The ups and downs of contest life 1: Down – FWQ****Nendaz

Being in competition is never easy. One is under pressure, tries to fulfill expectations and very often doesn’t reach what one wanted to.

DSC_0027[1]We in the snowboard women category competing at the Freeride Qualifier Series (FWQ) are really lucky on the one hand: We mostly like each other, it’s always good fun and really inspiring so see such different female riders with that variety of characters in one spot. And I really met and keep on meeting inspiring women on the tour.

On the other hand it would a lot easier to have people who you don’t like as opponents. Somebody you can fight against. That’s a human instinct I’m not proud of.

I’d prefer to be like the Zen Monks, living in the here and now, being everything and nothing, explore the full potential of events without worrying.

The text below I wrote on the way back from FWQ**** Nendaz is pretty much the opposite: a lot of doubts. But in the end it shows what it’s mainly about: Do what you want.


Even if somebodys watching you…

This is not a story of success. It’s not a story about the pleasures of taking part in a competition, but it’s about disappointment, wrong decisions and a broken ego.
There are days, when even as a professional athlete you feel like a beginner. Could be that it was twelve hours in the car the day before, an upcoming illness or acclimatisation problems which caused those rubber legs. This realization is not helping you any further standing in the start gate. So you try to focus, blend out all the doubts and try to bring back the belief in yourself. Then you take off and you realize you can’t really cope with the conditions smoothly. But you still try hard. And you know that further down it should get better.
You get over the ridge and there is your take off. You are not really focused, but it’s a competition, no hesitation allowed. In the air everything feels fine, but in the landing the nose gets caught. When tumbling and trying to gain back control, you realize that there was too little power and commitment. You know that any other time you’d stomp that without any problem. You ride on and even if you can’t see anything try to give your best. And you hate yourself in that moment. You should have taken an easier line. But actually you didn’t want to take a different line, you wanted to ride what you like and ignore tactics.

In the finish area a lot of riders cheer you up immediately and you just have to try and get over it.

Next day it was really cool to watch the finals. Crazy good lines.


And Mikaela won the snowboard girls competition. Really good day, and I’m so happy for her: Next year she will be in the Freeride World Tour!

I will miss her during my travels, years ago she was the first women on a snowboard freeriding and taking it seriously as well which I met.


Beside the competition it was really interesting to see how life is working in other parts of the Alps. It was the first time for me that I actually had patience to take a walk in Nendaz. They have some crazy Architecture, a elevator on tracks connecting two parts of the village and climbing towers on the main square.


Valley of Sion

One response to “The ups and downs of contest life 1: Down – FWQ****Nendaz

  1. Pingback: Mind Games – Nendaz Freeride FWQ 4* | manuela mandl winterlife·

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