An Inspiring Story about a Jr. Nordic Skier Lexi B. of Bedford, NH who qualified for Eastern High School Championships with only 2 years of racing experience in a town that does not have a traditional history of XC Skiing! Nothing is impossible and Lexi proves – it can be done!!
Three weekends ago, Jr. Athlete Lexi B. received a call from the NH State Eastern HS Championship Team Leader – that she would be joining Team NH to racing at the Eastern High School Championships in Chittenden, VT. This information came only 1 week from the race weekend and after Lexi competed in a series of two qualification races in the state of NH and obtaining a ranking in the top 25 skiers in NH.
A quick little bit about Lexi. Lexi is a late comer to the sport of XC Skiing having only started xc skiing in her 10th grade year at Bedford High School, NH under Coach Creagan. She was a quick learner who picked up the sport with ease/joy and moved up the ranks fast – despite many challenges.
After Coach C. moved to Maine, Lexi contacted NEET to continue coach her through her senior year – 2011/2012 ski season. Lexi set a personal goal to qualify for EHSC’s. Knowing this – Coach C. structured training and technique sessions around this goal.
Lexi devoted much of her summer/fall/winter ski specific training often training many hours in addition to her High School Ski Team schedule. Lexi worked hard to qualify and race with the best athletes in New England and successfully achieved her goal. Due to school academic demands, the high cost of gas and budget restrictions – she persevered through difficult training local training conditions in Bedford. When I say difficult – I am referring to the fact that much of the Northeast received little to no snow – “snow drought” conditions. She often was on dryland (running, biking, rollerskiing, etc..) through most of the winter getting in her training (a challenge to any skier).
I asked Lexi to share her reflections on the EHSC races (a series of 4 very hard races – in 3 days) and Lexi provided a great story below.
Lexi deserves special recognition for her sheer determination, mental strength, and perseverance to achieve greatness. GREAT JOB LEXI!! I look forward to seeing more xc skiing in her future as she prepares for college and possibly even long-endurance events! NICE JOB Lexi!!
Lexi B’s Eastern HS Championship Experience:
“My experience leading up to the EHSC’s was pretty rough at times. I was never much of an athlete, but when I found nordic (xc) skiing my sophomore year in high school, it became a part of me. Coach Creagan taught me how to be an athlete. How to eat, think, train and preform like the real deal. Nobody felt the same about skiing as I did so at times I would lack motivation while training alone. Coach Creagan was always there with a pep talk to remind me why I was doing this and that I would need to work hard to achieve my goals. When the 2011/2012 ski season started I was feeling ready to put my hard work to the test. I was absolutely crushed when I failed to score top 24 in the classic coaches series race due to sickness (I had the flu) and lack of on snow training. I took 40th place. I felt that there was no way to make up the point/placing difference in the next NH Series race to qualify me for the NH Eastern Team. I felt I had failed everyone and had written a training resignation e-mail to Coach Creagan. Minutes after I sent this – I received a call from her. She told me “don’t you dare give up!” She reminded me of all of my hard work and even if I didn’t make the Eastern Team, I should race like I was on team New Hampshire anyway. The next coaches series race (a 4K Skate Race) in Whitefield, NH – I was relaxed and reminded myself why I skied. I ski because I love the sport, not the competition. I needed to place in the Top 15 to qualify for a spot on team NH.
I was enjoying lunch with my teammates when I got a call from my mother saying I took 14th place (that might have been the best day of my life)!!
After receiving the call from the NH Team Leader that I qualified for the team – I drove up to Chittenden, VT to meet my team (none of which I had ever met) to spend 3 days racing. There was absolutely no snow when we pulled in and we were all wondering where the racing was going to be? Not too far from the Inn that we were staying at was a 1.6k loop of “man-made mush” that 200 racers were going to preform 4 races throughout the course of the weekend. The organizers put nitrogen on the snow to try and preserve it, but it ended up being the most memorable conditions I had ever raced in. No matter how difficult the trails were, we had tons of fun and really bonded as a team. We warmed up in the mud and fell in the slush, but it didn’t matter because we were all proud to be there. I was honored to be racing with such amazing athletes and at times felt unworthy of the High Flourocarbon and perfect Klister waxing (team coaches provided) on my skis. Then I remembered that we had all earned our spots here and shared a passion for skiing that brought us all together. It was an incredible experience and all of this taught me that even when the odds seemed impossible, never ever give up! I also learned to chill and just ski, even when the conditions were less than optimal, because its all in good fun!
Coach Creagan helped me realize my potential and because of her teaching and coaching, I will continue racing for the rest of my life.
Peace, love cadence and glide.” By Lexi B.