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Thursday Thoughts: Women in Sports

February 2, 2023

Inspiration and Motivation for Women, Female Athletes

Under the clearest blue sky you would ever find in Syracuse in the middle of winter, gathered three women who never met before. The brisk 20-degree air temperature didn’t stop us from getting together to cross country ski, network, talk about our companies, and share our love of sports.

We were inspired to gather because it was the 37th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), as earmarked by the Women’s Sports Foundation founded by Billie Jean King.  The Foundation was created to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport. Their NGWSD is held every year on February 1 and inspires women and girls to gather around the love of sport.

As a child of ski shop owners and ski instructors, gliding on snow in downhill or cross country skis were easy for me, and for one other woman, Jennifer, who cross country skis a lot, but for one woman,  Janet, with brand new skis, it was a first time attempt on slightly ice and cold conditions.

The three of us began together but soon decided Jennifer should take off on the 3-mile lake loop while I stayed with our Janet and help her if she needed it. I was able to use my parent’s teaching tools and 50- years of experience to “glide” her along, giving her pointers on movement, how to go up slight hills with slipping backwards, and even how to get up when you fall – as evident by my own tumble – which made us both laugh! Hey, even old-time skiers fall sometimes.

As the two of us slid gently, up and down, the path weaving in and out of tall pine trees, I said to my new friend, “even the tallest trees have to start somewhere” trying to make her feel better as she started off. She smiled, continued skiing, and once-in-awhile on my suggestion looked up to see what glorious woodlands she was playing in today. As we ended our shorter path, I gave her applause and a high five for trying this sport for the first time in her life at the age of 61. “Not all of us are born to parents who ski,” I reminded her.

As Jennifer joined us in the lodge, we sat in beautiful wooden rocking chairs getting to know each other’s businesses better and sharing our areas of expertise. As you suspect, the conversation centered on health, wellness, sports, holistic practices, and eating well. Thyroid function, stem cells, alopecia, and living a gluten-free life arose in our talks.  Jennifer gave us a X-39 patch which is used for light therapy since she is a 25-year practitioner of acupuncture and light therapy. Janet shared her new written works and aspirations for a published book one day. No matter what woman I meet, there is always something positive to glean from the meeting.

On the way out of the lodge, we hugged, promised to stay in touch and get to know each other better. Both of them want to try some other sports with me – one parasailing, and one the biathlon. I promised to keep in touch and tell them when I had those sports booked to try. If it wasn’t for this special once-a-year recognition of women and girls in sports, we wouldn’t have gathered and shared the morning together.

The next time you are lonely, call up a girlfriend, another woman in your community, or a woman with an interest in sports, and get together to enjoy the day, learning, stoking your energy, and taking in a bit of nature along the way. Office work can wait sometimes, especially on a sunny, cold day in February.   

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