Sunday, June 30, 2013


June came and went, almost. The last couple of weeks I have been on my bike a lot more.
On May 27 I had a nasty accident in a bus here, after I got on the full bus as the last passenger, I asked the driver to give me a moment so I could sit down, because it’s hard for me to balance in a moving vehicle with my leg. He pulled out anyway and I fell backwards with my right arm, just above the elbow, hitting the fair machine. It was extremely sore and got swollen and bruised rapidly, check up in the hospital showed a small crack in my humerus and I was put in a sling for 2 weeks.

At the one week check up there where some concerns about other damage and an ultrasound was performed to check the status of the triceps tendon. Images were also sent to Amsterdam for a second set of eyes, long story short, I didn’t damage the tendon but damaged the muscle, luckily this heals better then a tendon injury and I have a grade 3 tear in my ulna collateral ligament, that last one is pretty nasty because it makes my elbow very unstable. So I got a big as brace and I am back to normal life again, can’t do weights right now or use crutches but other than that it’s ok.

So After I got the brace I was able to bike again J I have made some great bike rides around here, it’s beautiful. Vancouver is pretty hilly so my climbing skills will definitely improve here. I joined 2 different cycling clubs. With one club we train in Stanley park on Tuesday night, we circle the park 3-4 times (9k per loop), there is a big climb in there too. And with Lululemon Kitsilano cycling club I train Wednesday night, we usually ride up to UBC (last Wednesday twice) which is a though climb, other than just riding we also do a lot of different drills with Lululemon,  a good combination.
Both clubs have long rides during the weekend, so enough options. And I have made some good rides alone or with friends.

On the left side of this picture is UBC, Stanley Park is top right

 Thursday morning means 7am yoga, always tough to wake up but really nice once I have done it. Add some one legged squats and jumps and I have a nice training schedule over here.
Also I have been hiking a little bit, never expected that I would be able to do that but my walking has been pretty good lately.

 The next Whistler camp I will attend starts July 8 at the glacier, excited to ski again and get back in the gates, will see how that goes with the brace, maybe use one pole, don´t know yet. I will see how it works out. This is a short overview, there are a lot more stories in the Vancouver blog.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whistler super camp #1

Returning to basics and fundamentals will be the focus of the May camp, utilizing much of the mountain, groomed and off piste runs. On-snow functional body movement, skills assessment and drills will create a strong foundation for building skills on. Campers will be divided into 3 groups by age/skill levels (I was placed in the highest group, performance level). Including fitness testing on

So Saturday was the day for GS testing, it was raining, that added an extra challenge, the snow was so sticky, but hey it’s BC spring skiing. For testing we also used a wave track, with 6 waves, 1 meter high each and the tops where 12 meters apart. The goal was to absorb the waves at GS speed while making the turns. After a few tries I got the hang of the wave track and actually quite liked it. At the end of the day we also had to tuck the wave track, well that wasn’t quite as successful, I almost crashed after the third wave barely managed to keep standing but lost my pole and skied out of the track.
That afternoon we did fitness testing, which started with a beep test, that was the only test I couldn’t participate in. After the beep test they build all the stations with the different tests, penta jumps, both on one leg and on two, box jumps (ugh), 5-10-5 agility (‘running’ and touching the floor), high jump and planking.

Overall I scored pretty good better than expected and I was pretty happy with my results. Especially since I wasn’t allowed to jump for 12 weeks after my ankle injury (torn syndesmose) in February (when I broke my orthotic), this was my first time jumping again.

Sunday it was time for skills testing on slalom ski’s, we did the wave track again and hourglass skiing (I got a 7 out of 10). The group also skied on 1 ski without poles, quite a challenge from what I have seen. Since I’m not able to ski on one ski I did a different exercise to help me separate more, and it worked pretty well! Seems I have found the change I needed at the Whistler mountain ski club, I have made quite some progress and definitely stepped out of my comfort zone. Thanks to all the great trainers! It was awesome to get training from a girl who was on the Canadian national team last year.
After testing we went ‘free’ skiing, but as trainer Ryan said there is no free in free skiing, always work on something while having fun. We skied off piste, through the trees, this was definitely a challenge for me, but the camp motto was accept the challenge, and I did it!
After that run, it was the end of the day already and my good leg was so fatigued  that I just ‘fell’ it was more like sitting down in the snow, time to download.
Sunday afternoon consisted of lots and lots of stretching, I was so sore, I couldn’t sneeze anymore ;). Sunday afternoon also means soccer, the team thought they had an actual Euro soccer player on their hands, unfortunately I had to disappoint them with that… J

I'm so adopting this Canadian lifestyle wearing running leggings and bright running shoes in public, being outside and active every day 

Monday was the last day of camp and we had the candy cup duals, this was so much fun!
Dual slaloms always helps you to push that little extra.

