Deciding to continue ski racing after college was not easy. Years of training, thousands of dollars invested courtesy of my parents, and busy weekends from December to Marchâ€”these are the sacrifices necessary of a promising junior skier. In May, I’ll be graduating from Middlebury College with a B.S. in neuroscience at which point I will begin my â€œprofessionalâ€ ski career. Since I will be forced to take a part-time job, I have never won prize money in a ski race, and I have no multimillion-dollar sponsorships, I hesitate to say professional. But I guess that’s how our sport goes. My choice to keep skiing was the result of many months of deliberation. What follows was written last summer as I struggled with that choice:
July 2003. I have grown to love training. It wasn’t overnight to be sure. I have always loved the racing, the competition, the feeling of having pushed to the point of screaming lungs and burning legs, but only within the last few years have I really started to love the training. This is an important change because so much of ski racing is spending day after day, hour after hour dedicated to training to reach the top. I’ve been spending the summer working in Salt Lake at the University of Utah Pharmacology Dept. in what has been one of the hottest Julys ever recorded here. Despite heat and long working hours, my training has remained consistent. In the past I would have trained less, not gone out on 100-degree days or gotten up at 5:30 to make my planned training hours. Ironically I’m a short 40 minute drive to Park City, the US Ski Team’s home base, but without a car I have no way of reaching this nordic Mecca. Instead, I’m stuck in a Utah inferno. Salt Lake City has truly been a test of my desire to ski. Even thru a stretch of 15 consecutive days above 100 degrees, I made my hours. And I enjoyed most of them.