Lucky for me the day before the race I got to spend it with my family and boyfriend at one of the most beautiful places I have been recently; The Garden of the Gods.
With so much anticipation and build-up for this trip, the last thing I expected was to get sick the day before I left. I had been planning t...
Park City has finally opened, with 3 parks up and running. The first few days of shredding we all got to enjoy a very nice little 3 jump l...
Upon leaving California this past fall I did a 14 hour photoshoot featuring some products from Fydelity Stereobags and Biosculpture Nails. T...
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
My stepdad has been a huge influence in my life, and snowboarding career. He has been driving cars professionally for a decade longer than i've been alive and at the top level at that. He is a truly humbly, awesome person, and so supportive about my decision to pursue my passion in snowboarding. I was so pleased to be able to watch him in action in Colorado Springs this past weekend 6/29/14. Rick was racing a 58 Lister Jaguar as a tribute to the 50's and the "can do" generation with a salute across the back for his late father (Fred Knoop, and the Navy Seals.) This car screams America! Rick is a very competent race car driver and although this car was not meant to climb hills, you would never had known by the way he drives. Smooth maneuvering and years of experience landed Rick in 2nd place in the Super Unlimited class (the fastest class at Pikes) and this was only his 2nd time at Pikes Peak. He finished the 12 mile race with 5,000 plus feet of vertical to end at 14,110 feet in 10:16 seconds, putting him in 9th overall for the cars. Very proud to have been there to watch him do what he does best!
My mother came into town last week as my Stepdad was racing up Pikes Peak. We had a ton of fun exploring Colorado and adventuring around my neck of the woods. Here are some photos from St. Elmo Ghost Town.
Photos; Cydette Knoop
Discrete Headwear; Photos Cameron Payne
Huge thanks to Mixie Bike for sending this bike to me for my knee rehab, along with Fydelity Stereobags for keeping me going! Loving the Keystone, CO life.
Photos; Cameron Payne
Sunday, May 25, 2014
After 4 months of hard work in the gym, I decided to see how the knee felt in a real life situation. I feel quite strong and given that I snowboard professionally, I figured going out and taking a few turns couldn't really hurt. It didn't hurt, (while riding at least!) and I can't even tell you how much that boosted my morale, and made me realize the past 4 months of gym work has really paid off. Thanks to my boyfriend for coming out and filming me with his new Sony 4k camera. Enjoy!
Erika Vikander; Recovery Riding from 4ReeL on Vimeo.
Erika Vikander; Recovery Riding from 4ReeL on Vimeo.
Monday, April 7, 2014
"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. " - Helen Keller
A lot has happened this season. With so many contests at the beginning of the season, trying to qualify for the Olympics and stay healthy, this season took me on a different path than I had anticipated. The first few contests went pretty well, Dew Tour and the Grand Prixs in Colorado put me into a position where I really needed to excel at the last two qualifying events to land myself a spot on the US snowboard team to qualify for the Olympics. After a pretty decent showing at the Copper Grand Prix considering we all battled some pretty serious weather in qualifiers I was very focused to do well at the Northstar Grand Prix. Unfortunately, California has had an unusually bad snow year and they had to move the contest back to Breckenridge, which was great news since thats where I now call home.
The course was all time, Breckenridge did an outstanding job at creating and maintaining a great course for us to have the contest on. The jumps were perfect, the rails creative and fun, and I had a wonderful day of practice the day before qualifiers. The following morning was perfect. My warmup went well, and I felt very ready for the contest. For some reason, before taking my first run I decided to try a more difficult run first instead of putting one run down for safety. The wind had picked up slightly, but it still looked great from up top, and I wasn't worried about speed at all. The top section went smooth and I setup for a switch trick on the first jump. I lost a bit of speed on the landing but still thought I could make the second jump if I just did a straight air and popped really hard. Wrong.
I came up about a full board length short on the jump and landed hard with my weight back over my back leg. My knee caved in, I felt a pop, and then found myself writhing in pain at the bottom of the landing of the jump. I knew deep down in my gut that I had probably just torn my ACL, but still tried to stand up to walk off the course. At that point my knee completely gave out and I hit the ground, hard. The Breckenridge Ski Patrol was extremely helpful and quick on the scene and they got me down to the bottom to have my knee looked at immediately after checking for head and neck injuries.
