Words By Amy David:
I returned to my hometown this season, Pinedale, Wyoming to host a girls freeride ski clinic for the local ski club with ages between 10 and 35. I loved going home to teach young girls who are learning to ski on the same little mountain I did as a kid.
As soon as the girls saw their first Warren Miller and TGR films, the inner wild child skier within them was turned loose. When I was younger, the films opened my eyes to places outside of our small town that existed and how people ski them in such creative ways. For my clinic, the first evening was a presentation about my experience as a skier and media personality. When I asked the girls why they loved skiing, answers came flowing back like, “I like to go really, really fast. Like really fast!” and “There are no rules in skiing” and “I like how creative I can be choosing where and how I want to ski uniquely on the mountain.” This group is the rebel wild chicks who don’t like being told which race gates to turn around, so I let the clinic be that way. Free to ski however you want. Emphasizing that we each get to choose who we are, I had them write down “I am ____. I will be _____.” and fill in the blanks 10 times. They each read their lists and were applauded naturally by their peers. To end the evening, we got stern looks from the public library employees as we jumped off the chairs pretending to practice form for hitting jumps on the mountain. Girl giggle overload was in full action.
The next day, I met our posse at the resort where we warmed up with “sassy stretching” followed by a few speedy hot laps to warm up. Each girl had a heightened sense of personal confidence as they tried jumping off rocks and making powder slashes in ways they never had before. I was so impressed with how the young girls cheered each other on and didn’t want to go in for lunch because they were having too much fun while asking to back to the zones to go bigger than they did the first time.
I remember the coaches who opened my eyes to new ways of skiing as a kid and still look up to other skiers who are my peers today. The mark they left on me is something I hope to give back to this group of young girls. Someone who inspires them to believe in themselves.