Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oakley Progression Sessions: Day 1

Wow ok, I have put this off for far too long.  The reason I procrastinated on this post is because I felt like there was so much to talk about; I couldn’t possibly fit all of my excitement in a blog post!  Well, I won’t cover everything (after all, I want to leave you with some incentive to come check out OPS for yourself!) but I will try to hit all the major highlights.

I’ll give you a quick background on Oakley Progression Sessions first for those of you who haven’t already heard me rambling on and on about this program.  Oakley Progression Sessions (OPS) is a two-day ski and snowboard camp for women looking to hone their skills on the mountain.  The camp comes to four locations throughout North America.  Each camp is led by professional coaches and Oakley Team athletes who are ready to share the lowdown on how to ride like they do.  You also get a sick swag bag and custom Oakley goggles.  The price ranges from $189 - $300 depending on the location but it pays itself off really fast.
That's me on the right!!

I literally can not say ENOUGH good things about this program.  Through OPS I’ve hit backside 180s, started to work on 360s, became comfortable riding switch, improved my confidence level, and forged lifelong friendships with like-minded ladies.  THAT is PRICELESS, in my opinion.

ANYWAY—my trip to OPS started out a bit rough this year.  We were headed to Squaw Valley and I missed my flight (user error: I left my cell phone at home and decided I couldn’t possibly live without it—I know, I know…cut the cord already!).  But after riding standby on FULL flights all the way to Reno, I made it!  I picked up my girl Meggie and we drove to Squaw to meet up with my snowlmate Julie and our Little One Chelsea, who would be staying in a cabin on the lake with us.  Cha would meet up with us later that evening as well.  We relaxed and then headed to The Village to pick out our custom goggles, pick up our swag bag, and reunite with our friends from OPS 2012.
Left to right: Chelsea the "Little One", Julie "Snowlmate", Meggie "Megatron", Cha "Cha Cha Real Smooth" and me (I need a nickname still apparently...)
Day 1 was a WHIRLWIND!  Blue skies, sunshine, perfect hoodie weather.  Could we ask for anything more??  We spent the morning exchanging hugs and smiles with girls and coaches we had met at OPS Mammoth last year.   Our morning yoga was led by the one and only Lacey Calvert.  Once our bodies were stretched and warmed up, we were ready to split into groups and hit the slopes.  We were split into groups based on our skill level and off we went!

Our first coach was Jenny Jones.  Ok, three things you must know about Jenny Jones
1.       She is a BADASS (youtube her)
2.       She is British
3.       She is hilarious
Seriously—I couldn’t even pick a favorite coach if I tried because they all bring something different to the table; Jenny is definitely top 5 though.  Anyway we spent the morning with her working on riding switch, ollies, and jumps.  I perfected my Indy grab and started working on tail grabs.  It was so epic. 
In the afternoon we switched coaches and went riding in the smaller park with Marie-France Roy.  Ok MFR (youtube her also) is literally one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.  Not coolest pro, not coolest lady snowboarder, coolest PERSON.  She’s the most down-to-earth, generous, sustainable French-Canadian I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  I consider her more than a coach, I consider her a friend.   So we spent the afternoon with her, working on some more skills.  She convinced me to work on frontside and backside 180s in order to start getting comfortable with the idea of throwing 360s.  I was hesitant at first, but when MFR says jump, you just say “which kind”.  Or how high I suppose, but I prefer which kind.
We ended Day 1 by running into the Oakley crew at the bar and sharing some stories and shotskis with them.  Couldn’t have picked a better ending to a better day.  I love my girls, I love Oakley, and damnit…I LOVE SNOWBOARDING.
Doing some Acroyoga with Jenny Jones