8 Questions I Get Asked After A Ski Race

8 Questions I Get Asked After A Ski Race

How do you think my run went?
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I have spent the last month and a half skiing around on the International Paralympic World Cup circuit. The Paralympic alpine world is so small and I honestly love getting to know not only my American teammates but competitors from all over the world. I love that I can learn something from all of my competitors, and I have gotten to know a lot of them quite well from our conversations during race days. Here’s a list of the things I always get asked directly following a ski race.

1. How’d your run go?

This is kind of the question everyone asks right after the race is finished. Whether they actually care about how I skied or if they just feel the need to make some sort of conversation I kind of always answer with a very general “good” or “eh not great” depending on the day.

2. Did the course run well?

Because I am a visually impaired female I always run very early in the race. A lot of times when I come down after running there are male mono skiers sitting at the bottom waiting to head up the mountain for their run. Often the boys will ask us how the course is running. Even though everyone gets to slip through the course at the beginning of the day it’s sometimes hard to predict exactly how it will feel when you are actually charging full speed.

3. Did you see that huge rut in the middle?

This one’s a little ironic because I am blind so no, no I probably did not notice the minimal snow coverage by one of the gates… unless of course it caused me to land on my face, then I probably found out it was there pretty quickly.

4. How far back are you from first?

In some alpine events the racer’s combined time is taken from two race runs. I get this question a lot between the first and second run of the race. I am the type of person that really doesn’t like to look at times in the middle of runs. For me, numbers can be distracting and I find it better for my performance if I ignore the times until both runs of the race have been completed. Because I don’t focus too much on times during the race, I often answer this question with a “well I am not really sure actually” or “you should ask Sadie she can see the scoreboard better than I can.”

5. Are you on the podium today?

To be honest most of the time I have to answer this by saying something like “no didn’t quite do it today” but I guess that makes all the times I get to say “yes we did it today” just a little sweeter.

6. Did you get late in that middle section?

Ski racing is comprised of both technical and tactical perspectives. Technical is the actual position of the skier whereas tactical is being able to execute the fastest line in the course to bring the racer from the top to the bottom as quickly as possible. When racers inspect a course, tactics are often the primary thought and certain courses leave racers prone to different mistakes. I often get asked by other racers how we ran the line or if we had issues in certain sections. I never really know how to answer these questions though because for me I just follow Sadie.

7. How about that finish area?

In order for a race to run, the track on the course must be maintained enough that it is safe for the racers. However, the finish area tends to get overlooked and often does not have very good snow or space to stop after the finish line. One time I came through the finish with some heat and hit bad snow and totally wiped Sadie out! It was funny in retrospect but it can be scary! I think every athlete has their own humiliating finish line stories, so now we make it a point to talk about how we will stop every time we run a race.

8. Did you have fun?

I love when people ask me this question because it is so easy to get caught up in the emotions of ski racing, and forget all about the fact that we do all of this for fun. Having fun ski racing is something Sadie and I strive for every day, and I think it is really important to reflect on. As an elite athlete it is so easy to forget why you fell in love with a sport. I want to be able to have fun skiing for the rest of my life, so if I ever feel like my racing career is ruining skiing for me I will retire. I feel incredibly fortunate that I still love ski racing. Regardless of the times on the board, I almost always have a great time when I get to do what I love.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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If You Wear XL T-Shirts And Shorts, You're The Woman Of My Dreams

Enough with the war on comfort!
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Comfortable can be sexy, simply put.

For some reason there are people complaining out there about the Southern college trend that has been happening the past few years: big t-shirts and shorts, also known as the "srat uniform." There seems to be a clash between the girls who dress "nice" most of the time and girls who dress for comfort. As a guy, I don't see what the big deal is?

For college in the South, there are two reasons to dress up: college football (Roll Tide) and date parties. Any other time, you can find a majority of the female population in shorts and a big t-shirt that makes it look like they're not wearing pants. As a man, I personally don't see anything wrong with this. I love being comfortable as much as the next person, and most guys find the baggy t-shirt and shorts outfit to be cute. There's always a time and place for dresses and rompers.

But for all the haters out there that call these girls in XL t-shirts and shorts lazy, you've got it all wrong.

There are 4 reasons why the girls who don the "srat uniform" have it all figured out.

