Right after Nationals, I rushed home to be with my band, The Sheep Bridge Jumpers, to play multiple sets on multiple stages at the TreeFort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho. Wow! What an incredible time! This was our third time playing the festival and it doesn't get old singing and playing our local haunts and favorite stages, as well as listen to some of the most incredible artists shred their style of music. I absolutely LOVE and am honored to get the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible event. Right in my hometown too!

After our third stage on Sunday at the Bittercreek Brewery for brunch, I left thinking about my future. What would it be like returning to ski racing? Would I have to give up my love of music? I wished in my heart of hearts I could find a way to combine my two passions together. To create this fusion where I could do both. Was it a pipe dream to live in two worlds? At the same time, I thought about how most of my bandmates were just like me! They were all skiers or snowboarders, just like me, who were called by the mountains, and shared that love through music. Cody Barnhill, our bassest, and a fine shredder has made a career of skiing and also spends time infusing music into his life. Connor Wade, our fiddle and mandolin player is a full-time teacher, writes songs about skiing our local mountains and spends his free time playing music as often as possible. Cameron Bouiss, drummer, works at a ski shop in the winters and runs his own business to boot! So does Mark, the lead singer! He's a full-time photographer/videographer with his own business, snowboards and announces comps in the winter, and finds time to manage this band, too! Then there's me. I do all the same things, but I fit more closely along the lines of starving artist.

Somehow I would like to actually thrive while I'm going for my passions of adventuring and playing music. Perhaps together. Time will tell I suppose.

Day 4 First Slalom Nationals

Day 4: First day of slalom. DNF. That's what it says on the print out next to my name. It stands for “Did Not Finish.” On my second slalom run I hooked my outrigger on a gate and it spun me around so that I couldn't push myself and my heavy sit ski back up to finish the race. The rules state that, if you fall you can finish the race without assistance, but if you receive assistance you are disqualified. I flailed around on the course for a bit, but I knew that with the tip of my ski higher than my tail, I wasn't getting up any time soon. Assistance came and I accepted it… gladly.

10 years ago I would have been extremely disappointed in myself and beaten myself up relentlessly for my shortcoming. She was a champion, but she wasn't that nice to herself. With age comes patience and realistic expectations. Having any expectations of myself, in any kind of race at this point in my life, is like sprinkling fairy dust on a pile of shit hoping it turns into a pony! Ok, maybe I can have some expectation, especially after winning some hardware already at these races, and my past experience, but slalom? It's #slalom. Let's just say the poopy pony is more true.

I celebrated by taking teammate, Ricci, to visit my sister's place #dacres permaculter farmstead. I hadn't been there before. It was really cool to see so many working and moving parts to the land conservation going on there, even in the winter getting ready for the growing spring season. I was very inspired by the efforts of the many hands that had touched that place.

Later we had spaghetti dinner, a Wednesday night tradition, at the Browns -my Dorchester, New Hampshire neighbors. The food was warm, delicious and the company was exquisite. Ricci and I were supposed to go to a race banquet, but this was - from what I heard later - way better.

My niece and nephew told jokes that had us laughing and crying. We played music and mostly we spent quality time together that warmed my soul right up! There are some things in life you just can't win, and medals can't buy. #lifeisshort #sowhat #lifeisbeautiful #momentslikethis #makingmusic



A friend asked me later if I could play this song again. Honestly, I would have to learn it first, I told him. Some of the ideas I had lined out in my mind, and some of the transitions, but I quite literally was feeling it January 1, and just had to bust this one out. It took all of 1 hour. Mostly because I was trying to figure out how to record it in my bathroom where the acoustics sounded best with a house full of people. I dare say I don't even know what chords I was playing, or where that capo was placed. All I knew was that I had to say this - New Years resolutions are a bunch of nonsense. We torture ourselves trying to improve our exterior world. It's really our inner world that needs a little light shed on it. "Maybe this year it's not about changing who I am, but changing my perception of who you are." That, to me, is my deepest paradigm shift for 2016. Imagine what would happen if we just did that one thing. Not worry about our weight, and eating less sugar, and eating more greens, etc. But simply focused on others. What would happen? What could happen?