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Lindsey: Cross-country Skiing

Meet Lindsey, an Alaskan whose idea of power is putting on the cross-country skis and hitting the snow! She's nabbed ribbons, medals, and trophies, kicked butt at Alaska's Besh Cup, and even takes time to teach her sport to small-fry skiers. We caught up with Lindsey recently, where we learned the finer points of roller-skiing, kickwax, and how to dress for competition when it's well below zero.

A Day in the Life
Bring on the Besh . . . "The Besh Cup is a six-race cross-country skiing series through Alaska. You rank for points and the first six people go on to the Junior Olympics and the next four go to the Arctic Winter Games. [These are like mini-Olympic games held every 2 years with athletes from Alaska, Canada's Northwest and Yukon Territories, Greenland, and Russia.] This year was really exciting - I tied for first place in the class I race in with a girl from Anchorage! We were going back and forth - first I was ahead, then she was ahead - and in the end, we tied with the same number of points."

. . . and break out the map! "For the Besh Cup, we traveled to Anchorage and Eagle River, and Homer and Soldotna out on the Kenai Peninsula."

Watch and learn from Lindsey. "On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays after school is when I coach all the little kids on the team. There are about 38 of them, and they range from preschool to sixth grade. For me, working with them is the best part of the sport! Plus, teaching them makes me a better skier because I learn how to simplify explanations for them."

Expert Advice
Catching those ZZZs before she skis.
"To get ready for a competition, I eat lots of carbs and visualize the race. I'm also sure to get to bed early the night before so I get enough sleep."

Tooth-chattering challenge. "The coldest weather I've ever competed in was 40 degrees below zero. When you do that, you wear lots of layers."

Skiing for your body, mind, and soul. "Skiing makes you more physically fit. In P.E., you can definitely tell who skis and who doesn't. Plus, it teaches discipline and ski etiquette."                                          

Getting Personal
Small skis, please.
"I joined my hometown ski club when I was in first grade, just to see how I would like it. I've been skiing ever since."

Summertime and the roller-skiing is easy . . . "In the summertime, when there's no snow, you can still practice by going roller-skiing. A roller-ski is sort of like a short ski with tires at each end. You wear your ski boots and use ski poles with special tips. Last summer, I got to roller-ski with John Estle, a well-known coach who coaches high school and college-age cross-country skiers."

Get Dad on the scene, STAT. "I'm lucky because both of my parents are involved in my sport. My mom is on the club's board of directors and helps direct some of our events. And my dad is on the volunteer rescue service, so he volunteers his time as the club's medic."

And the gold goes to . . . "This is the first year that I can qualify for the Junior Olympics, so I am going to really try for that. After that, I want to go to the Olympics!"

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2003