READING BETWEEN THE PINES

If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

I don’t know much about Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, or Nick Goepper other than what I’ve recently seen on TV, but in these games, populated by controversy and tinged in gray, I don’t really need to.

What I need is to remember why The Olympics, for more years than I can count, have inspired excellence in everyone from the occasional enthusiast to the lifelong athlete.

What I need is a human talisman (or three) to push me. One more rep. One more run. One more attempt to go somewhere, to get better, to reach a goal.

What I need is to believe that anything’s possible.

What I need are true role models for my children, three suddenly familiar faces smiling from a cereal box who possess an unscripted purity that can’t be calculated in an increasingly anonymous and murky digital world.

What I need is proof positive that you’re never out until you say so, and that victory is as close as you believe it to be.

What I need is to embrace second chances, to stand up when I fall down and try again.

What I need is to focus not on what I say, but what I do.

What I need is a reason to remember that any dream can come true with enough work, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice.

What I need is to unplug, tune in, and gather my family around to do something no one seems to value as much as they used to. The simple act of being together, cheering together, and yes, crying together as our flag flies high in the sky and three sets of tear-rimmed eyes smile up at the manifestation of everything they always knew could be.

What I need is to remember these names: Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, and Nick Goepper. They’ve achieved something that won’t necessarily define their lives, but will punctuate them in a rare consortium of color that few are ever able to see.

What I need to remember is simple. Life is good.

Image via gannett-cdn.com

40 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on America’s Newest Slopestyle Skiing Stars

  1. french526 says:

    They were on the Today show this morning. Truly inspirational guys. They were also wonderful representatives of the US. Well spoken, humble and excited.

    1. Right on French526. Thanks for the visit and comment!

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wonderfully and beautifully said. Wish our kids could see more of that and less of the Biebers and Cyruses of this world.

    1. Why does it seem like the Biebers and Cyruses not only get the attention but keep it? Blah. I think Nick Goepper is from your side of town…or maybe Cincy so at least close. Hope you’re well Carrie!

      1. Carrie Rubin says:

        Yes, I am, thank you! But definitely ready for spring.

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    With Nick Goepper being from the Cincinnati area, we get a lot of news on him. NBC did an interesting piece on him Thursday night.

    1. He definitely looks like the real deal. I grew up in Louisville, by the way. I used to love going to Kings Island when I was a kid. =)

      1. aFrankAngle says:

        Cheers to your time at KI! Enjoy this one about Nick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Rwf7BiPmc

  4. El Guapo says:

    Amen.
    I saw that competition. One thing I also really liked is just about everyone, when they had a bad run, came to the bottom with grins on their faces, and an “oh well” shrug before going back up.

    1. You know it seems to be that way with all the boarders and a lot of the slopestyle skiiers. They seem just as happy for the person who bumped them out of their medal spot as they are for themselves. I love, love, love that kind of support. Thanks for the visit and comment!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful, as always, Stacie! As Gabi competes in YAGP this weekend, the winter Olympics couldn’t come at a better time as a true testament to everything you said.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment on such a big weekend, Stella. How was the competition?

  6. Simon says:

    Really great as always. They were fun to watch.

    1. Thanks, Simon. I hope you’re back! My writing has been on the ebbing side lately, but I’m trying to change that. Hope you’re back to normal in GA by now…

  7. That slope style skiing is crazy. I don’t understand skiing backwards, let alone jumping and landing backwards. I have enough trouble walking backwards. Although my moonwalk is surprisingly solid.

    1. Bill, of course your moonwalk is solid. Duh. Stacie

  8. kaortega1120 says:

    Hi — It is my first visit to your blog — Loving what I am reading — Looking forward to reading more!
    ~Kristine
    Boston, MA

    http://www.kristinelivinginthemoment.blogspot.com

    1. Welcome Kristine! I go back and forth between being inspired on my blog and completely sarcastic depending on my mood and menstrual cycle. =)

      1. kaortega1120 says:

        Stacie — I believe we will get along just fine, then — LoL — Nice to connect w you!

  9. daniheart21 says:

    Sometimes it really is that simple. 🙂 Great post.

