Unplugged with Mercedes Nicoll
I Believe in ME
January 2016 was full of mixed emotions; being scared, excited and so happy. After almost 2 years of not being sure if I would get back in the halfpipe, in early January I made my way out to Calgary and got back into it. I knew I had a lot of mental barriers to get over just getting back into a 22 foot halfpipe, doing straight airs, working my way up to tricks.
I still got alotta fight left in me!
I had a lot of people tell me I should retire, this could be a retiring injury, my concussion from Sochi 2014. Being an athlete that only makes us want it more. I’m not done, I’ll prove you wrong, but more importantly I’ll prove to myself that I CAN. That’s what’s so important about returning from injury, believing in yourself knowing you can and will do what you love again. It’s not an easy road there are days that you’re all alone forcing yourself to dig deep, push your limits further because you have goals.
From this experience I can tell you I had tears, smiles, and fears. Tears on my face of joy with gurgled laughs because I’d tried tricks in the pipe again. I had smiles with friends as well as inwards to myself that warm, tingly spring in your step type smile because I was in love again, over the moon happy in the halfpipe and proud of myself. I had fears of falling not being able to do things I used to. I”m happy to say that, my muscle memory came back quickly. I was in the pipe starting off small making my way up to spinning again.
Taking the time to reflect that I was unable to talk or walk properly 2 years ago, getting back into the pipe alone is a reason to celebrate and every trick was a celebration. We are always so focused on the big goal that celebrating the small goals are usually overlooked. With the great guidance from friend and coach Josh Duncan reminding me to celebrate the small goals was reason enough to keep smiling and wanting more.
I’m NOT Done!
Being in Calgary and in the halfpipe again made me realize, I’m not done! Talking with friend and coach JJ Thomas I decided after a long fall of gym time getting my muscles back, having spent 2 weeks training in the halfpipe getting my legs back I put my name down for the Park City Grand Prix. I was now ready to get into my first contest since my 2014 crash. Not having all my tricks back I signed up knowing just getting in there again would be a great barrier to overcome.
This contest was different, I wasn’t concerned about the result I was doing this to be prove to myself that I could and to be proud of myself, I can, I will and I did. Tears of joy when I finished my first contest run, something I did not foresee, they were the happiest tears I’d had in 2 years. Finally I wasn’t sad, frustrated, or unsure, I was in my element, I was back! I wish I could have shared that moment and every small celebration with you all, but you have your own goals to celebrate. I ended up top Canadian in the halfpipe contest that day and at the next World Cup in Japan.
As you can see in the image above the smile says it all. Yes I’ve won the Canadian National title 4x but this one, this one means more to me than you can imagine. 2 years ago at the 2014 Sochi Games I was on crutches with a black-eye with people asking me if I will go to the next games, that’s always the question. I honestly didn’t know at that time, and the journey that came next I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get back into the halfpipe. So, yes, to call this a comeback seems fitting. It has not been an easy journey there have been good days, dark days, happy days, bad days, lonely days, frustrating days, days I had to keep my chin up, fake smile days, every day believing in myself.
I celebrate the small victories taking it one step at a time, I have never felt this driven and totally focused to achieve my future goals.