I have officially gotten over a massive early season cold, where I actually did the good-little-athlete-thing of taking time off and resting until I was well. Let's hope that accomplishment sets the pace for a great first month of ski season, but first, the last month of training season:
Having grown up on the high mountain west, my memories of fall have always consisted of yellowing aspens, the smell of cold, wet brush and, of course, snow on on Halloween. This month, my first October back in the Rocky Mountains in five years, did not disappoint. It started and ended with snow in the mountains, with a whole lot of travel and training in between.
The highlight of the month, athletic or otherwise, was my visit to New York City to attend the Women's Sports Foundation's (WSF) 37th Annual Salute to Women in Sport. In addition to attending a gala, I also participated in the WSF's Athlete Leadership Connection, in which I competed (and placed second) in a competition called Project Pitch.
Let's rewind a little. Three months ago, my fellow skier Erika Flowers and I submitted a business idea for an online women's style and adventure platform to WSF's Project Pitch on a whim. We were selected as finalists in the competition, which meant that we would pitch our business idea to a group of high powered women on October 18th, and also meant that we needed to get down to making the thing.
After months of market research, content production, brand development and general scrambling to understand business, we had a prototype publication, website and social media platform to present. Regardless of the result, standing in front of that room of Olympians, World Champions and CEOs felt kind of like I'd already made it. Although we didn't win, we did make a great deal of connections, generated some great ideas and got the momentum we needed to get this thing off the ground. While we've taken a step back to dial in the nitty gritty details of the business, we do plan to launch our membership and publication platform in 2017. We currently only have our Instagram live (@wander_mag), so stay tuned for those lovely developments!!
After the Pitch was all said and done, I had another 36 hours in the city to explore, workout, and glam up before heading back home. The Salute gala turned out to be one of the most motivating experiences in my life. In addition to spending time with my all-time idols in sport, I also met brand new heroes. Women like Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a world squash player who had to pose as a boy to compete in her native state Pakistan to those like Billy Jean King, who started the Women's Sports Foundation in 1976, spoke to the positive effect of sport on a woman's life. Theirs, and the words of several other women and advocates of women's sports reminded me how incredibly lucky I am to have grown up in sport, and to have found a career in it as an adult.
Even after returning home and training through the rest of the month, I can't help but let that trip define this period. Those couple of days not only completely fired me up for my upcoming season, it also ignited a desire to support and contribute to women's access to sport in whatever way I can, for the rest of my life. By virtue of you being on this list, you've supported my own athletic pursuit in one way or another, whether morally, financially (hi, mom) or simply validating my journey by wanting to know what's up. So, before we even get going on this year's adventure, thanks a bunch, can't wait to keep you in the loop.
xo and soon some snow,
SVSEF Gold Team Member
It is possible to pack heels, running shoes, a business blazer and an evening gown in an overhead-legal carry-on
No feeling will ever match that of the season's first snow
I love where I live. I also cannot wait to hit the road.