Thursday, January 27, 2011

Life is Good: Nordic Version

Today's Nordic ski meet at Riverside was held on a beautiful, sunny afternoon atop a fresh snowfall (and thankfully not as cold as the beginning of the week). The results are not yet in, but both boys and girls skied hard. Nordic meets are always energizing for me because everyone truly is out there to cheer on everyone else, without regard to their team or how they're doing.

What stood out today was the deep team spirit exhibited by the Portland skiers. The girls skied first, and the boys' start waves came a few minutes after the last of the girl starters. The girls all stuck around to urge their teammates to finish strong and to cheer in all the boys as well. When one of the girls suffered an asthma attack mid-course during her first-ever race, one of her teammates stepped out of her own race and stayed with her until help arrived.

An extra special surprise for the middle school skiers was the appearance, as they came around to a big hill, of a cadre of wildly cheering Portland Nordic high school skiers. They had stayed after their practice ended, and they were led by FSP alumna Quinn Lavigne. When I thanked Quinn, she said she liked doing it because she remembers how much it meant to her when she was a middle school skier to have high school kids pumping her up as she gave it her all.

Is it like this everywhere? I don't see it on the lacrosse field. I didn't see it in the swimming pool or at the skating rink. Is it just our league, or is it Nordic itself? Is it being out in the cold yelling ourselves hoarse even as our toes freeze? Whatever it is, Go Nordic!!

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