Monday, December 10, 2012

She is Legend...


Last week my coach had to test out a new sled that she uses when she drives passenger rides. So, after training, we got to be her test dummies and decided to have a little fun. Check out the video below: 


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Counting the Cost...

In my last post I announced that I decided to train to become a bobsled pilot and that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Well, I still don't... but God is awesome and things have actually been going pretty well out here in Park City,  Utah! To sum up the past month: 
I survived my first driving school and can now say that I am officially a bobsled pilot! Ate In-N-Out Burger. Sat on the floor at a Utah Jazz NBA game. Ate In-N-Out Burger again. Had 44 successful training runs. Saw real live mooses (anyone know the plural for moose?). Hung out with Mormons :) Snuck down a closed ski hill at night on an inner tube (yet another life goal accomplished). Fore-ran the World Cup Bobsled races in Park City. 
Overall, a lot of bobsledding mixed with a little fun. God willing, next week my faithful brakeman, Valerie Smith, and I will road trip up to Calgary, Canada for our first official international bobsled races!  



Despite the fact that I appear to be living the dream; there's one thing I've been learning lately - to count the cost. Every single day I am realizing, more and more, exactly how hard it is to make the US Olympic Team. To be honest, it's virtually impossible. I find myself wondering, is this all worth it? 

Then I remind myself. Nothing is impossible for my God and even if I never make it to the Olympic Games all the physical, mental, and financial costs are worth it. Who cares if training is hard? If I have to deal with ridiculous politics? If I literally live out of a suitcase? If my body is bruised and scared? If it's incredibly expensive? I'm on the United States Bobsled Team, I've made some incredible friends, and had some amazing adventures. It's definitely all worth it!!! 

I'll never forget when I was first contemplating quitting my career and packing my bags for the grueling sport of bobsled. It was a tough decision and Elana Meyers shared her story with me. She said bobsledding hadn't been easy but when she walked into the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver it was all worth it. 


I say all this to ask a much bigger question: Are we counting the costs of following Jesus in our lives? I know that everyone makes sacrifices, just like I'm sacrificing a lot for my bobsled dreams. But that's not what I am talking about. The question is - are you willing to sacrifice everything to follow after Jesus? 

Just like I'm realizing how hard it is to make the Olympic Team; I'm realizing how hard it is to make God's team (Matt 7:13-14, 19:24). Sometimes watered down American Christianity forgets to point out that Jesus actually said things like, 
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."   Luke 14:26-27
Following after Jesus isn't going to be easy. If anyone tells you that, they are lying. But Jesus does promise one thing, HE is worth it! I can't wait until the day I walk into eternity with Jesus and am able to say, it was all worth it! 


Take 10 minutes to watch the video above. You won't regret it :) 


Monday, November 19, 2012

In the news...

Saying that my brakeman is a big Tigers fan is an understatement. But her Tiger passion led to a conversation with a Detroit couple who happened to be touring the bobsled track, which led to this article. Click the link below and enjoy!

A Big Tigers Fan With Olympic Dreams...

Monday, October 22, 2012

The next step...

I've left so many of you in suspense with my recent Facebook status:
"When I look back on every accomplishment God has blessed me with in my life I realize that they all began with one thing - a risky leap of faith. So here we go again..."
All of you know, if I post something like that, there is probably a wild and crazy adventure planned for the near future. Then I added some more suspense when I randomly showed up in Arkansas (when I was supposed to be bobsledding in New York).  So here is my attempt to try and explain the current journey God is leading me on.

I spent the entire summer at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center working hard to get stronger and faster, and I did. In early October we had our team combine testing and National Push Championships and I put up some really good numbers. But there was one problem, so did everyone else.

2012 National Push Championships
I really believe that if I continue down the path of being a bobsled brakeman, that God would put me back on the US National Team this season and allow me to travel around the world bobsledding with my best friends and telling people about Jesus - talk about living the dream! However, its getting harder and harder to make the Olympic Team and I really believe God wants to use me in a new capacity this season that will actually extend my bobsled career.

I'm going to attempt to become a pilot! I've had a desire to become a bobsled pilot since I was in high school and to make a long story short - if I am going to become a pilot - now is the prime time!

So what's the plan? I am currently at my parents house in Arkansas getting some much needed mental recovery. In a couple of days I will head out to Park City, Utah for the winter to learn everything I possibly can about driving. God willing, I will even race as a driver on the Americas Cup tour this season!

