Monday, March 26, 2018

You never know

I think I had just finished toddling around on a pair of "World Tour" fishscales  when someone sent me the preview of "Generation X-Ski" in 2002. A video made by some hot-shot a couple years my junior named Andy Newell.  Long before youtube and insta-tweets, and long before I knew my proper way around a nordic race.

I watched it over and over again.

And I was seething mad.

And immediately infatuated.

Infatuated with a sport that was made to look so badass, so hard, and so fun. This moment was my fall down the rabbit hole into the nordic lifestyle. Then came the videos; The world cup races; The dry-land drills; The camps; The training logs; The clinics; The long snowy drives to races; The cars-driven-into-snow-banks at races; The lost keys in the snow at races; The bitter cold races; The slushy puddle races; The hours of school skipped; The hours of work skipped; The coaching clinics; The wax clinics; The club teams; The amateur videos; The nonsense blogging;  Pinching pennies for skis; sacrificing beer money for better boots; buying stiffer poles than I really need. And nothing has changed since then.  And I still want more.

And I was seething mad because I was 20-something-whatever watching a younger genius on skis and I felt liked if only I had found this awesome sport earlier in my life, I would have been truly great. okay fine... pretty good at it. but still.  Thanks Obama. **

**for the record ... this was long before Obama.  It was more like "thanks mom and dad for knowing nothing about nordic racing." or "thanks, high school coaches for not knowing anything about real nordic racing and training". Either way....a truly childish and excuse-filled sentiment.        

So what is this rambling all about?  Two of my personal nordic giants are stepping away from The US Ski Team. Kikkan Randall with her unapologetic style and awe-inspiring strength, and the afore-mentioned Andy Newell.  Both are turning a page on great and inspiring careers and...

...they have no idea that they had any effect on me.

The real message here is for the young kids who read this.  You never know who is watching you.  It may be a young BKYSL skier who you share a passing hi-five with. Or a peer who sees you training insanely hard. Or a wannabe adult who admires your sportsmanship and selflessness around a teammate.  Inspiration is funny like that.  Sometimes you inspire someone you know and work closely with. And other times it is from someone who sees a glimpse of you from Alaska.  So for all the "real_nordic_skiers", "unreal_nordic_skiers", "surreal_nordic_skiers", and "fake_nordic_skiers"...keep doing what you do and be as creative, fun, unapologetic and awesome as you can.

You never know who is watching you send it.

Thanks Andy and Kikkan. 

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