Personal Growth within Ski Mountaineering

I started the sport of Ski Mountaineering in 2015. I convinced my husband to sign up in the Recreational Category so that we could save money on lift tickets while we visited friends at Kicking Horse Resort. That race kicked both of our butts. I was amazed at how the top athletes, particularly those visiting from Europe could move so quickly and efficiently through the mountains and fly on the descents. I decided I wanted to get better.

I started hiking, strength training, cross country skiing in the dark, riding my bike on a trainer in the basement. Two years later and I managed to get a spot on the Team representing Canada at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships in Italy. It was my first international sporting event and it blew my mind! The energy of the crowd, the level of fitness of the athletes, the languages and cultures all coming together for a week to celebrate ski mountaineering… it was amazing! Despite all my training, I was still very new in the endurance world. I felt destroyed by the races, but inspired to work harder and come back to try and be better.

Fast forward another two years and I am heading back to the World Championships! This time, as a totally different athlete. I have gained so much through my training and race experiences in the past two years. I feel a bigger love for the sport of skimo that has pushed me to be better in many areas of my life. Yes, I am fitter, faster and stronger than my old self, but I have progressed in so many other areas too. I feel healthier and happier. I understand my body and my mind better. I am able to pull from these experiences and apply it to my job as a Physiotherapist, which is great!  I love helping others reach goals and find more joy in movement.

Most importantly I have lit the fire for and gained respect for the journey that is fitness and self improvement. I used to think I could become super fast or super skilled at something like downhill skiing in a year or two (while working full time and doing at least 4 or 5 different sports… :). Now I see that the years it takes to make gradual gains in fitness and technique are all part of the fun. Let the learning and growth continue!