Yesterday was my first day back in Tahoe after a couple weeks…and oh how it is fun to be back. I have absolutely loved racing this season and it is something I want to continue. But it is so fun for me to be with the juniors (mostly because we have such similar levels of maturity). They have been such a source of inspiration for me, in the beginning because they were such intimidating critics… and now their childlike enthusiasm for my racing. And, simply, they make me laugh about every two minutes and I do love to laugh.
A message left on my phone from a couple boys after I was 2nd in the BMT (in reference to prize money won and the fact that I find hummus so delicious)-
Boys: “Um, so I hope you’re happy now. Now that you can buy. All the hummus. You can eat. Mmmm. Call us back.”
Me: sitting in my room, alone, dying laughing
And then when I went to meet the kids for a ski, of course I am late and in a rush because I missed the email and instead just assumed we were skiing at Royal Gorge, when really we are going to do downhill practice at Sugar Bowl (where I might add it is blowing snow sideways and rather wet). Late, I ski up and meet them wearing, idiotically, tights and long johns. Jeff suggests I go put warm-ups on but I insist that I’m fine because 1) I am stubborn and 2)I already feel guilty about being late. I end up, quite literally, freezing my bum off. (I should mention that skiing downhill runs with a bunch of Nordic kids, on Nordic gear, is incredibly entertaining, to say the least).
When we get down I am absolutely shivering. Brilliantly Evan says to me-“Chelsea, don’t you wish you weren’t so stubborn”….umm let me think on it.
Then in the afternoon I got this urge to go running behind my house in Glenshire; it’s always beautiful in the late afternoon. Though snowing on the summit yesterday it was warm and sunny all afternoon in Glenshire…this means that all morning the old compacted snow was corning up and then by the time I went running it started to freeze. Of course I started to punch through, not too bad at first…but then really badly. At some point I find myself half an hour out, muttering angrily to myself like a crazy person. As I look down at my ankles-now bright red and beginning to bleed, I think to myself, now this is karma.
The reasons karma got me:
1) I generally find snowshoes silly and tend to think (smirking to myself)…who on earth ever actually does that of free will?
2) When I went to Rossland, B.C. to race in December a couple of us went running on the ski trails in the evening after traveling. Matt, weighing a bit more than me, was punching through significantly more than I. And I of course just giggled devilishly to myself. (I have the unfortunate and childlike instinct of laughter during inappropriate situations and at others benign misfortunes. I’m not saying I laugh at grisly accidents…just during serious lectures and what not.)
3) I started punching through, deep, five minutes in. I could easily have turned back. But I convinced myself that it, at some point will get better. And half an hour later when it isn’t I refuse to go back the same way, because, how boring does that sound, right? I am bull headed.
Yes Evan, you are right, sometimes I wish I wasn’t so stubborn. These foolish moments will not change…I’ll do it again in two months I am sure. This I am not concerned with-it’s the many years I stubbornly refused to put my heart into learning to properly classic ski- these are the moments (years) of stubbornness I regret.
The good side of stubbornness is persistence I suppose. I may be tough to convince sometimes, and often I am indecisive and impulsive but once I know what I want, I go after it with fire and determination. That’s how I feel about racing right now. It’s something I think I haven’t had in awhile-and it’s amazing.
Hopefully these kids are learning along with me…the toughest part of coaching for me is, am I getting to them? I hope I am. Why is it that now all of a sudden I am ready to learn, that I have such a desire to learn, that I am truly learning from my mistakes? It’s not as if I’ve read a wildly enlightening Oprah self-help book, there was never an ‘aha!’ moment…how do I spur this drive in them?
I think it must be a place that they all will reach on their own, whether now or later, in skiing or another part of life. In this department I think I can only share my passion with them and hope that this, in a small way, helps them discover their own.
Cheesy, maybe, but how I feel.