Monday, 8 July 2013

1. Coventry / Saalbach (the revelation)

This is the story of how I decided to start skiing again, after quitting to go to University in 2010. How and what made me do this. I have to stay it all started in...Coventry, UK. In the office of one Tom Shakespeare (who later turned out to be a good friend as well).

     By the time I arrived in England, I had assured the Academical Scholarship at Uni due to good grades in the final exams of high school (9.13). But for some reason I also applied for the Sports Scholarship. Came October I had to make a decision, Sport or Academical, because you cannot have both. I don't know why, since I was supposed to be done with skiing forever, I choose the Sport one. One of the best decisions I made in England :).

     That first year (2010-2011) I did not think about skiing so much. Just enough to drag my ass to the Romanian National Championships in March (picture), to grab a surprising 4th place in the Giant Slalom. I also made a girlfriend with which I am still with today (Dalila Chiari, hello dear). What I was actually interested in that year (from a sport point of view) was Futsal ( I started playing for this team called the Birmingham Tigers. I was feeding my lust for sport and competition with this. Plus I have always been a fan of football and later futsal. The summer of 2011 I spent in Romania physically training for futsal (or so I thought).

     Come the new academical year, a skiing opportunity presented itself to me. Here is where things get interesting in Tom Shakespeare's office (Sport Scholarship Coordinator). He invited me there to let me know that there is a University Alpine Championship every year hosted usually in France, asking me if I would be willing to go, also knowing that I will have some financial support from Uni (Coventry University has been brilliant for me during my comeback in skiing). I put my phone to my ear and called my mother (knowing this would be an extra expense) to see if I can go. She gave me a straight forward yes which is the same answer I gave to Tommo. That year for some reason it was hosted in Austria, which was lucky (Saalbach Hinterglem).

     The end of march was upon me. I took 10 days off Uni before the races to have at least some feeling of the snow in Austria. To give you an idea of how much ski racing means to me, from the spring of 2010 to the spring of 2012 I only skied 3 times: once at the national championships in march 2011, and twice in December 2011 when my girl came to Romania for the first time. Other than this I never ever skied for myself. I did not care. If there was no race to train for I did not see the pleasure in it. Sad, right? Anyway back to the story at hand. 

     During those 2 weeks training and racing I have been more professional than I have been for the entire 8 years of my career from 2002-2010 (taking care of the skis,sleeping the right amount and the right hours, etc). I did not plan on being the perfect athlete or anything during those days it just came. 

     There were supposed to be 3 races : Slalom,Giant Slalom and Super-G. The Super-G was in the end cancelled due to soft snow. I took a 2nd place in both Slalom and Giant Slalom. I missed that feeling so much. I was sad when it was all over. I was sad for a few weeks. It was then that I realized what was missing...this void that needed to be filled. Dalila told me: That's it. This cannot happen. You need to start skiing again. It is meant for you to do it. Ski racing. The victories. The satisfaction. The podiums. But most of all....THAT feeling. She was right. She has a very big merit in my comeback. I will forever be grateful to her.


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