Meg Olenick is one of the young slopestyle stars of the U.S. Freeskiing Team. Raised just outside of Aspen, Colo., Olenick has been skiing park since she was a kid, following in the footsteps of her older brothers, Michael and Peter. After a series of knee injuries, she is looking to solidify her spot on the 2014 Olympic team. Olenick will be blogging for OnTheSnow this season as she prepares for Sochi in 2014.
As I sit here thinking of what to write to the snow sports world, I am stumped. When I was given the opportunity to blog for OnTheSnow, I was expecting to update people on my travels and contest results. Well, I apologize to all of you who have been following me hoping for just that.
My winter has taken some unexpected turns and I have yet to ski in any competitions. My travels have consisted of day trips to the gym, physical therapy and the mountain. This has not been ideal for me as I had the most fantastic winter planned out; from traveling to Russia and Norway to skiing with my friends in different countries and experiencing the world beyond the U.S. boarder. I was excited… like, really excited.
My body is doing all it can to get me healthy and I have to respect that process. In the meantime, I have spent a lot of time thinking—thinking about the future, thinking about my life and life in general. I haven’t solved the world’s problems yet, but in my endless hours of thinking I have decided that the infamous Dr. Seuss, one of my favorite childhood authors, has great advice for almost every situation.
This winter has been full of doubts, as much as I don’t want to admit it. Of course, I’ve doubted if this is the right path for me and I think that most athletes have doubts along their journey. Whether they will admit it, that is another story. I have pushed those doubts aside and set my goals high. I entered this sport with aspirations and will not leave it until I have fulfilled them and am satisfied. “And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!” – Dr. Seuss
Two weeks ago I headed to the Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver to visit Rose Battersby, a friend and fellow competitor who severely broke her back during X Games. I was shocked to see her in such high spirits after what she had been through. All of a sudden my dinky little knee injury seemed like a splinter in comparison. The smile that plastered her face was because she was having a similar realization that I was. She was in a hospital where many of the patients would never walk again and she would be walking out of there in ten days. We were reminded “When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad... you should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're really quite lucky! Some people are much more... oh, ever so much more... oh, muchly much-much more unlucky than you!” – Dr. Seuss.
In the end, what you decide to do with your life comes down to you. I know this is fairly obvious but when you have a handful of people trying to tell you what to do, this can easily be forgotten. You can get wrapped up in what other people want you to do and not even know what you want. You need to do the things that make you happy and smile. If this is spending a day baking a cake just to decorate it, then let it be. On this journey I have embarked upon, the thing that makes me happy and smile—skiing in the terrain park—has been put on hold and has allowed me to find other things to fill that void. I have not lost sight of the 2014 Olympics and know that I will make it there. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss.
“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”- Dr. Seuss. I have learned more about myself this winter than I ever thought possible. I have learned to be flexible and not get too far ahead of myself, living one day at a time. I have learned that my parents are saints; they can pick me up from my lowest lows and always be willing to do it over and over. I have learned that you can’t live life trying to please everyone else. I have learned that friends hold you together when you feel utterly broken. I have learned to look at life through my own lens because “why fit in when you were born to stand out?”- Dr. Seuss.
Remember, “You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so... get on your way!” –Dr. Seuss