So whats so risky about that? First of all, it was very hard to intentionally stop trying to pursue a spot on the National Team for this season. It was hard knowing that I will not be spending the season with my all of my teammates especially Katie Eberling, Elana Meyers, and Megan Hill (who have become so much more than just teammates to me).  Second of all, it's very possible that my attempt to drive could end up disastrous. I am sacrificing something I am decent at (pushing) for the unknown (driving). But that's the beauty of faith:
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1 
But my faith is not in my unknown ability to drive a bobsled. My faith is not in my athletic abilities. My faith is in Christ.  If I never get to the Olympics, if  my bobsled career ends in a few weeks, one thing is for sure: God has a plan for my life and its bigger than bobsled and it will bring His name glory.

So here we go! I have to give a special shout out to my bobsled bud, Val Smith, who is also taking a risky leap of faith by joining me on this journey as my brakeman!

P.S. - I've always wanted to move to Utah! I love Mormons!


Me and U.S. Track & Field Olympic greats: Tianna Madison, Lolo Jones, and
Hyleas Fountain: trying out for the U.S. Bobsled Team this season.


2011-12 Team Meyers!!
(After Elana and Katie won Bronze at World Championships)
Proud to be their alternate - humled to be their friends! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

la familia...

Family at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY

My family came to visit me in New York! It was awesome to show them how and where I have been training. And it was even awesomer to take a road trip to Long Island to see where my mom grew up! 

Me and my Nepali Sister
My parents checking out
a bobsled! 

Right after my fam's trip to NY, my sister moved to Nepal! She plans to come back to the states for a visit in 3 years! 


Click this link to check out her blog to follow her adventures: Two Candles One Light Blog



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Iron Prayer...

The Iron Man triathlon is one of the most grueling athletic events on the planet.  It is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and then topped off with a full marathon run of 26.2 miles. Everyone who crosses the finish line before mid-night is crowned with the official title of "Ironman"! I had the opportunity to speak at the Iron Prayer the night before the big race in Lake Placid, NY earlier this summer. Check it out below!!!! 




Hanging out with some teammates and one of our strength
coachesat the IronMan finish line!!! 





Monday, August 13, 2012

Luger...


The US Luge Team had a fundraiser over the weekend that was a luge start competition for the general public. Since I'm not anything close to a luger I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and enter the race. I figured it would be fun to escape the summer heat and experience the luge start in their ice house. I ended up winning the women's division and posting the 3rd fastest time overall, which means I even beat one of my strength coaches :) Check the video out above!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The 45...


Last weekend I decided to take a break from my training life in Lake Placid and drive down to Pittsburgh for the WFA National Championship Game. I don't think I would have driven that far just to see the first ever Women's Tackle Football National Championship game in a NFL stadium. However, I didn't even have to think twice about driving that far to re-unite with my teammates from the 2010 Women's National Team. 

It was so good to see almost all of the original 45 ladies and coaches that I made history with 2 years ago at the inaugural Women's World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Some of the team at Heinz field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

With Coach Mac (one of my all-time favorite coaches)
on the NFL grass! 



It has been awesome to see at how far women's football has come over the years and the impact that Team USA has had on women's sports. Despite the fact that women's football still has a long way to go, words cant describe how it feels to have been a pioneer in women's football. Coach Mac said that people always ask him about his ring, and being from Wisconsin, they ask if he won the Super Bowl with the Packers. I love his response, "No, it's much bigger than that." 



The national championship game, that we all used as an excuse to reunite, was a great showdown between Chicago and SanDiego. Several of my Team USA teammates and even the head coach of Team USA were all on the Chicago team. However, I couldn't help but to root for SanDiego. There was one member of SanDiego who was also a part of Team USA, but it was all my old teammates from the LosAngeles Amazons (who now play for SanDiego) that I found myself cheering for. So it was awesome to see SanDiego (my old Amazons) win a tight game and finally achieve their dream. 


Kiima and I flashing our bling :) 
Me and Pre :) 
I also haven't seen anyone from Winona State since I graduated in '07. So it was so good to see an old FCA'er and track teammate playing in the championship game for Chicago. It was even more special because I was a big inspiration for her to play football! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Seconds of Fame...

