event goes and my performance, I placed 2nd.  Never a bad way to start the season, except that I tweaked my knee in training (my right knee, the pseudo “good” knee, though I alternate that term between my knees depending on which one had surgery longer ago…) and I didn’t ski quite up to my standards.  Placing 2nd wasn’t the frustrating part for me, that was perfectly fine, but not feeling great or skiing great was frustrating.   I vented to my parents about my feelings after the event.  “I work so hard, why do I work so hard if I still get hurt?”  My knee pinched severely when I landed an alley-oop 5 very low in transition.  There was no crashing involved, just landing- a very imperative part of the equation.  Later Friday evening I received an email from my mom and her words struck home.


Overheard a bit of your conversation with Dad last night.  I get that you are disappointed about yesterday’s contest, but as the exhaustion and aches pass I want you to reflect a little bit from a different angle.  You said, “I work so hard”.  That hard work let you stand up your run when you easily might have fallen.  That hard work let you create enough speed in a snow-covered pipe to be able to do the 720.  Your determination to win got you from 10th to 2nd place — just what you needed to qualify for World Championships.  Mission accomplished.

Sure you can ski better.  Yeah, you’ve nailed that run a zillion times, but just not yesterday.  First contest.  Got what you needed.  Expecting nothing but to ski the best you can on a given day in the conditions that there are — all you can do.  Sorry that your knee is hurting, sorry that your shoulder is whacked out.  Sending you big mommy hugs, but most of all, wishing you the ability to feel the sunshine and enjoy the snow (understand that you’re buried there).   Try not to put so much pressure on yourself — you won’t win every contest this year, but you are an awesome competitor and you’ll be great.

Love you,

It’s quite strange how you can lose sight of things when you are so closely involved in them.  I saw my hard work as inadequate, not as what enabled me to still finish a run and place 2nd.  I felt dissatisfied that things weren’t coming together perfectly, when there is huge opportunity in imperfection.  We often get so distracted by the things that are lacking in our life that we forget to enjoy the plentiful pleasures right in front of us.

I will stop hunting for more 1st place finishes and start enjoying making it through another fun day on the hill. I will stop my concern that we are not yet in the Olympics and begin to be more grateful for being able to compete at events like the Grand Prix, Dew Tour and X-Games.  I will stop worrying about what is wrong with my knee and start appreciating all that is right with my knee.

“Between stimulus and response there is space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor Frankl

How can you shift your perspective and turn inadequacies into sufficiencies?  It’s all about how you look at things!