To Be Inspired

FasterSkierDecember 12, 2008

Rebecca Dussalt races for the Saab-Salomon Factory Team. More information on the Saab-Salomon Factory Team can be found at This article first appeared in Ski Post –

To be inspired is somewhat a gift, especially if inspiration comes form the heart. For several weeks during fall training I had a recurring inspiration. I worked it over in my head while mountain biking, roller skiing, and once in a while in the weight room if I wasn’t lifting too hard. Though the initial inspiration stayed the same throughout, the manifestation changed over and over until it became a tangible reality. What was born of these many thoughts was the desire to reach out with my ability to teach and convey fitness and it’s many functions to the average Joe or Jane in my valley.

Having grown up in this same place my whole life I have become well acquainted with the athletes of the valley. There are those who’ve pushed the limits and attended three successive Olympics. Some of those Olympians have medaled, and there are those who get a real benefit from working out at Curves once a week. But most of the valley fits somewhere in the middle, they love being “outdoorsy” and view recreation as a unique feature of the Gunnison Valley – something to partake in on a regular basis. Some choose to hang it out there and sign up for the plethora of local races, to have a goal and to test themselves.

My inspiration lead me to develop the group W.I.S.E. Gals (as opposed to wise guys!) – W.I.S.E. being, Women Improving Sport Endurance. From this small group of dedicated gals will be born a greater ability to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Within the groups of the masses I see a tendency for redundancy. They click into their bindings for the same 1 hour skate ski at level 2-3 about 4 times a week. At the end of the season they look back and wonder why nothing has changed much, if at all, from all the other season that have come and gone.

I am going to challenge the athletes to commit themselves to the challenge that is competition. For some this will mean gearing up for one race and believing they will have the stamina to finish it. For others this will mean finally being a contender to win our local Alley Loop Marathon, and any other race in the series. Each will be pushed to meet goals in a fun and meaningful way throughout each week backed by the support of the other women.

It is news to some, but many of top athletes don’t have a nice warm van full of energetic people to get us out there and make it happen at a predictable time each day of the week. Many are even self-reliant and do the whole show of training and racing by themselves. We are daily faced with fitting it all in to our hectic lives. Somewhere we strike a balance.

I find inspiration in teaching those who want to learn. There is an entire picture that needs to be painted surrounding Nordic skiing; proper waxing, nutritional support for the body and mind, strength training, cardio vascular training, mental confidence and tenacity, rest, recovery, and of course enjoyment. “Enjoy Winter,” what more it is really about when we break down our goals for the next couple months?

So, be inspired, get out there, and just do what you love!