I made another commercial! It is pretty sweet! Megan Hill, one of the bobsled drivers, is sponsored by McDavid. They used a video clip from the day I raced with her. Check it out:



And if you missed my Mt. Dew commercial from a few years ago, here is. Don't blink at the :08 second mark or you may miss me.


Friday, July 6, 2012

National Team Camp...


A couple weeks ago we had our National Team Camp at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It was a pretty awesome week!

One of the coolest things was that my sister just happened to also be in Colorado Springs at the same time for some of her training. So she came to visit me one night. It was probably the last time I will see her before she leaves to go overseas. I may not see her again for at least 2 years!
Bobsled Team Reinbolt
Jumping off the podium. 

Here are some more pictures from camp:

Look closely to see Michael Phleps
eating dinner right behind us :)
Bobsled & Skeleton athletes after a good
weight room session at the NSCA.








I teamed up with Steve Holcomb
in a crazy team cooking competition.
Bobsled ladies having some fun! 


My awesome teammates are kind of a big deal.

Check out this awesome video highlighting team camp.
(I didn't make this one, our USBSF Marketing Director put it together.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back in the crib...

Yah! Last week my housing got approved for the summer and I moved from the Lake Placid Baptist church basement back into the Olympic Training Center! 

My time living in the church was awesome! I am so thankful that the church was willing to house a teammate and I for 3 weeks. But now that we are back in the OTC I realize how blessed I am to be here and I am learning never to take any of this for granite. Only a few people even received summer housing so I have been humbled by the fact that the USOC considers me worthy to be here and thankful that they are covering my living expenses while I train hard to represent our country. 





Meanwhile, training is going great! I love my teammates and we have such and encouraging training group. I feel like it is going to be impossible not to be a incredibly better bobsledder after this off-season is over.  Here is a picture of the 1980 Olympic ski jumps where we are currently sprinting hills 3 days per week. We even got to see some jumpers fly off of those things a few times. It was incredible!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ooooooh they're really growin' now...

Training has basically become my full time job and I love it. I have 7 lifting sessions, 3 sprint sessions, and two recovery run/core sessions each week. I'm trying to get those muscles growing and this commercial has become a regular joke in the weight room when I get caught checking my muscles out.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

I live in church...


Just being on the National Bobsled Team is not enough to be guaranteed housing at the Olympic Training Center, crazy I know. There is a long process that the USBSF and USOC go through to allocate housing. The date athletes were supposed to be notified about housing keeps getting pushed back time and time again, kinda makes athletes like me loose some faith and trust in our sports governing body. Meanwhile, summer training started back up on May 14th, and there was still no word on housing. But fear not, God had/has a plan!

A teammate and I are temporarily living out of the basement of Lake Placid Baptist Church! It has been awesome to say the least. One of the things I really wanted to do this summer was to get involved with a local body of believers and now it is impossible not to. We wake up every morning in kids sunday school room and are always meeting new people around the church. It has been such a blessing so far and added a much needed dynamic to my life in Lake Placid. However, we would really like to get into the training center so prayers are much appreciated.

P.S. We even wrote a song called "I live in church". Lower case "c"of course - because thankfully the Church is not confined to a building :) Stay tuned for the world premiere of our musical awesomeness!



Monday, May 14, 2012

April in Arkansas

It was so good to be in Arkansas for most of April and half of May. I basically just spent a whole lot of time getting some much needed rest and relaxation and hanging out with my family.

I also had a blast speaking at several schools and a Church group about my experiences in football and bobsledding! 



Then it was time to make the 23 hour road trip back to Lake Placid, NY for summer training. I think a combination of the time off and warm weather definitely gave me some re-newed focus and motivation.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back 2 School...

I'm super honored that several schools have asked me to come speak about my experiences in football and bobsled. Here is my speaking schedule:


  • April 17th: Grace Hill Elementary/ Rogers High FCA 
  • April 24th: Judsonia Elementary School 
  • April 24th: Trinity Baptist Church (tag team event with my sister!) 
  • April 27th: Westside Elementary School
  • May 1st: Rosebud Middle School 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

California!

I left the frozen tundra of New York and headed straight for sunny Southern California! I cant think of a better way to cap off a bobsled season. I can always use a little SoCal in my life. Plus, I need to see my little sister as much as possible before she moves to a  far off top secret land to be a long-term missionary.


The Bower family was kind enough to let me stay at their house. They are one of the coolest families I have ever met and they do an awesome job of living out the Gospel. We went to visit Jeremy at the fire station!






