Keep Showing Up: Words by XC Gold Team Athlete Katie Feldman

Below are some thoughts and words by SVSEF Cross Country Gold Team athlete Katie Feldman, who grew up skiing with the SVSEF cross country program, headed east to attend Middlebury College, and returned to Sun Valley as a professional athlete. She recounts personal experiences, but the message is applicable across all disciplines. “Getting good at something is not ever a quick and easy process,” noted Cross Country Program Director Rick Kapala in a note to his Comp Team athletes, introducing Katie’s writing. “However, it is usually very rewarding precisely because the process is the actual thing that is beneficial to our development. So, as Katie reminds us, keep showing up.”

A beautiful sunny day at Billy’s Bridge this February

Keep Showing Up
by Katie Feldman

One of the reasons cross-country skiing is cool: you have to keep showing up. You might look at the weather report, but you don’t know when the sun is going to pop through the storm. You might be intimidated by your competition, but you never know when you’re going to have a breakthrough race and be able to keep up with (or pass!) people who have previously skied away from you. Some days are perfect sunshine, perfect snow, perfect skis, and you go into them with a body that’s ready to rip (these are the perfect days that get all the photos!) Some days it pours rain, is slippery mud, you don’t feel good, and you still have a bounding workout to do. On other days, you wear all your warm layers, tape your face, and still finish the workout cold. When you have a hard day, your coaches and teammates support and show up for you; you can do the same for them. These hard days get done because they make the perfect days that much better. I’ve attached some pictures of the best days and the toughest days, I think you can guess which are which.

This season, all of our final races were cancelled in the face of COVID-19. Major bummer, even if we all know it was the right choice. We are all so lucky to have come to this place where the snow is still good, and – as long as we’re healthy – we’re able to recreate at a safe distance. There’s great skiing up north and as Hailey dries out the running and biking will get better and better. I’ll keep showing up to ski, and when the time comes next season, I’ll be even happier to race than before.

I’ve seen lots of workout ideas coming from the coaches. Whether you’re doing a quick home-strength session or getting out for a long ski, it all counts.

A frozen-face day at Galena in January


The sun breaking through a cloudy morning in Canmore this past December