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 has been blogging for OnTheSnow this season as she prepares for Sochi in 2014.
This winter did not go exactly as I had planned. I underwent my fifth knee surgery in January, I missed every contest of the season; I organized trips and at the last minute had to cancel them; I skied more groomers than I cumulatively had my entire life. These things made the winter very long for me and I would catch myself daydreaming about the beach way too often. Typically, I want the winter to never end and I’m upset when the chairlifts quit spinning for the season. However, this year I am looking forward to it—I want the sun to shine and the temperatures to rise.
I have spent five days on my bike so far this spring and find that my best thinking comes when sitting in the saddle. I have had time to think about the positives and negatives of the last year; I’ve thought about what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. The biggest thing I have discovered is not about myself but about the people in my life. I find myself trying to embody a little piece of everyone that influences me to become the best person I can be.
My family, obviously, has had the biggest influence on me; they have watched me grow up, watched me succeed and watched me fall flat. They have done so much for me over the years, when I reflect back on it, it constantly blows my mind what people will do to see you happy. My mom bought me a brighter comforter with the hopes that it would brighten my day when I wake up. She spontaneously took a trip to LA with me to get me out of my dark hole and back on top of my mountain. My dad constantly worries about my well-being and happiness and wants to see me happy in all aspects of life. He slips me money when I leave town just to reassure himself that I am eating. My step-dad sends me emails with motivation or educational videos that make me look deeper into myself. He lends me books, which help me to discover myself and most of all he makes me think. My brothers poke fun at me to make me a better person. They let me tag along in any situation and make me feel welcome at all times. They remind me that I deserve the best and to keep chasing my dreams, no matter how many times I get knocked down. All of these little gestures shape who I am and give me an idea of who I want to become.
I can’t forget about my friends as they have kept me on my feet when I feel like crumbling to the ground. They open their doors to me when I am feeling lost. They send me dumb YouTube videos they know will make me smile and laugh. They are by my side for whatever decision I make and most of all they remind me that happiness is the most important thing.
Happiness, I believe, stems from the people you surround yourself with and holds the power to heal any wound. Through all of the hiccups over the last year, I have managed to stay happy and I give all the credit to those who share their wisdom with me and open their hearts to me. As I embark on my summer training season I will remember what each and every person has shared with me and will bring it along on my journey. My summer plans are falling into place and I am looking forward to all of the new adventures and people I will meet along the way.