I was happy to have my boyfriend there with me, who was on the side of the course taking photos and saw the whole thing. We ended up spending the rest of our day at the hospital getting X-rays and trying to determine whether or not I had a tibial plateau fracture. Fortunately, I didn't and when Dr. Joseph at Vail Summit Orthopedics looked at my knee and the MRI we determined that I had in fact completely torn my ACL and Lateral meniscus as well as a partial tear in my medial meniscus and I would need knee surgery.
On January 17th I had ACL surgery, I am very fortunate that it was only my knee and that I live in a place where some of the best knee surgeons in the country also reside and practice. The surgery went smoothly, although, the first week of laying in bed after surgery was the most pain i've ever endured.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation of the knee after a surgery like this is crucial. I never even knew how crucial until I have had to put in the hours of work at the gym and home to get my knee back to where I want it to be. The physical portion of this is incredibly hard, but what's harder than that is keeping your mind in a positive state when you are so limited in activity. It's easy to get down when you can't do what you love to do and are passionate about, however, in the grand scheme of life this is such short period of time and there are so many lessons to be learned.
The thing i'm constantly reminded of is not to take things for granted. Mostly in the sense of being able to walk normally, bend or straighten my knee without pain, and do my daily activities that I have done for so many years without even the notion of it ever being taken away, even if only for a few months. I am almost 3 months out of surgery now and feeling better and better each day. Rebuilding a knee is a weird concept, when you think it took me 23 years to develop my leg to the athletic point it was at and to watch it deteriorate and atrophy in just a couple weeks. It's unbelievable what the body is capable of and to see it really kick into gear and repair itself is truly amazing. I am hoping to go snowboarding again in July when I am at my 6 month mark, and will be back with a vengeance this coming season!
I have been so grateful to have so many people in my life that have made this process so much easier for me including my family, friends, my wonderful sponsors who have stood by me and my boyfriend who has been there every step of the way. A big thanks once again to my contributors towards my Sochi goal, and get ready for some extra fuel in the tank for the Road to South Korea and the rest of my snowboard career!
Gatorade, Burton, Smith Optics, Phunkshun Wear, Discrete Headwear, Epic Pro Team, Saga Outerwear, Lyke Watches, Fydelity Stereobags, Shred Betties, Snogression, Hit Play Yoga, La Isla Brand.
A Beautiful Day from 4ReeL on Vimeo.
SIA Snowshow 2014
Make a Wish Foundation Celebrity Waiter Sporting Affair 2014
Monday, November 25, 2013
The event kicked off around 10am and the energy level was high. People wasted no time dropping their heaviest tricks on a variety of features including log jibs, pole jams, a man made jump, and even a staircase with a wooden railing to jump on. Things were hectic. People were dropping from all over, spraying snow, drinking beer, and having an all around great time. This is the type of event that snowboarding was made for. I was pleased to have put down a few solid tricks on each feature and be the first girl to hit the wooden staircase feature. It was pretty intense to say the least, but having grown up in Montana (where there were no terrain parks) I felt right at home on these natural features. After two 45 minute jam sessions, I was happy with my performance and really grateful to be named to top woman at the event.
Photo: Ryan Bregante
Love Games 2013 from Keegan Schultz on href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo.
After a quick award ceremony in the parking lot, it was back in the car and over to Keystone for their annual Back to the Grind Rail Jam event. Since moving to Colorado Keystone has felt like my home and I am always happy to attend events there. We showed up around 3pm, just in time to get a coffee and put my boots back on to qualify for finals. I put down a few tricks and made the final cut, and was pretty impressed with my performance considering my lack of sleep the night before and hiking at the Love Games all day. I had a couple hours between qualifiers and finals, so I did everything I could to stay warm and awake. The snow started to fall very heavily by the time finals came around but it was time to put the game face back on and finish this day on a strong note. I stomped a few different tricks and was pretty pleased, but decided to go for a crowd pleasing gap to the down rail on the Y rail feature. In the end I walked away with first. I am very happy and grateful to have started my season on such a positive note and I think I had the most fun of anyone that whole day :) Big thanks to everyone who put all that hard work in to the Love Games and Keystone/Keystone A51 for their spectacular rail setup as always.
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