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The shoulder season (especially this one, with all the extra down time) is a great time to reflect on your season, and to set some goals for the next one. In this blog post, GearHub sponsored athlete Micah Morris reflects on her season, and what skiing has taught her about setting and achieving goals:
Skiing has always been a way for me to spend time with my family and friends and has also let me express a competitive side. This competitive outlet gave me invaluable learning experiences that are teaching me continually about objectives and goals. Through skiing I have learned that focusing on the process for reaching my goals was more important than focusing on the end results, and I am now seeing how this concept relates to my today goals too.
Regardless of the goal you have to set yourself up to succeed. I like to ask myself questions like:
“Why do I want to set a goal?”
“What will I gain in the process as well as at the desired result?”
“How is this goal important to me?”
Asking these questions will help give some direction to the inevitable journey that goal setting takes you on. It helps you to see where your motivation lies. I have always written my goals down, somehow having them on paper feels like a first step and it helps me to think about what my next steps should be.
I was recently speaking to friends about goal setting. Some were straight forward such as learning to do a 360, hit a drop, or try the big line of jumps in the park before the end of the season. Some were more complex and open ended like learning about backcountry safety, ski touring once a week, or getting stronger at the gym throughout the season to prevent injury. Regardless of the goal you have to set yourself up to succeed.
Breaking up your goals into smaller ones can help make the result attainable so it doesn't feel as overwhelming, and this is an important first step. If you want to do a 360 first master 180’s. If you want to learn more about backcountry safety, sign up for an AST 1 course, practice transceiver finding in your backyard with your friends, write a list of the places that you hope to go one day when you become more experienced as a way to reward yourself.
This past summer I was coaching some high school girls before a mountain bike race and some of them were worried about sections of the trail. I got them to write down a list of the parts of the trail that they had a hard time with. We named each of the sections, for example Rocky Road or Rooty Rooster. Then we wrote down ways that would help them achieve success at each of these parts. We would look for landmarks so they could remember when these challenging sections were coming. As a result of breaking the trail into manageable sections the girls were able to ride all of those hard parts of trail with confidence and continued to use the same techniques and tools to progress their riding to a higher level.
I think another amazing part about setting goals Is that it puts your season into perspective and forces you to check in on yourself regularly. It makes you ask questions about where your body and mental health are, It is nice to slow down and ask yourself if you are having fun on your own terms and making sure that outside factors like weather conditions, social media, and peer pressure aren't the deciding factors.
On a more personal note I wanted to reflect on my season especially during these interesting times with plenty of down time due to Covid- 19.
As a long-term goal I always want to gain more time and experience in the backcountry and currently I see it as an ever-evolving learning experience. I try to take courses when I can and go touring with people that are more experienced than I. This season I spent the most days in the backcountry compared to other seasons, I updated some of my gear, I took an Intro to weather course and tried my best to use the information I learned as an every day tool to keep myself updated on weather and avalanche conditions. I had the incredible opportunity of working with Girls Do Ski as well as with Stay Wild Backcountry Skills, sharing my passion for “earning” my turns safely and as responsible.
I am learning that breaking down goals into small, achievable, and rewarding sections make the goals more fun and motivates you to actually complete them. I am also using these inevitably slower weeks during the recommended self isolation as an opportunity to update my goals for this summer. I would encourage you all to do the same! It's exciting to have something to plan and look forward to!
Micah Morris grew up in Fernie, competing in ski racing, mountain biking and big mountain skiing. Micah now lives in Revelstoke, where she works as a mountain bike guide does some Enduro racing. She has eased out of competitive skiing but she still spends her winters skiing at the resort and pushing herself to learn and practice skiing safely in the backcountry. Micah loves to use her athletic talent to inspire women in sport and pass along to local youth her passion and love for the mountains.