 After skiing it was time to say goodbye, until July because that’s when the next camps take place at the glacier by then. The whole team and coaches had drinks and nacho’s at Merlin’s bar. I had a great time thanks to all the girls and the coaches. A big thanks goes out to the Kepl family who took me in like I was family, and of course to topsport met zonder handicap who make these camps possible for me with their financial support.
The drive down from Whistler to Vancouver was beautiful again this time I could ‘enjoy’ it extra-long because of traffic jams, it clearly has been a long weekend.

Yesterday I started working again in the lab and my supervisor said ‘I see you have had some sun’ yep goggle face and helmet lines which is impressive with mostly clouded weather.

Now back to work and dryland until July, when it’s time for the next camp, more skiing, more fun times, more icebad’s and sore muscles ;) 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Whistler day 1

I’m in Vancouver for exactly 2 weeks now, to read more on those stories see my Vancouver blog
Yesterday I made the beautiful drive from Vancouver to Whistler, taking me over highway 99, the ‘sea to the sky highway’ to view is so amazing that it actually doesn’t bother me that much that the speed is very limited. I have rented a car, and thanks to a little hand controlled car mix up, I got a free upgrade to a very nice car, I love it, I will miss it for sure when I have to give it back Monday night.

So today was the first day of skiing with the Whistler mountain ski club. I skied with the FIS group and had a good time. The conditions were very soft due to some high temperatures over the last few weeks, but there still is plenty of snow left J
We did GS drills today, and all the drills were new to me, the coaches mentioned that they saw a progress over the day, always good to hear, I felt it as well. I felt very confident on my GS ski’s in the soft snow. The motto of the day was accept the challenge, so I did moguls and off piste and tons of more drills. By the end of the day my GS turns felt really good and I was death tired in my good leg J. They have some high level coaches and a lot of their athletes have made the national team over the years. I’m so happy to get the chance to train with them, this might just be the change I need to step it up next season. So a big thanks to topsport met zonder handicap a great foundation who has made this possible for me!

After skiing we had dryland training, some athletes were mountain biking, some were running or spinning for 20 minutes. I was spinning after which we did some yoga and stretching. We also did some balancing, and I walked a bit on the slag line as well. With poles it was easy even turned and walked back,then I tried loosely holding another girl’s hand while walking, and I even took some steps on my own, nice project for this summer J
Tomorrow GS skills testing we will see, I’m looking forward to another day on the hill!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April Randomness

In march I skied my last international races of the season in France but my national race season wasn’t finished yet. This season they added an adaptive category to some of the national races in the indoor circuit. The first race I managed to win, which wasn’t that big of a deal considering a lack of competition but still nice.

Sunday we ski the second race and the third race is in May which I won’t ski…. Because in May I’ll be in Canada! This summer I’ll be interning in Vancouver general hospital for my scientific training period (as it’s called at the university) for more information about that see
But interning won’t be all I do when I’m in Canada, because off course I arranged for some ski training and I’ll be doing lots of other stuff. But this is the skiing blog J
I have arranged for ski training at the Whistler mountain ski club, they have 4 day summer camps during the weekends, I will do the one in May and 2 or 3 in July. Hopefully I can stay with a family during those weekends, that would be very nice.

These camps off course aren’t cheap so I’m happy to announce that I got the funding for these camp from a great organization in the Netherlands. They are called Topsport met zonder handicap, which means top sport with(out) disability. The foundation is founded by Marije Smits she used to be active in para-athletics and she is also a med student. Marije competed in 3 paralympic games (Athens, Beijing and London), and she has founded her own foundation to encourage talents with ambitions and goals. Just take a look at their website (it’s in Dutch)

I’m also still training at the indoor slope in Landgraaf before I leave for Canada. Saturday I had a very good training, my skiing felt so much better, much easier in slalom, I have struggled a bit in slalom lately but things seem to go a lot better. I got a big help with this improvement because I was bootfitted by Patrick Rademakers from ski center edelweiss. He adjusted my boots so my feet are in a more natural position which means I can turn the ski easier, it takes less strength.