I heart LA! So my sister and I went
 downtown to walk around Olvera Street, 
China Town, and my absolute
 favorite - Skid Row! 









It wouldn't be a good trip to Cali without some surfing!!!







I may or may not have had 6 In-N-Out burgers on my 6 day trip :)

One of the best parts of the trip was hanging out with the people of Cornerstone Community Church. I got to tarp surf with the high school group, bust out into worship songs in the middle of an EBC class, attend the Good Friday service, and hang out with one of the Simi Community groups. It was so spiritually refreshing to be back in that environment for a bit!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thats a wrap...

Wow it's hard to believe that my rookie bobsled season is over! It's even crazier to think about the journey God has taken me on over the past year. My life is completely different now than it was just one year ago.

I spent the month of March getting in some extra training on the ice before next season. I spent about half of the month learning to drive. It was a blast and I definitely think there is going to be some driving in my future. But I feel like I really need to spend this off season working on my push and then seeing how far I can get as a brakeman next season. So I spent the second half of the month working some rookie kinks out of my push.


Pushing Megan Hill in the March America's Cup scrimmage. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I'm a driver (kinda)...


Whoohoo! I can drive a bobsled. Well, I can drive a bobsled from the lower/begginer start anyways. This video is of my very first trip coming through the exit of curve 17 onto 18 (the hardest curve on the track). Its a blast. But moving up to a higher/more advanced start will bring more speed, more height, and more danger. So I'm in no hurry to move up, yet.


If you drive in driving school, that means that you also have to break for another new driver. Simply saying that these sleds are uncomfortable does not give the pain you experience justice. It is horrible riding in the back of these old begginer sleds. I hit my hip so hard that I couldnt even get out of the sled or walk for a little bit. Now my hip is swollen and it is the biggest of my many bruises. Sorry for showing so much leg...





Wednesday, February 29, 2012

World Champion Bobsled Brothers...

USA completely dominated World Championships this year, and it was great to experience it on our home track. My homegirls, Elana and Katie, got Bronze in Womens bobsled. And the USA1 mens team won both the 2 and 4-man events. Making it the first time any American has ever won both events in the same year.

Steve Holcomb's (USA1 Pilot) trophies.
These are passed down to the reigning World Champion each year and engraved with their country and name.
One name dates back to 1928!  


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm too excited to sleep...

I've been waiting for tomorrow since I was in high school. Yep, God willing, tomorrow is the day I learn to drive a bobsled!

A few weeks ago I got an email from one of our coaches that said I was selected for driving school and that my first mission was to find a sled. Little did I know what he meant. Today another coach handed us a shovel and said to start digging....


Behold, we found sleds to drive tomorrow!
Notice the guys in the background preparing their snowballs to nail me with.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mascot Mania...

The Harlem Globetrotters came to town this week and the best part of the game was the awesome mascot performance!



I was so inspired that I decided to volunteer to be Tony the Eagle at the Women's Skeleton World Championships. It was a fun time of falling flat on my face, chasing kids, and slipping down a hill of ice on live international television.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

blast from the past...

I came across an old video from Eurpoe that we never posted.
Check out the Katie & Brittany Show Episode 2 Yo!



Sunday, February 5, 2012

World Championships are coming...


Its hard to believe that Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships will be right here in Lake Placid, NY in just a couple of weeks! Last weekend some of us bobsled athletes headed down to the Albany NY state capitol ice rink to promote our races. It was a fun time of pictures, autographs, games, and skating with fans!


Skating with teammate and
Olympian, John Napier.
 

Me and fellow rookie, Katie Eberling, taking a picture in the
Olympic Gold Night Train Bobsled replica with some little fans.





Shout Out...

Here's a special shout out to all of my former student-athletes in Augusta and Cotton Plant straight from the bobsled track in St. Mortiz, Switzerland! I know that I'm horrible at staying in touch but I still think about you often. Leaving you was hard but I hope you guys see it as motivation to go out and conquer the world and to live your dreams! Go USA, Go Red Devils, and Go Jesus!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2nd Half...

Wow! Time flys! I can't believe I just spent 8 of the past 10 weeks bobsledding in Europe. I apologize on the lack of updates from the last 3 weeks on tour. Here is an attempt to sum all the adventures up.


