*Warning: Sappy material ahead*
I’ve been sitting here deciding how to start this post for about an hour. And thinking about it all day. Somehow words are just failing me. I think it’s probably due to the fact that I’m still buzzing from all the energy this weekend. I’m not lying when I say that this has been one of the best weekends of my life. In fact, this winter might just be the best winter of my life…and I think it’s because I’ve had more freedom, a better attitude, and more energy than ever before. I wake up on days that I can ski and I want to ski. I have a body that allows me to move and supports me the way I need it to. My body wiggles with excitement when I start putting on my ski socks and my skis practically walk themselves to the car.
Grand Targhee is the birthplace of my skiing. Baby me was hiked and skied around in a backpack until I could walk, and then at age two I was being reined down the hill via racer-chaser. Shoshone lift is the first (and only) lift I went around the bull wheel on. Blackfoot was the first double lift with a center pole I ever learnt to ride. I can remember when they put Sacajawea in. And I remember that Thanksgiving when Dreamcatcher broke down right before close and they were still evacuating people when we returned for our dinner at the Branding Iron.
So it’s pretty darn cool that for my first big meowtain tele comp I got to compete there. And I’m pretty stoked that I made finals! We got to ride the cat and then bootpack for a hot sec to reach the start. The finals venue was called Bobcat (meow!!) and had been closed for a few weeks so the snow was awesome on Sunday. Competition aside, I hardly felt any pressure to do well or intimidation tactics from anyone else. WHICH IS REALLY FREAKING NEAT. It is such a relief to show up to a “competition” and only feel nervous because you really don’t want to fall. I’ve never felt so accepted, so comfortable and able to be myself around people I just met. Even exchanged some bird calls at the start. The support we all showed each other was pretty fantastic as well. Fist bumps, high-5’s, and hugs were plentiful and beers were more than happy to be shared. I got to meet Lucy Sackbauer and Carl Heath, two ripping skiers I’ve followed on instagram for a while, wondering when I would get to ski with them (and still wondering when I will be able to ski like them). It was also really awesome to get to ski around with the Steamboat junior team on Thursday, even though every time I ski with those kids I crash in front of all of them. Saturday was World Telemark Day, and almost every skier from the event plus coaches and parents, 100+ people, mobbed down Crazy Horse. My face hurt from smiling and laughing so much. I know it’s been said before, but the telemark family really is a family. And this weekend proved it more than any event I’ve ever been to before. Writing this is filling me with so much love and gratitude that it’s getting hard to form words.
I’ll leave you with this: ‘When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you-a joy,’ Rumi.