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Essay

Simsbury Nordic Ski Team: Sometimes Just Toeing the Line is the Sign of a Champion

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The author, Simsbury's Marissa Klein, approaches the finish line in Saturday's skate race at Notchview Reservation in Windsor, MA. She is another example of why the team from south of the border is our favorite.

“I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again. You’re Never Gonna Keep Me Down”

By: Marissa Klein

It’s 4:30 A.M. on a Saturday morning, and my personal skiing anthem, Tubthumping by Chumbawamba, is blasting in my ear at full volume. Time to get up for skiing. I wake my friend Carly, who is sleeping peacefully next to me, and stumble over to my closet to pack a bag. I throw in the closest pair of neon spandex, whatever light layers I can find, my bib, and the tacky Christmas sweater I bought at Salvation Army for 99 cents. And so begins another Saturday of cross country skiing for Simsbury High.

Bouncing into the high school parking lot in Carly’s 1994 Jeep Wrangler, we mourn the fact that her car is sans heat on such a cold morning. As we park, step out of the car, and survey our surroundings, we can tell that most of our team is feeling the same way. Everyone is standing around rubbing crust out of their eyes with black ski bags tossed haphazardly over their shoulders. We maneuver our way around invisible patches of black ice, grab our own bags, and join the crowd of other skiers waiting to get on the two buses we need to house such an enormous team. Once on the bus, I pull out my zebra striped snuggie, curl up in my seat, and begin drifting off to the catchy music Buzzy our long time bus driver always has playing. I’m yanked out of my warm sleep by Mr. Mud screaming out attendance. His ever-present head lamp illuminates the names he’s belting out. Rob Heavner? A sandy brown ‘fro pops up a few seats in front of me. Here. Jane Henrich? She’s a freshman, probably on the other bus. Kyle Heubner? Oh, he’s excused because of a concussion. Not here. Miss Klein? I sleepily raise my hand and announce my presence. You’re skiing varsity today, Miss Klein.

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