12.31.18 What MYSL means to me!
Hey MYSL families!
When I was younger, I loved it when we got our first snow. I still do, of course! But I would get so excited for a change of seasons and look forward to MYSL starting up again.
I got into skiing because both my Mom and Dad love to ski, and when I was a baby they would put me in their backpack and go skiing on different trails every weekend. So I was out on skis before I could even walk! When I got old enough to get my own pair of skis, I remember going to the MYSL ski swap with my Mom and getting to pick out a pair of skis to have for the year. I was so excited to learn how to cross country ski and to meet new friends that winter!
We joined the Willow River MYSL Club, just over the river in Wisconsin. When my little sister Mackenzie was old enough she started learning to ski as well, and we’d go out as a family every Sunday afternoon. It was part of our weekend routine! Even when it was cold outside and at first I maybe wasn’t looking forward to going outside, I was always happy afterward and I was always glad I got out the door to go see my friends and ski with my group.
Every Sunday, we would make a big pancake breakfast, I’d do my chores (I had to vacuum the house and clean the windows, in case you’re wondering) and then we’d have lunch and go to MYSL practice. I loved doing warmups in the field with all the other kids because it usually involved tag and other games, and then I would join my group and we’d go ski! Sometimes we had a scavenger hunt, sometimes we’d go on a new trail or have a distance ski challenge, and sometimes we’d play games or do relay races. And SOME days, I’d forget my warm mittens and end up with cold hands! But it was always fun, and we’d end every practice in the warming hut with a big mug of hot chocolate and orange slices.
At the end of every ski, we had a big board where every skier could write down how many kilometers their group had skied that day. It was a fun distance challenge, and at the end of the year we’d get a pin for how many km’s we’d accumulated. A bronze pin for 25km, a silver pin for 50km, and if we’d skied 75km over the course of the winter you’d get a gold pin. I still have all my pins, to this day! I was so motivated by the challenge of seeing how far I could ski and how many kilometers I could cover.
When I got older, I joined a group called “silver skiers” [ed: this program is now called Skiwerx] and we would go do races as a group. We’d travel to a local race and get the chance to try out our skills! I learned that while I never liked that feeling of being nervous on the start line, I really loved the chance to feel like I was going as fast as I could! I always wanted to see how fast I could go, and how hard I could push myself.
Through MYSL, I learned not only how to ski, but how much fun I could have while outside in the winter! I learned that playing tag on skis was incredibly funny, and I loved logging the kilometers I skied to see how far I could go every winter. I learned how to ski with good technique, and I learned how much I loved to ski fast and race. I’m so thankful for all the volunteers and skiers that made the MYSL so much fun! My family and I loved being part of the MYSL. I had so much fun learning how to ski and making friends on the trails, and I hope that you do, too!
Have a great start to winter!