www.colbyjameswest.com

Hey ya’ll!

Moving my blog to colbyjameswest.com 

Much more room for content. Videos and a whole shitload more…

Go check it outski.

Colby James

Top secret…sort of.

I’m headed back to Colorado after a nice family vacation. I was supposed to go to the Sweet Rumble, but my baggage was lost, so I canceled my trip. While I was here in New Hampshire, however, I had some major progress on a top secret plan that I’ve concocted for next year. We’ll see how it goes. I now have enough information on my computer to warrant a “Project Zero” file on my desktop! Exciting! It’s not the official name yet, so any suggestions would be much appreciated. Remember, it has to do with skiing in some way, so keep that in mind when submitting your witty essays explaining why I should use your suggested name. Given the minimal amount of information I have provided here, any and all ideas will be entertained. The winner gets two sets of Skullcandy headphones and some stickers. Woo! Good luck to ya’ll. (Monetary “encouragement” may be excepted, depending on the amount “donated”)

Here is  my friend Ryan a.k.a. Dirt. This picture really sums my little friend up nicely. 80’s sunglasses from a gas station, tight jeans, clogs that he made out of Ugg boots, and a flat-tired moped he just got that doesn’t yet run. I met Ryan when we were little. Our stepfathers used to play “beer league” softball together when we were around 7 or 8 years old. He lived in the next town over from mine where I ended up going to middle school. We were on the ski team in high school together as well as the soccer team. Ryan now lives in Mammoth Lakes, California, teaching kids how to do tricks on skis. To learn more about this loud-voiced, but lovable little character, click HERE.

Here is  my friend Ryan a.k.a. Dirt. This picture really sums my little friend up nicely. 80’s sunglasses from a gas station, tight jeans, clogs that he made out of Ugg boots, and a flat-tired moped he just got that doesn’t yet run. I met Ryan when we were little. Our stepfathers used to play “beer league” softball together when we were around 7 or 8 years old. He lived in the next town over from mine where I ended up going to middle school. We were on the ski team in high school together as well as the soccer team. Ryan now lives in Mammoth Lakes, California, teaching kids how to do tricks on skis. To learn more about this loud-voiced, but lovable little character, click HERE.

Alone in the Tent (Part 2)

I could barely tighten my ski boots, my hands were so cramped up. My tongue was tingling and the right half of my face was numb. The starter announced that I had three minutes until the cameras and judges were ready and I could drop in. I stamped my feet and wiped the snow from the tops of my skis just to keep moving. After the three longest minutes of maybe my whole life, the starter turned to me again and said,”Commercial break. Four more minutes.”

"What?! Ugh! Ok, well I’ll be here waiting, when you need me." I said, sarcastically with a nervous chuckle. She smiled, warmly. It was my third X Games appearance and she had been there every year that I had, with her daughter as a secondary starter. It was definitely somewhat comforting having her there now. Seeing her reminded me that I had been standing at the top of an X Games contest run before and ended up faring rather well on those occasions.

Three more eternal minutes went by and I felt quite ready to take my run. It was the very last event of the X Games weekend. The park crew that took care of the jumps was standing next to the first features of the course, looking almost as anxious as I was to get out of there. The other people at the start, random camera men, and other production assistants, were clearly over the hubbub of the weekend as well. It seemed that I was the only one still thinking about the contest at all.

When the starter turned to me again and added another three minutes onto my waiting time, I then I nearly did have a stroke.

"What the hell?!" I said quite loudly. "This sucks!" I concluded, reacting verbally without even thinking. I immediately regretted it. In that instant, I changed the entire vibe of the small group at the starting gate from bored and tired to awkward and tense.

This caused my own nerves to get to me even more. I felt guilty. All eyes were on me and I was now clearly unhappy with waiting. I felt like I’d just punched a puppy in front of everyone, or something. I knew that I had to change it all around. I definitely wasn’t going to be able to ski well if I was in a negative mood and feeling like an enemy. I took a deep breath and tried to remain calm, closing my eyes behind my goggles. My brain started working to find a way to fix the situation, which brought me back to the song I had been humming in the staging tent. It was a perfect way to get everyone’s spirits back up.

