FasterSkierJanuary 2, 2003

Dec. 25th: Another week in the books. Finals week is over, the semester is over, and after a cross-country journey, I am back home in Glens Falls, New York. The above mentioned is a common trend for multitudes of collegiate ski racers. This past two weeks has been exciting for me as it as for the other college racers in the country. It is a time to head home and see family and friends, which one has not seen in months or in some cases years. It is also a time when we can sneak in some great skis on our favorite trails, or roads(?) of home. I spent the first two days at home skiing on various trails in the state. I skied at the Saratoga Biathlon center off of the Sacandaga reservoir. I made it to Garnet Hill in North River. Both places had fantastic skiing, however, it was not the same as skiing in my hometown of Glens Falls.

The Christmas Day blizzard that swept through the northeast helped with this small matter. The area was covered in over 20 inches. After spending the day with my family and the night before with some friends, it was time to get out and ski in my hometown. So, after spending a few hours shoveling the family side walk and driveway, I ended up skiing on the roads of Glens Falls late in the evening. I was on old touring equipment, flat roads, some pavement, and cars, but it was the best classic ski I had this season. Why? It was one of those skis that make you realize how much we love this sport. I love this sport. I was out there without my watch or heart rate monitor. I was not thinking about technique and I was on old, beat up equipment. My mind just focused on the quiet nature of the city streets, how fast the snow was falling and how great I felt just to be out there.

About an hour into the ski, I realized I was skiing very well with good technique and a great feeling all through my body. I had relaxed. For the first time in a while, I was relaxed and the skiing was flowing. It was an absolutely fantastic experience. It reminded me that one cannot take oneself too seriously or else tension builds and a bad feeling starts to creep in. I realized, I need to sometimes turn my mind off and just focus on pure enjoyment. It worked and I feel better about my skiing than I have since Thanksgiving. So, whether you are a college skier, master blaster, beginner, or national team member, just remember it is okay to relax, and let you body flow. This is what it is all about. Happy holidays to everyone and good look with any races that are coming .

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