    1. Thanks Dani. Hope you’re well and smiling as always!

  10. Mom says:

    Stacie,
    That was a beautifully-written blog!! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the news media picked up more of the “happenings” that would positively influence the young people of today? To just realize the “I can do” of accomplishments would be great! What I also love is to see young people come out of nowhere to see success. I don’t know a thing about these three guys and that doesn’t even matter…..they did it from wherever they came and everyone is so proud!
    Love,
    Mom

    1. Hey Mom!
      Yes, the backstories on these three boys are incredibly interesting and inspiring. Thanks for the comment, it’s great to see you here.
      Lots of Love,
      Stacie

  11. bronxboy55 says:

    I vividly remember thinking and feeling similar things when I watched the US play the Soviet Union at the Lake Placid Olympics. I haven’t paid much attention to the Games since then, but I’m glad to know that kind of effect is still possible.

    Well-written, Stacie — no surprise there.

    1. The Olympics are a little more magical in my house because both of my girls snowboard. They’re still at that age where dreaming of being a Olympian seems like it could be real. I suppose one of the beauties of living in America is that it could. Hope you’re well and thanks for the visit and comment Charles. =)

  12. Great post Staciegirl. 🙂 xo

    1. I love that replay, Valentine, and I hope you’re hanging in there. You’ve been on my mind.
      xoxo

      1. Reply, not replay. Duh.

  13. jalsails says:

    We’ve watched the winter Olympics about 6 times now while on our annual ski trip to Dubuque. It’s fun to watch all of the kids on the slopes try to emulate the slick moves on the half pipe, attempt higher elevations on the ski jumps and challenge the notion that speed, weight, and gravity are somehow connected. This year our group wore red/white/blue scrunchies as arm bands on our jacket – we could’ve sold hundreds! Great fun to celebrate the simple notion that playing in winter games is fun whether or not you bring home a medal.

    1. Very true. I’m awestruck by the dedication, effort, and determination it takes just to get a seat at the table. To your point, medal or not, it’s amazing. =)

  14. Laura says:

    I love this! I am sadly out of touch with the Olympics because I’ve just been too busy, so now I have to look up what these guys did. But I realized on reading this, it could have been anyone, doing anything (maybe not even achieving the goal they set out for) and it would still be perfect.
    Great chatting with you in person, sister! Hope your hike was a good one — we had a fine time preventing Velma from killing geese at Wash Park. 🙂

    1. I hope she didn’t go after one in a half-frozen lake. That happened with Wrigley when we first got him. Not fun.

      So great catching up with you! I hope our great state treated you well. Can’t wait for the next potential visit…will be getting LitFest info to you as soon as it’s posted. =)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Gemini girl, the Olympics are indeed a great time to celebrate the achievements and efforts of our athletes, and to find strenght and will to excel in the spectacle. Even more inspiring, but much less covered in the media, are the paralympic athletes. I had the honor of accompanying the Canadian paralympic swimming team to the World championships in Christchurch New Zealand in 1998 and I have never seen a bunch of more inspiring young men and women (all countries included). If you ever have a chance to catch a summer or winter paralympic event, it’s well worth it. Seeing someone overcome huge physical disabilities and perform at world class level in highly competitive sports certainly puts our little aches and pains in perspective.
    Always a pleasure reading you.
    InPhiluencer

    1. I love your comments, Phillipe. Winter Park, where our family snowboards a lot, is a mecca for paralympic skiers. They have an amazing support system of employees and volunteers who ski with and train these incredible athletes. On any given day there are dozens of paralympic skiers on the runs. It never fails to amaze and inspire me when I see them, and I agree whole-heartedly, their hard work puts our small problems in perspective. Thanks for the read and comment, I always love seeing you here and hope you’re well. =)

  16. This reminds me of something my sister-in-law, Karen, recently shared on FB. It goes like this:

    Decide what it is you want.
    Write that sh*t down.
    Make a f**king plan.
    And.
    Work on it.
    Every.
    Single.
    Day.

    I don’t know who authored it, but it’s advice that we should all probably take if we ever want to achieve our dreams. I have a feeling that all the members of the U.S. Olympic Team probably have this tattooed on the inside of their eyelids.

    Great post. What a frickin’ surprise. 😉

    Love you, Bestie!

    xo

    MSP

    1. Dear BB,
      I like the way you said what I said even better.
      xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
      GG

      1. Dear BB,

        I only copied it and shared…and I like the way you say everything. That’s why you’re my BB.

        Gratis! Gratis! Gratis!

        xo

        MSP

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