Tess Johnson is our Resident Olympian at The Inn at Riverwalk. She co-hosts 3 events with us each year and is a guest writer for our blog. This edition is all about what Tess does during the spring, summer and fall to prepare for the upcoming competition season. You can meet Tess during our next event on Friday, August 2nd. Hike with Tess
Hope you are all having a great summer; I know I am! Contrary to what many people might think, summer and fall are the most intense times for training. By the time December rolls around, we have to be at our best to put down our best runs when it counts. This is the time to make changes, and that’s exactly what I’m doing!
I’m based out of Park City, Utah this summer to water ramp at the Utah Olympic Park and work out at the USSA Center of Excellence. I feel so lucky that I get to train at arguably the best facilities in the world with awesome coaches! This past May, we made a plan to execute harder tricks in competition this winter. It’s so cool to see female mogul skiers throwing higher difficulty tricks these days, and I’m stoked to be part of that progression. Similar to slopestyle skiers, I’ve been working really hard on adding grabs to my tricks. The two main ones are a 360 with a mute grab and a backflip with a mute grab. A mute grab is when I cross my skis and reach down to grab one of my skis to tweak it out. The picture above is a 360 mute grab on the water ramps! In addition to adding these grabs, I’m doing back fulls and cork 7s, both on the trampoline and water ramps. While I’ve been working on these tricks for years, they take a lot of time to perfect. I have high hopes that one of them (or both!) will be ready to compete by the 2022 Winter Olympics. That being said, learning any new trick is tough, and there has been no shortage of setbacks and mistakes, but this learning process is what it’s all about!
At the end of July, we are headed up to the glacier in Mount Hood, Oregon to transfer our water ramp and trampoline work to snow. We also get to ski slush bumps and work on technique, which is my favorite part of training. This camp is a little unconventional because we are inviting the Young Guns camp to train with us as well. These rippers proved great potential by getting an age group podium at last year’s Junior Nationals event, and while I never actually qualified for this camp when I was younger, it’s so fun to train alongside the future of our sport!
Speaking of future stars, in June I was fortunate enough to coach moguls at Momentum Ski Camps up in Whistler, Canada. I did this last summer as well, and it’s always refreshing to ski with kids who are just having so much fun. Sometimes, especially during this preparatory grind, it’s easy to forget why I do it in the first place: passion! Coaching and skiing with the next generation reminds me that I love this sport more than anything else, and it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears.
We have a quick week off after Mount Hood, then it’s back to the water ramps before we depart for two and a half weeks of training down in El Colorado, Chile! I’m really excited for the progress, travel, and fun to come in the rest of our prep season.