Who inspires you?

Of course there is no right answer… or rather no ONE answer.

I know this is going to sound super cheesy (feel free to roll your eyes)… but the people that inspire me the most are often the kids I get to work with.

This past weekend I got to help out with NYSEF’s paintball biathlon event.  We had racers as young as 6 years old!  Out east they have a special age group for kids 6 and under, they call them “lollipop races” and every finisher gets, yes you guessed it, a lollipop!

Well we had one little lollipop racer on Saturday.  Lillian, but she said I could call her Lilly.  She got to wear bib number one and was stoked!  She waddled up to me in her pink snow suit, pink fleece neck warmer up to her nose, and a hat that looked like a raccoon.  I knew we were going to get along just fine.  I told her I would ski the whole race with her and she replied “You better ski fast!”

She classic skied the whole thing without poles, no complaining, only laughing and lots of little ‘whoops’ when she would fall over.  But she would pop right back up and we would take off again.  It was snowing and windy.  She waved across the stadium area to her Dad who cheered us on from a distance.

They sent the kids out one at a time so the range wouldn’t be too congested and when Lilly saw another skier in front of us she insisted we try to catch them!  Alright!  We cruised as fast as her little legs would take us.  All smiles.

I got a hug and a high five and she got her pick of  the lollipops.  But more than that I got to watch her (and many other kids) enjoy racing.  Enjoy skiing.  Enjoy a little sweat.  Their enthusiasm is contagious.  I see these kids totally in love with a sport that took me so long to find and I can’t help but share their joy!  When I’m racing this upcoming weekend I’ll think about them and how much fun skiing is.  I’ll think about Lilly wanting to catch the big kids.  And I will be all smiles and laughs.  Like Lilly said, “Its ok if we are a little sweaty right now, we will be at the finish soon.”

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