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  • Writer's picturerganderson915

Advice to My Younger Self (Skiing Edition)

1. Don’t race when you’re sick

Why did I do this so many times??

2. Training matters

I used to think everyone did the same thing, and some people were just born fast and talented. I have thankfully realized there are big differences in the way people approach training, how much they do, and their mindset. I feel that it’s a lot more useful and fun to believe that work pays off.

3. Watch World Cup races

There’s nothing more motivating and inspirational than watching the best of the best. Visualizing good skiers is one of the most powerful tools for improvement, if you ask me. And it’s fun! I wish I would have followed along sooner.

4. Be a little delusional with your goals

Don’t take anyone else’s assessment of your potential seriously, unless it’s positive. No one knows what you’re capable of better than you. One day those goals won’t seem so crazy.

5. It’s cool to be fast, but it’s cooler to be nice

How you treat people defines your character, and people remember how you make them feel. Don’t choose friends based on speed, and don’t mind the people who do.

6. Don’t limit yourself, even if it feels ridiculous in the moment

I started skiing young, but it didn’t come naturally. I was the slowest in my youth group for many years. I improved, but got destroyed in so many races as a junior (dead-last in some).

I had a coach that laughed at me one time in the weight room, and I got a lot of teasing comments about being scrawny growing up. I was convinced that I would never look like a World Cup skier or have the “right” body for it.

I wasn’t quite fast enough to get a spot on most of the competitive NCAA teams that I was considering, and landed at Bowdoin College which is notorious for supporting underdogs (thanks Nathan!)

All I really did was keep showing up, keep caring, and keep loving the process. I ended up getting a couple All-American results, qualifying for U23 Worlds and representing the US in some races, and even got my name thrown into consideration for a World Cup start last season!

Success is relative and personal, but I wouldn’t have believed anyone who told me how my ski career would unfold. I can’t help but wonder how it would have played out if I wasn’t so convinced I’d never “make it.” But maybe that helped keep it lighthearted, who knows.

7. Just keep skiing

I’m not convinced there’s anything better in life than a ski in the woods. Or in the mountains, or on a golf course, or a hillside, or a field.

Thanks for reading. I suppose this advice isn't specific to a young skier, now that I think about it.

Love, Renae

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Oct 24, 2023

Keep showing up, keep caring, and keep loving the process.

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