I’m a skier. It’s who I am, who I’ve always been, and who I always want to be. When people ask how long I’ve been skiing, I tell them ever since I can remember, because that’s the truth, but to elaborate, it all started when I was about 2. My mom and my older brother would walk the half mile from our house to the base of Mad River Glen with me in tow, and before boarding the infamous single chair, they would drop me at the Cricket Club. Known for it’s excellent care and easy location, the Cricket Club was also the gateway between toddlers and skiers; enter a crying baby, leave a confident little ripper who can barely stand when the skis are taken away.
A standard day chilling at the CC consisted of assorted naps, copious amounts of Disney, grilled cheeses on grilled cheeses, and the daily sled ride to the practice slope for some fun and fresh air. Those unable to walk are pushed down the bottom of the hill in sleds, gradually going higher and faster as they learn how to enjoy the speed. Some kids stay in this stage longer than others, but with my family, once you took your first steps, you were awarded with plastic skis and tiny boots and you automatically graduated from the sled whether you wanted to or not. Luckily, I was ready and the next couple of seasons were a blur as I entered the racing world.
I have no recollection of my first races, but thanks to lots pictures and the occasional video, they are immortalized. What started with my mom holding me between my legs as I “pizza-ed” down the course under her guidance slowly transformed to me leading my mother, wearing my harness with pride as she helped steer me in and out of the gates.
1995 was my debut season as a true individual racer, those races with mom by my side long gone. My ten-year-old brother and I started started winning all our ski-club races and with those victories, we were both addicted; him because he loved the sport of ski racing, me because I wanted to be just like him. Because of him, I grew to love the sport, alone with the competitiveness, the intensity, and the pressure that came with it. At age six, I was finally old enough to join the all-mighty MRG race team, and my life became a mission to become the best skier I could be.
I’ll leave it at that for now. Until next time…
Coming soon: I’m a
skier ski racer.