Well that’s it for now, will check back later!
My first Whistler camp is May 17-20

March: Chamrousse French nationals

March 18-21 I went to Chamrousse France for the open French national championships. On Sunday, March 17, I flew from Rotterdam to Grenoble where I was picked up by the team. They had trained two days in Tignes. That night it snowed a lot, more than 60 cm of fresh snow. Monday we started with a slalom race. The first run wasn’t great, the circumstances were heavy with the fresh snow, still I finished 2nd with a big lead over number 3 and 4, my direct competitors. Marie Bochet from France was far a head in first place, she is also the number 1 in the world. The second run was much better for me and I was able to expand my lead and finished second in the first race. 

 playing in the gym

The second day we skied slalom again, this time I had some bad luck in the first run, there was a Snowboarder next to me all the trainers were shouting at him and I lost my concentration.  I finished third for that run but I wasn’t that far behind. Second run I made a big mistake on the flat part my shin guards sort of got stuck together and I almost crashed. Ultimately I came in third. But despite that my gap with nr1 was smaller than the day before.

After slalom it was time for 2 days of GS.  Due to the soft conditions, the giant slalom race moved to the slope where we skied slalom. This initiated a short giant slalom with a flat start and steep hanging finish. On Wednesday the first part was set pretty fast and I was able to tuck the whole flat part. In the middle part I came a little bit late in my line a few times, but I had a good first run. I finished 2nd with a lead of a second over number 3. The second run was better than the first run and I finished in second. I finished second overall that day so I was faster than women in the other categories (blind and sitting respectively), they use a factor to compare all the different categories that’s needed to calculate the race penalty. Finishing second overall was  a decent performance especially since I was ranked 7th in that field. 

And then it was time for the last race of the season. Unfortunately the race calendar was somewhat limited for me this year because I did not qualify for worldcup (yet). I could have gone to Switzerland after these races for the Swiss championships, actually I should have done it for my GS points, unfortunately it wasn’t logistically possible.
The last race, again giant slalom after my good feeling of the day before I wanted to repeat that. Although I didn’t made any big mistakes, I was just slow, the GS was a lot more turny with a tight line, it was a bit difficult for me. After the first run I sat in second with 0.15 seconds lead over number 3 and 0.5 sec lead over number 4, my direct competitors. Unfortunately I could not hold on to my lead during second run and I finished fourth, just 0.25 seconds off the podium. 

Marie Bochet won all the races with a big lead but behind her we had  a fight for the podium. After the race I went back to Grenoble airport, Airport Security and I reached a new low, not only did I had to remove my pants (I consider that normal now) but now I also had to remove my orthotic and they put it in the scanner. But my leg continued to beep at the metal detector so they wanted to see some x-rays after a little discussion they let me trough just in time for my flight. I prefer the body scan that saves a lot of time. After all I arrived home at 6pm, tight schedule but great that it worked out.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

February: Dutch Nationals

The Dutch nationals abled body where held February 16-23 in Zauchensee Austria. On Sunday we trained GS in Zauchensee. It was a good training day and I definitely felt a lot stronger than in December. On Monday the first race was scheduled, a GS point race, in the abled body field I finished 5th. Tuesday it was time for the national championships Giant Slalom. I was fore running this race, I had the chance to run 4 times, both runs from the youth start and bot runs from the adult start. It was nice to have the chance to do a run twice with race circumstances.

This week we got lots of fresh snow and powder! We free skied the powder on Wednesday instead of slalom training. I had a lot of fun playing in the powder. Later that day most tracks got ruined a bit with big humps, I crashed over a hump and I heard a nasty snap. I was sitting in the snow checking myself when I realized what caused the snap,  my orthotic was broken otherwise I was fine.