Swiss Army Knives:
We arrived back in Europe on New Years Eve and then headed off to train in St. Moritz Switzerland for a week. Our coach sent two drivers and 3 brakemen there to learn the track for next years World Championships. St. Moritz is home of the only natural bobsled track in the world. Which means that they create it out of snow every year from the ground up. This is also where bobsledding was supposidly invented!  I absolutely love the atmoshphere that this track creates, not to mention it is just plain fun to slide there.



Operation Snow Leopard:
Our coach wanted to name it Operation Spider Pig (ridiculous we know).
We ironically came across a spider pig poster later that day!
After training in St. Moritz we met back up with the rest of our team in K√∂nigssee, Germany for a World Cup race. While in Germany we got some top secret information about the selection process of the sleds that will be invited to go to Russia this spring to test out the new track for the next Olympics in Sochi. It turns out it was possible to get our sleds in the selected spots if they raced well that weekend in a Europacup race back in St.Moritz. It all sounded to good to be true! So after training in Germany we drove through the night to get our qualifying training runs in Switzerland for the Europacup race. Then we headed back to Germany where our drivers raced in the World Cup race the and then drove back to Switzerland for the Europacup race all within a couple of days. I know this sounds confusing... but the adventure was a success! Elana and Emily are going to Russia to homologate the track this spring! USA is now one step closer to Olympic medals!


Toboggan Adventure in the Swiss Alps


Adventures in Narnia:
I couldn't believe how much St. Moritz looked like Narnia! I decided to sneak away one day and go on a little adventure one day. It started off  by taking a historic train ride through the Swiss Alps to a little town called Preda. When I arrived in Preda I rented a sled. Then I went on a sled run that was over 6 kilometers long all the way to the town of Bergun. The Preda-Bergun run in the longest sledding trail in Europe and it was awesome. 





Jesus came to serve:
Most people have been wondering why I haven't been racing. To make a long story short, I'm an alternate. I'm not going to lie, almost everything about being an alternate completely stinks. I am told I simply don't weigh enough to race. But when I try to put it in perspective it doesn't seem so bad. After all it's my rookie season and  I'm still on the US National Team. There are tons of bobsledders and people who would love to live one day in my shoes. So, heck, I'll take it! The reality of this whole experience is that if my sole purpose here is to win medals I will be missing the point. Oh trust me, God willing, I will be winning some medals in the future. But there is a much bigger picture and purpose in all of this. Christ came to earth not to be served but to serve, and if I'm supposed to attempt to live like Him then I cant think of a better place to be than in my current position. And while I'm attempting to serve I'll be getting better and better at bobsledding everyday so that when my opportunity comes I can seize it.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year. More Slavery. One God.

I battled some jetlag and brought in the New Year from Frankfurt, Germany then headed to St. Moritz, Switzerland (Narnia) for a week of training. Apparently they don't have the same firework regulations in Europe as the U.S. because I felt like I was in the middle of WWIII at several points over the past few days.



I'm not big on setting new years resolutions, in fact, I don't know if I've ever even set one. I'm more of a fan of setting life resolutions. So I made a new life resolution that I'm going to start during 2012. I decided to help spread awareness about modern day slavery and eventually do something about it. It's only fitting considering that my sister will be leaving for a far off country to fight the slavery battle later this year.

The crazy thing is most of us don't even realize that slavery is a bigger problem now than it has ever been in the history of man kind. It exists in forms of concentration camps, human trafficking, forced labor, ect. It is currently the second largest criminal activity in the world (after drugs) and it is the fastest growing (US Department of Health and Human Services).

I don't know exactly what my role in the slavery battle will be yet. But I'm starting off by trying to educate myself and others on the problem. And saying that I have had some interesting conversations about it with my teammates this past week is an understatement. But through these conversations about slavery I have learned something: I can't expect people to have a passion about ending slavery or expect them to understand my motives when they don't have a passion for serving Jesus.

All this has led to another tough reminder that most non-believers don't want anything to do with serving Christ because us Christians and so called christians have done some serious damage to them in their past. One of my favorite quotes sums it up:
"The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." - Brennan Manning

So if you are a Christian let's simply love others and join together to fight for justice on behalf of the voiceless as we are called to do. If you aren't a Christian, Im greatly sorry for every negative experience you have had with "christians" and even me. We could still use your help to end the slavery battle, but start by seeking after Christ and I guarantee you that He will rock your world.


Click here to see my sisters blog

Click here to see more of Team USA's resolutions