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Wild Rumpus Sports

5,000 Push-Ups

About this time last year I was lying face down on the shag carpet of the upstairs hallway in our West Yellowstone rental having been knocked out by an aggressive fever-inducing head cold. Below me I could hear the chatter of my teammates and family preparing a Thanksgiving Feast/birthday dinner to celebrate the holiday and my 26th year of life. Although I couldn’t smell a thing, I imagined the aromas of turkey and apple pie wafting up the staircase while I blew my nose into a nearby tissue. I was incredibly grateful that, despite my inability to contribute anything productive to the celebratory dinner, my family and teammates made a drool-worthy feast complete with pie AND birthday cake and I was surrounded by some of my most favorite humans. Plus my elbow was nearly healed and I knew good things were in store for the next year.

Enjoying West Yellowstone this year with a few of my favorites, Natalie and Anya!

This year things feel a bit different.

One, I am healthy! I am incredibly thankful for strong bones and clear lungs and to know that when I hit the start line this winter I am more prepared than I have ever been.

Two, I’m a lot stronger. Although progress is sometimes hard to measure in skiing and often feels like two steps forward one step back, I know I am stronger. Strength was one of my biggest goals for this season and, with the help of John at Altitude Athletics in Bozeman and some dedicated time in the gym, my arms look a little less like twigs this year.

Three, I have (almost) 5,000 push-ups in my future.

This year, in lieu of the Annual SMS Ski-A-Thon, I embarked on a one month fundraising adventure to generate $5,000 for the 2016/17 season in exchange for 5,000 push-ups. Thanks to a handful of generous donors I am more than halfway to my fundraising goal (and already calculating exactly how many push-ups I will need to do each day in order to complete the challenge). It’s my version of The November Project and works to accomplish the twin goals of funding and fitness. Funds raised through the November Project help me bring my best self to the start line every weekend rather than spending extra energy trying to figure out how to pay for it.

In addition to making me do push-ups until my arms fall off, every donor who contributes during the month of November will also be featured on my race hat at some point during the season! The community that supports me day in and day out are the real MVPs and I want to recognize each of you for the contribution you have made to helping me get closer to my ski racing goals! Plus, every donor is entered to win an Erika Flowers custom buff, Toko drinkbelt, or Rudy Project sunglasses. Click HERE to donate before December 1st or check out the November Project tab on my personal blogsite to learn more.

Sun run with Natalie above the not so snowy Bozeman

So at the top of my Thanksgiving list this year are the many people who have supported me along the way, whether through a kind word, note of support, loud cheer on the trail or donation to one of the annual fundraiser events. I’m also incredibly grateful for the many families (my own included-thanks Dad and Melissa, Jeanne and Greg!) and individuals who have shared their time, talents, houses and incredible cooking with our team to make life on the road feel a little bit more like home. You make this pursuit of sport at the highest level possible and your belief in the dream gets us that much closer to it every single day! Thanks for following along!

Thankful for trails and places like this

And sponsors who send the cutest good luck packages for winter! Thanks Skida!