I was disappointed thinking I wasn’t able to ski anymore that week. I got a ride down on a ski doo and my leg was checked by the event doctor, removing the rest of my orthotic. After that I made a call to my orthopedic technicians’ office to see if there was a possibility to fix my orthotic in Austria, I got an address of an orthopedic technician in Salzburg. The next day I drove to Salzburg and Tappe fixed my orthotic that day! I was so happy I could ski again.

Friday it was time for the national championships slalom. I was forerunning again, now with the opportunity to ski 6 runs, this is because the youngest athletes ski a stubby slalom with short gates. Six runs was a bit too much, the schedule would have been to tight, so with other forerunners we divided the runs. I did the stubby slalom and the long run in the adult slalom. The stubby slalom was very tight and challenging that way, the kids have shorter ski’s. It was a lot of fun especially with the kids who requested me to forerun their slalom, they were very spontaneous asking lots of questions about my leg and orthotic.

The adult slalom had a nice first run, it was fast and a bit strait just the way I like. The second run was a lot rounder which made it more challenging. It was a good ‘race’ day. After 8 years it was great to be back at the Dutch nationals.

January: back in training

January was a bit different because I didn’t had any races on my schedule. There were only world cup races in January for which I’m not qualified yet. It was a bit disappointing not to ski in January but it also gave an unique opportunity to get some extra dry land training in. Time to look back at the beginning of the season and to make a little training schedule to do even better in the second part of the season, stronger, better, faster. All in all my season has been ok thus far especially considering the circumstances; ‘On September 20 I had done gym training in the morning and I felt fine training went very well nothing to be worried about. I went to a couple of lectures in the afternoon and I started to ache a bit, sore muscles? When I got home I felt a bit tired and my back hurted.

Well long story short in 5 hours I went from normal to seriously ill. I was admitted to the hospital that night with a high fever and a very sore back. It turned out I had an acute urinary tract infection which has spread to my kidneys in just hours. I stayed in the hospital,l got antibiotics and started to feel better quick. Five days later I went to Austria with the team, well needless to say skiing didn’t go well, I pushed for it and I really shouldn’t have… I got some more antibiotics and then some more again because this was one stubborn infection, just like me honestly. Well I much needed rest and so I did I took the full 6 weeks of rest that was needed to get rid of the stupid bug. I missed out on all the other training weeks in Austria but I did start some light gym training with my physical therapist. It was a long road and still is I’m not fit yet but getting stronger and back on ski’s.’ This was the situation at the Landgraaf races, I did got fitter for the races in December but still was missing some basis. So with the opportunity to train for 6 weeks I could cover the basis better.

December: Pitztal and Lenk races

Ohw damn I have been neglecting this blog so badly, sorry guys, time to catch up month by month.

In the beginning of December I took a trip to Pitztal for IPCAS races Super G (2x) en Giant Slalom, Pitztal was so damn cold -30 brrr. I drove the 1000km to Pitztal alone, which was a bit a challenge considering the blizzards and traffic jams but I made it safe. Nick and Thomas where already there. The first day we trained some Super G, I hadn’t been on my Super long Super G ski’s for almost a year. The next day we had two Super G races scheduled, the first race I was slow, holding back and not attacking. A result of a lack of training and with that a lack of confidence. The next race was a lot, and a LOT better, I climbed one spot and was a lot faster (something like 24 seconds…). In that race I skied my best Super G result 277,78 points.
The next day it was GS time, first run I made a big mistake which cost me some valuable time, second run was pretty good. All in all I was happy with the races in Pitztal, I drove home after the GS race and stayed home for 5 days before leaving for Lenk.

In Lenk I skied my first European Cup races. I arrived in Lenk on December 15, celebrated my birthday the next day on ski’s. December 17th was the first race day, we started with 2 days of GS, since I’m not GS EC qualified yet I couldn’t race. The first race I was able to be a forerunner, it was a challenging course and I was glad with this opportunity. The next day I did some free skiing on my  own. On December 19th I skied my first EC slalom, this course was a lot more challenging then IPCAS races, it was much longer and steeper. Unfortunately I straddled a gate in my first run, so no second run for me, I used this time to get some extra training in. The next day a new chance I had a so so first run, bit slow not attacking, I finished 11th . The second run was much better I started attacking more and I finished 8th for the run 9th in the race. After that it was time for Christmas! The Lenk races where a lot of fun, we watched the night slalom races on TV in the lobby of our hotel with the other athletes.