I started out just speaking the words softly.

"At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking, I could never live without you by my side."

The starters picked up on my tune and smiled. I continued a little louder so that everyone could hear me. “But then I spent so many nights, just thinking how you did me wrong, and I grew strong. I learned how to get along!”

Then I was singing loud and full, to the best of my ability, which doesn’t say much, but it didn’t matter. The starters joined me softly as I worked my way to the chorus. The park crew were staring, seemingly in shock, but smiling nonetheless. I was pretty sure that no other athletes had sung a song before taking their run, besides maybe my good friend Jossi Wells from New Zealand. He doesn’t exactly sing, but prefers to spit inspirational rap lines from his favorite artist, Lil Wayne, before dropping into his contest run.

Right as I was midway through the chorus, the starter said I was to drop in thirty seconds. Cameras where ready. Judges were ready. My relaxed mind was also ready. I stopped singing and went through my run in my head again, then thanked the starters and yelled to the park crew that they had done a great job on the course. They nodded their appreciation.

In one instant, I had changed everyone’s mood to negative, and in the next, they were all rooting for me to do my best. That’s how it felt anyway. Nothing could stop me then. The starter gave me the go ahead and I dropped in, gliding through the course, spinning flipping and grabbing my skis just as I had envisioned. It turned out to be my best run of the day.

I didn’t win, but still ended up in third place. Good enough for me. I skied as well as I could and was rewarded with the extreme joy and satisfaction that can only be gotten from standing on a podium at a world stage, such as the X Games.

Alone in the Tent (Part 1)

At contests, I get an entirely different kind of adrenaline rush. One that I try my hardest to stifle. Right before I am supposed to compete, without fail, I always have to pee. After that, my legs get a bit weak, my face starts to tingle, and my fingers curl uncontrollably. It’s almost like I am having a stroke, from what I gather about these symptoms. Sometimes I feel dizzy and my mind tries to get away from me, but as long as I can keep my run replaying in my head, I seem to stay calm and just barely confident enough to get through the contest. It helps if I keep the situation light hearted and remind myself that it’s only skiing after all. It’s not like I am about to charge into battle against a ferocious army of evil warriors. Although, sometimes when I am on the back of a snow mobile being shuttled to the top of the course, I like to pretend that I’m off to war on a planet of ice and snow, like Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. My competitors, speeding along beside me on sled transports of thier own, seem like fellow soldiers with helmets, futiristic boots, and skis for weapons. But we’re just skiing.

In 2008, I qualified first in the X Games Slopestyle opening round, which means that I was last to take my run in the finals. Talk about stressful. I paced around nervously in the riders’ staging area, which is just a big tent at the top of the course. I cracked jokes with the other competitors, who are usually my close friends, but during contests such as that, they mostly wish I would just sit down and shut up. It seems that talking and joking around is my way of dealing with my nerves.

After my second run, I was in third place. In the tent, I watched the little monitor with the live feed, waiting to take my last run. I watched the other boys leave and do their final runs. Some crashed, most landed and by the time it was my turn, I was in fifth. I sat alone in the tent, humming aloud because there was nobody left to chat with. When one of the starters called my name, I immediately had to pee. It’s the same thing every time.

