I’ve been skiing since I was two years old. That’s 19 years. Skiing is second nature to me. I was probably 15 when I became totally confident in my abilities. I can follow my dad anywhere on the mountain and although it may lack grace and finesse, I know I can make it down. Skiing is probably the one thing I would say I am very good at in this world. Physically, at least. I’m not sure making perfect beschmael without a recipie counts as a skill!

This year my dad and I signed up to ski the Jane-a-thon, a ski-a-thon to support Invest in Kids, a great organization that gives at-risk families and kids tools to thrive. The challenge is 16 of Mary Jane’s black diamond mogul runs in 6 hours. I signed up thinking that yes, it would be hard, but not un-doable if we trained for it.

As we started training (we got up to Copper every weekend in February and skiied Mary Jane once ) it became obvious to me that this was NOT going to be a walk in the park. On an average day we did 7-9 runs. A cruiser warm up, some moguls, wait in line to try to cat-ski, drinks at the bar, a few more runs, try to photograph each other catching air or looking rad on a double diamond, call it a day at 1pm and have lunch in Frisco on the way down.
That was our average ski day.

Not just that, but doing moguls is grueling. You’re hitting bumps every turn. If the conditions are soft and the moguls not too deep, its not too bad, but when they’re icy and steep and deep, you jar your whole body with each turn. When we first started I could do maybe 3 mogul runs in one day. I’d stop every hundred feet or so to catch my breath. It’d take forever to get down.

Yesterday was like nothing I have ever done before. It was the hardest physical feat of my life. I’m not a limit-pusher. I like to stay in my comfort zone and still have fun. This was a whole different story. This was pushing my limits like crazy.
We skiied 16 mogul runs at Mary Jane from Outhouse way over on the left, to Trestle clear on the other side. We left Denver at 5:30am. We got on the lifts right as they started up. We skiied our asses off. We took one quick bathroom break the whole day, otherwise we ate Cliff bars and goldfish and drank water and Red Bulls on the chairlift. We tucked and poled on the catwalks at the bottom of 11/16 runs. We utilized the singles line to make sure we got on the chair as quickly as possible. We were running 20 minute runs, chairlift included. We were taking them as quickly as we felt comfortable. And we skiied into the lodge at 9 minutes until our deadline. We skiied over 30 miles and 27K vertical feet.

It was grueling and exhausting, but well worth it. Pushing yourself past any fathomable limits and succeeding is truly rewarding. That is what 2016 is going to be about for me. Pushing myself past MY OWN limits. I am not going to be an olympic skiier or go teach English in Malaysia, but I’m going to try things I wouldn’t normally try and do things that scare me. Because life in the comfort zone is not a life I want to live.

On another note, between the two of us my dad and I raised over $1000 for Invest in Kids. I was blown away by the generosity of my friends, family and co-workers. I alone raised $631. Children are the future and giving them the best possible tools to be healthy, live without abuse, learn, be prepared for school is the best way to invest in our future. If you want to donate, you can do so following this link until March 15th.

Thank you and don’t forget to push your limits!!!

Moody day at Copper, Resolution bowl
Sunrise over Lake Dillon on an early morning at Copper
My dad doing his thing
Finally caught the cat at Copper! Tucker Mountain
A sweet little bowl we stumbled upon after cliffing out in the trees
Beautiful training day at Mary Jane
My dad and I on the chair, halfway done with the Jane-a-thon