This year’s Canadian Ski Marathon not only brought hundreds of determined skiers of all ages, but it also meant the second annual CSM Fast and Female event! Earlier this fall, the XCOttawa women were contacted by F&F looking for someone to be an ambassador/facilitator for the event. With my experience as a coach with Chelsea Nordiq’s young athletes as well as my own ski experience, I figured why not!?
Fast and Female has meant a lot to me throughout my ski career. I remember watching Chandra Crawford win her gold medal in Torino and before that, watching Beckie Scott win her gold medal in Salt Lake; my nose inches from my TV screen. I remember being so inspired to get out and train and race my absolute best, hoping to one day be as amazing and strong as my heroes. However, as I grew older, more and more of my friends stopped skiing, in fact, they stopped all sports and left me feeling self conscious and confused. They were celebrated at school for being pretty and skinny; lunch became a ‘who could eat the least’ competition and let’s not forget the “girls with muscles are gross” comment I got from a boy in my class. As the only girl left in my ski club, my brain was telling me to move on, skiing was not something girls should take seriously, but my heart remembered how much I absolutely loved skiing. It was time to jump out of my shell and make new friends. I switched clubs. three times. Searching for and following girls I thought would make awesome training partners and friends. Finally with XCOttawa, I found what I was looking for. A team that absolutely defines what it means to be Fast & Female. We push each other to be our bests in training and racing, with hugs at the finish line. Not only that, but I have learned that racing fast does not mean giving up the girly part of myself. Doing each other’s nails and braiding each other’s hair (for super aerodynamic race hair of course) makes the whole experience that much more fun. Fast and Female has taught me that girly, although our society is constantly trying to tell us otherwise, does NOT equal weak. Female = strong, female = resilient, female = world domination.
Now as a coach, I try to instil the values that Fast and Female has taught me, in my young girls AND boys. Watching such a large group of fourteen/fifteen year olds fall in love with racing and just as importantly form life lasting friendships and support systems is absolutely magical.
At this year’s CSM Fast and Female event I got to meet the younger generation of skier girls in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. The girls were all around 10 years old, and came ready to learn, sing and of course paint their faces with glitter. The event was held at the Chateau Montebello with myself and three other ambassadors running the show.
Maddison Mackenzie; a member of the Canoe/Kayak national team, a gold medalist in every K1 event she entered at last year’s national championships and an incredible woman I had the fortune to watch grow up from my home town of Chelsea Quebec.
Rosanna Tomuik; a former national water polo team member. Rosanna is now a performance consultant in the corporate world as well as an extremely talented recording artist.
Joelle Bekhazi; a current national women’s water polo team member and Rio Olympic hopeful.
The combination of these three incredible ambassadors as well as about thirty eager and excited girls made for an awesome Power Hour event! It was a great experience filled with goal setting, dreaming, nutrition talks and singing. I am very thankful to have been a part of it.
Make sure you check out the Fast and Female website and support this ever expanding organization. http://www.fastandfemale.com
Spread the love. Dominate the World. :)
Yay for Fast and Female!
Some 'Dream Big' goal setting
Singing along with Rosanna
The lovely ambassadors