I closed my eyes and pictured my run for, what seemed like the thousandth time, as I relieved myself outside at the back of the tent. I imagine the starter telling me to drop. Pushing off with my poles and sliding into the first rail. Jumping and spinning onto it with ease. Then gliding to the next feature, a double kink box, setting my momentum for a spin onto it and another off of the end to the landing. Feeling my legs take the impact. The next feature, a flat box. This is where I have my weakest trick of the run, but I dare not change it. It’s been working so far. A simple spin off of the end will do. Into the “cannon box,” a feature that launches you about 30 feet to the landing. Again, imagining the impact of the landing, and then I even picture adjusting my jacket, because I will land backwards and the wind will catch the back of it. Turning to hit the first jump, looking over my right shoulder, spinning hard towards the landing and grabbing my ski. Hands in front, landing again backwards squarely. A small speed check for the next jump, which is a huge transfer gap. Locking my eyes on the landing as I throw down over my shoulder. For a moment I will be staring straight into the gap. Then suddenly landing forward and staying low to keep my speed for the final jump. A mellow cork nine to finish it off. Elation. Hopefully.

After my visualization, I went to the starting gate.

Canadians are preeeetty weird sometimes, but I love them. This one is called Josh Bibby and the one on top is Creed Spearman, I think.

X Games

At contests, I get an entirely different kind of adrenaline rush. One that I try my hardest to stifle. Right before I am supposed to compete, without fail, I always have to pee. After that, my legs get a bit weak, my face starts to tingle, and my fingers curl uncontrollably. It’s almost like I am having a stroke, from what I gather about these symptoms. Sometimes I feel dizzy and my mind tries to get away from me, but as long as I can keep my run replaying in my head, I seem to stay calm and just barely confident enough to get through the contest. It helps if I keep the situation light hearted and remind myself that it’s only skiing after all. It’s not like I am about to charge into battle against a ferocious army of evil warriors. Although, sometimes when I am on the back of a snow mobile being shuttled to the top of the course, I like to pretend that I’m off to war on a planet of ice and snow, like Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. My competitors, speeding along beside me on sled transports of thier own, seem like fellow soldiers with helmets, futiristic boots, and skis for weapons. But we’re just skiing.

In 2008, I qualified first in the X Games Slopestyle opening round, which means that I was last to take my run in the finals. Talk about stressful. I paced around nervously in the riders’ staging area, which is just a big tent at the top of the course. I cracked jokes with the other competitors, who are usually my close friends, but during contests such as that, they mostly wish I would just sit down and shut up. It seems that talking and joking around is my way of dealing with my nerves.

After my second run, I was in third place. In the tent, I watched the little monitor with the live feed, waiting to take my last run. I watched the other boys leave and do their final runs. Some crashed, most landed and by the time it was my turn, I was in fifth. I sat alone in the tent, humming aloud because there was nobody left to chat with. When one of the starters called my name, I immediately had to pee. It’s the same thing every time.

I closed my eyes and pictured my run for, what seemed like the thousandth time, as I relieved myself outside at the back of the tent. I imagine the starter telling me to drop. Pushing off with my poles and sliding into the first rail. Jumping and spinning onto it with ease. Then gliding to the next feature, a double kink box, setting my momentum for a spin onto it and another off of the end to the landing. Feeling my legs take the impact. The next feature, a flat box. This is where I have my weakest trick of the run, but I dare not change it. It’s been working so far. A simple spin off of the end will do. Into the “cannon box,” a feature that launches you about 30 feet to the landing. Again, imagining the impact of the landing, and then I even picture adjusting my jacket, because I will land backwards and the wind will catch the back of it. Turning to hit the first jump, looking over my right shoulder, spinning hard towards the landing and grabbing my ski. Hands in front, landing again backwards squarely. A small speed check for the next jump, which is a huge transfer gap. Locking my eyes on the landing as I throw down over my shoulder. For a moment I will be staring straight into the gap. Then suddenly landing forward and staying low to keep my speed for the final jump. A mellow cork nine to finish it off. Elation. Hopefully.

After my visualization, I went to the starting gate…

I’ll post the other half of this story soon. It’s just too long for this blog post. Hope you’ll tune in for the second half!

Hope that birdie is ok!

Acoustic My Friend Is A Pro for anyone that hasn’t seen it. Personally, I like this version of the song better than the original.

The is Rotocron…

Seems like Decepticons keep appearing everywhere…

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