1. Girls have it rough.

See, it's tough being a girl. I don't know from experience, but I hear it enough and I've seen it enough to know it's true. When girls aren't dealing with f***boys, periods or having to do their hair and makeup routinely, they are being overly criticized by our society. I think society owes girls a break, and that break comes in the comfortable baggy t-shirt and shorts.

2. Southern Not-So-Comfort(able) weather.

Also, for all of the haters, maybe y'all haven't noticed that it's hotter than Satan's balls in the South! Tight, dressy outfits and pants constrict the body and cause you to sweat. I'd rather see a dry girl in a baggy t-shirt than a girl drenched in sweat trying to look cute with her outfit.

3. Perfect doesn't exist.

It's admirable when a girl can unapologetically be herself. A girl in an XL t-shirt and shorts is a girl that is saying "yes, I may have just rolled out of bed and brushed my hair, but I'm here dammit." Social media tells us we all have to be the dolled up, most "perfect" version of ourselves all the time, so it's nice to experience that reality check.

4. Guys think it's cute, regardless.

9 times out of 10, guys in college do not care what you're wearing. Trust me, we aren't doing much better. You could probably put on a garbage bag and we still think you're cute. Any guy that dates a girl that dates a girl only because she dresses nicely all of the time is a shallow man. You're cute, you're comfortable, and that makes for a much better vibe. We all win.

So, in the battle of dressing "nice" and dressing comfortable, I think that the girls who wear an XL t-shirt and shorts chalk up a win in my record book. No, I'm not bashing on girls who have a true sense of style and wear nice clothing... that's a great thing in itself! But, this is college and there are more important things to focus on besides what we're wearing.

Ladies, wear your srat uniform with pride. Some us think it's cute :)

*I want to thank the beautiful ladies at the University of Alabama for inspiring this article.*

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Sorry, The World Cup Just Isn't My Cup Of Tea

I'll say it... I don't like soccer.

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The media has been buzzing non-stop for the past few weeks about few things other than the World Cup. I don't know anything about soccer other than hand usage is a no-go, and I won't pretend to know anything other than that, but I get the feeling there are some people out there who have better poker faces than I when it comes to talking about FIFA.

I've never played soccer, no one in my immediate family has ever played soccer, and few people in my extended family have ever played soccer, let alone been enthusiasts of the game. I'll say it, I don't like soccer. I've been immersed in a football-centric family from the get-go and that will never change, but that has rarely been a good enough reason for people to not become offended when I say that I don't like soccer.

Listen, I get it, soccer has its fanbase just like every other sport, but I have never seen people get heated quite so quickly as they do when I say I don't like their favorite sport. I never understood soccer, I never enjoyed watching it, and I never enjoyed the very few times I played it when my friends or a gym teacher made me participate in my least favorite activity. That being said, I have met few people who are genuinely passionate about soccer all of the time, so why is it so many soccer enthusiasts come out of the woodwork when the World Cup comes around?

Every sport has its fans and its bandwagon fans, those who are all in for the sport all the time, and those who jump ship once the major events close up shop and the season is over, as does every sports team. For example, people who rarely ever watch a football game become suddenly invested in who might win the Lombardi Trophy, or not-so-diehard hockey fans are way more interested in who may win the Stanley Cup in the spring, but not so much in the fall the fall.

But there's something about soccer that draws out fans from the deepest and farthest corners of the world, and the number of viewers from regular season games to the World Cup games grows exponentially. It is incredible to see how people connect over the Cup, the individual games, and their support of their chosen team, even if they are complete strangers, but where do all of these fans come from and where do they go once FIFA is over and soccer goes back into regular season games?

All the amazing statistics and surprises the World Cup has thrown at us aside, I'm sorry but it just isn't for me, and I really don't care what country wins. I know the world is abuzz with the excitement and anticipation that the finals are creating, but I just can't get into it. Like I said, everyone has their thing, their sport, and something that gets them going. I could watch football or a golf tournament all day, but soccer just doesn't do it for me, and I can already hear the roars of protest because I don't care whether Croatia or France wins the final. And, yes, I had to google who would be in the final.

Sorry, but I'm not sorry that I just can't get into the world cup.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/athletes-audience-ball-bleachers-270085/

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