Dear Former Self,

You are an athlete. Anyone out there that tells you you’re not deserves a swift kick in the shin. Yes, you may not be the most coordinated person out there but some sort of genetics or something has given you a talent. Run with it. Your parents believe in you, your brothers believe in you, your friends believe in you. Now, believe in yourself. Don’t be scared of embarassement coming in last place out there. It’s about setting goals and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. X-Games was a goal; check that one off the list. The U.S. Ski Team was a goal; you accomplished that one. The 2014 Winter Olympics is the next goal. What’s so different about this one? You’ve taken the steps to set yourself up to succeed, now follow through.

I know it’s hard to keep a positive mind when if feels more natural to be negative. Snap out of it. Negativity isn't going to get you anywhere, haven’t you realized this yet? Yes, you’ve had many injuries and you know how to leap over those hurdles, don’t let another one keep you down. Dad says injuries build character. Well, you’re going to have a ton of character when you cross the finish line in Sochi.  

Learn from the people that have walked in your shoes. Reach out and talk to people that have prepared themselves for the same undertaking. You’re not alone. Every athlete around you has the same fears. Worry less and work harder.

See you in Russia for the opening ceremony. Make sure to smile. 

Love,

Yourself