I often like to voice my dislike of structure.  I find myself complaining about strict schedules and how I hate the confinement of routine. Still, there’s one commitment that I’m involved in that actually makes me feel freer.

As a member of the Nordic Ski team at Colby I couldn’t imagine life here without the team. We have a physically and mentally demanding schedule, which some of my friends believe borders on the edge of insanity. Honestly though, I don’t think that anyone on the team would have it any other way.

I was reminded of this over Thanksgiving break. The team spent vacation training in Stoneham, Quebec. Unfortunately there wasn’t much snow there, but we did get to ski on a 2km loop of man-made snow at Foret Montmorency. Although I’d originally been bummed about the lack of snow, I forgot my disappointment as soon as I tucked down the first hill on the loop. Getting on snow again after months of running and rollerskiing is sort of like taking a drink of cool water after being thirsty all day – it’s ridiculously satisfying and you just can’t get enough of it.

Grinning like a fool and practically laughing with happiness as I skied down that hill, I remembered how thankful I am for having the opportunity to ski, to train, and be part of a team. I am thankful for every pre-dawn morning practice, for every time training has left me too sore to walk up the stairs, for every race that I get to compete in, and for every member of the team.

The schedule the team follows is demanding, but it grounds me and makes me feel whole. I’m not sure what my Colby life would be like without the team. I do know that being on the team is not a routine that drains me, but one that keeps me together.


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