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Berit Ramstad Skoyles: ‘Get a life’ loses meaning when skiing is her life

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life Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Did you ever hear that phrase, “Get a life?” Apparently it applies to me.

I have begun to think that I do not have a life beyond skiing and schoolwork. Every week day I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and go to school. When school is over at 3:30, I go straight to ski practice, and then home to dinner, homework and bed.

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I ski almost all day both Saturday and Sunday. I don’t seem to have the time to do anything else.

The other day, a friend of mine and I were talking, and he sarcastically asked me if I had a life. When I actually thought about it, I realized that other than skiing and school, I don’t really have much of a life. In the winter, basically all I do is ski.

Conversations about waxing and race strategies consume our evenings. Needless to say, it is a big change from last year in Chile.

I was thinking about what it must be like for elite athletes. Not only skiers, but all elite athletes. To wake up every day and only have to practice your sport would be nice for awhile, but I think it would get old.

At some point, the line between it being fun and being a chore would have to become a bit blurry.

While being an Olympian would be extremely amazing, I wonder if I’d be able to handle it. Heck, I have trouble getting up before noon on the weekends, so how would I ever be able to get up even earlier to ski?

Training for ski races is great, but those days when we just ski for the fun of it are some of the best memories that I have. Days when we focus on just enjoying the feel of skis on our feet will never compare to skiing a workout.

When I really think about it, I ski because I like it. Skiing is not a chore. Although sometimes I don’t express a real interest in getting out of bed at the break of dawn. Okay, maybe 11 a.m. isn’t the break of dawn, but it sure feels like it on a Sunday morning — to go ski. I would regret it if I didn’t. Skiing is fun, and skiing fast is even more fun.

“Normal” people may not understand our fascination with wax, temperature and humidity, but it is second nature to me. It is perfectly normal to sit around the dinner table and discuss strategy for the next race course.

Doesn’t everyone obsessively check the NOAA website and their amazing weather graphs to find the particular temperature and humidity projections in order to determine the perfect wax? High fluorocarbon wax? Low? Cold glide wax? These issues are the subject of heated debate at my house.

So when it comes down to it, I would rather have a life of skiing than absolutely no life at all. I’m not quite sure how I would spend my days if my dad hadn’t encouraged me to join skiing all those years ago. Either way, I’m glad he did.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.

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