February 3, 2014

Keeping it Real

On Saturday I accomplished a goal that I set out to achieve one year ago, and I feel proud, really proud!

Let me start at the beginning. 

About 5 years ago I started XC skiing, just for fun. I was a recreational skier. At the same time my +1 became addicted to the sport and started racing. You may remember that last year we traveled to Italy for him to compete (post here). 

Last year, after watching him compete for the 4th time in the Boulder Mountain Tour, a 32K XC skate race in Sun Valley, Idaho, I decided maybe I should give it a try. So, I made a Facebook declaration...and once it's on Facebook, there's no going back. 

My training began at Thanksgiving in Bend, OR, and it continued on snow in Sun Valley at Christmas. When not on snow I've tried to roller ski regularly (the dryland form of XC skiing), but it's not the same as skiing on snow. In case you are wondering what roller skiing looks like, here it is...skinny "skis", no breaks and unforgiving pavement. I much prefer the snow, and so do my knees and elbows (a few weeks ago I had a nasty crash).

Just over a week ago, I competed in my first ever race, a 5K race at Mt. Bachelor. I was able to "test" my fitness and see what it was like to ski with a group of women. It was a short race but great preparation for my big race, the Boulder Mountain Tour. 

Saturday was the big day. The Boulder is a huge event, over 600 skiers participated this year, including some of the top skiers in the country. I somehow was able to "beg" my way into the Women's Elite Wave, which placed me amongst the top 40+ women in the race. Talk about pressure. I was nervous about my placement, but optimistic I could deliver! This is what the start of the race looks like. It is called a "mass start."

I woke up on Saturday feeling tired, sore and sluggish...not what any athlete hopes to feel like on race day, but I knew I would have to power through. Due to lack of snow, the race course was altered slightly making it not just a 32K race but a 34K race. What's 2 more kilometers?

Despite a slow start, I skied strong.

I skied into the race and found my groove. I skied within myself and my abilities and finished with every ounce of effort I had left in me after 34K....okay maybe I had a little left, but not much! I skied the 34.16K in 1:41:16.

And the prize waiting for me at the finish was priceless, the Mini Fashionista. Nothing is greater than hearing my favorite little voice say "go mommy, go!" 

The icing on the cake, I got 3rd place in my age category. I finished 30th out of 236 women and 142nd out of 620 total skiers.

My results far exceeded my expectations. As I said, I am feeling proud, really proud. This may come as a surprise, but despite being a competitive ski racer in high school and college, I have NEVER been on a podium, NEVER! This was my first medal, EVER!

I spent my time as a competitive ski racer working my butt off to be what was considered a "good skier." Despite an incredible level of commitment and initiative, I was never at the top. I grew up among some of the most skilled athletes in the country, and it was easy to feel like I lacked athletic ability.

Now in my 30's I realize that I do have what it takes to be competitive. Maybe I was just in the wrong sport. What I have learned is that it's never too late to try something new, to commit yourself and to succeed.

Whatever your goal might be, I say "go for it!" If I can do it, so can you. Whatever your goal is...be it losing weight, running a 5K, climbing Mt. Hood or getting yourself to the gym 5 days a week.

Set a goal. Commit. Be proud, really proud! 


  1. A huge CONGRATS Regan! This is incredible... and I love that the "mini Fashionista" loves your medal so much!

  2. Congrats Regan! Girl you are next level!!