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Women – Let’s “Live” Like the Olympians

February 15, 2022

Tuesday Thoughts, Inspiration, Fitness for Women, Female Entrepreneurs, Athletes

After riding the red gondola up the steep mountain, my male cousin skied off quickly taunting me to keep up. We were teenagers who both loved sports and skiing at Gore Mountain once a year was a thrill. As I caught up with him, he was perched on a Black Diamond run, you know one of those treacherous looking cliffs you see on television and think the people who ski down them are crazy. Well, not to say my cousin was crazy, but he was a dare devil, and being a girl, I always wanted to be his equal.

“Ah, crap Jeff, what are we doing?” He smiled slyly and started down the vertical, rocky cliffside trail. Of course, once he made it down the icy edge of the steepest part of the trail, he yelled for me to follow. What was I suppose to do? You can’t back up on a ski hill and the Gondola only went one way. So, I took a really deep breathe, almost closed my eyes, trusted gravity and my skiing skills would get me down safely or I’d die on the hill trying.

Sometimes when I think back on what made me the daring woman I’ve always been, I thank the love and thrill of sports. Waterskiing and skiing at the tender age of five, sailing a sunfish boat by myself against the silhouette of a summer day, biking around the lake I grew up on, and jumping off cliffs at near the dam’s edge, made me fearless in sports and I think eventually in entrepreneurship. How else do you build confidence than trying hard feats and succeeding?

Perhaps my cousin and my riskiness came from our shared Italian genes or the fact we are four months apart in age or that we had parents who let us live and try sports. Following him off a diving board, doing a full somersault in the air, was something else I had to master to hang with my male cousins. Ever the feminist, I believed if the dudes in my family could do it, I could do it. And so, I did.

USA Chole Kim – Gold Medalist

As I watch the Beijing Olympics and see Salomon and Downhill skiers, I know what it’s like because I tried that too. One sunny winter day, I skied the moguls all day long without fear of falling so I resonate with them too. With a neighbor down the road as a high ranked USA downhill skier, I also attempted one too many plunges down some hill sides to see what it was like. Now at the age of 57, I want more thrill from sports than I ever have had before, and you know what, it is my new life goal to try ALL the sports there are to try, at least once. My excel spreadsheet has them listed with plenty of marks for the ones I’ve already tried. I am inviting women who know me to join me – especially middle agers.

Follow me on my journey the rest of this year as I inspire you, and other women of all ages, to follow in my footsteps and take the risk and gain the rewards of trying more and more sports in their lifetime. We can’t just let the Olympians have all the fun, can we?

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham at the Women’s Sports Foundation Event
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