January Shredder of the Month: Gretchen Bleiler
FillyShred: What are some of the new tricks you’ve been working on?
Gretchen Bleiler: Some backside 900’s at copper in December. Also been training at Woodward at Copper’s indoor facility hitting some jumps there and working on some backside rodeos. Maybe do an alley oop backside rodeo in the halfpipe as well.
FS: Have you attempted the double cork yet?
GB: No I haven’t actually but its something I think I can do, I’ve been doing a crippler and a crippler 7 for a long time now. It’s something I know I am capable of doing but just need the right kind of circumstances. I have been talking to the guy at Woodward and I definitely want to start working on some double back flips on the trampoline and then take it to the jumps and the foam pit.
FS: What are some of the physical and mental preparations for a contest like X?
GB: This season I am doing less competition and really focusing on the X Games and European X. Often times it seems when you’re constantly on the contest circuit its harder to break out of your contest run and learn new tricks. It’s a lot of travel and it’s a lot of going to new places and getting used to new pipes, you kind of just go with what you have practice your run for competitions and get on a plane to the next competition. The idea with less contest is to really work on some new tricks so that’s what I have been doing physically and mentally, just kind working on new tricks for X- Games. I have been constantly just riding and pushing myself everyday at the mountain.
FS: What is the best training off snow?
GB: I think it’s a combination of things. I work with this awesome trainer who is also a physical therapist, his name is Brad Jones and he has a business called The Beat Project in San Diego. The off-season training I do with him in the fall really mimics the good and bad positions you find yourself in on the mountain. It’s a lot of strength training, injury prevention, core stuff and also agility. When I’m not in the gym with him I love to surf its always good to mix it up, it makes a good balance to what I do on the snow. I also practice a lot of yoga, hot yoga, which I love.
FS: What’s next? What do you see for the rest of this season and next?
GB: For me I have been competing professionally for the past 10 years. This year I really decided to take a little different approach, not compete as often and really kind of ride more. Push myself more, try new tricks and see if I can get to the next level. Then after the season decide if I want to go to another Olympics or not but I’m using this season to kind of be the determining factor of that. There’s so much you can do on a snowboard, backcountry, I love to ride powder, and just more all around riding. Just putting a huge emphasis on really pushing myself, learning and just becoming an all around better rider.
FS: How do you mentally over come something like what happened in X13?
GB: The fall really looked worse than it was. Usually when you hit the deck you leave early you don’t use the full transition to pick you up and put you back into the transition. I was really throwing the 9s around earlier that night and it felt good but that one specific time I left a little earlier than I was leaving before. Its one of those days that kind of haunts you mentally but its part of snowboarding and also part of why I have been doing it for so long. It’s a mental game, you have to overcome those fears and you have to work through it. If you let it take you it’s harder to stay at the top and harder to push yourself and then it becomes not fun.
FS: Proudest moment so far?
GB: I can’t really say there’s one specific moment that’s better than the others, there’s probably a handful I can mention. Winning the X games last year was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It felt so good because I literally got down to the bottom of the run and I felt that was the best run I have ever had in my entire life. That’s what really keeps you coming back and keeps that excitement coming.
FS: What’s one thing you would say if you knew the whole world would hear it?
GB: I would bring it back to a bigger, larger issue at hand, climate change. Climate change is absolutely on of the biggest issues facing all of humanity but it’s a really exciting time because we all have an opportunity to help with the change. We can all come together collectively and individually to make a change.
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