Lori Augustine: The Starting Gate
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
I am a long way from Ohio and even farther from New York City.
Two winters ago, I was a novice skier in every sense of the word. I could count the number of ski days in my life on two hands. Back east, it was a random weekend road trip to Killington, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Mt. Snow or Lake Placid, if you were fortunate enough. So why am I here? My lifestyle in New York City … rock star! After 20 years there, it was time to check out. An October getaway to Jackson Hole, Wyo., was an awakening to what life truly had in store for me. I experienced four seasons in one day and I had never before been so moved by Mother Nature. With my eyes wide open, possibly for the first time in my life, I had to find out where I could live and encounter that same experience on a regular basis. The clap of thunder, the brilliant sunshine, the rain, snow and rainbows that followed clearly surpassed my love for the city, inundated with sirens, horns, jackhammers and the occasional cat calls. So, I made the move like many of you before me.
What could I possibly have to say about the Aspen Times Town Race Series that kicks off its 31st season on Jan. 14? If you don’t know already, it is the longest-running town race series in the country! And what on earth do I know about it? Well, we have to backtrack again … not certain that the winter would ever keep me here, I was truly committed to sitting in The living room at The Little Nell awaiting family and friends to finish their day on the mountain. Little did I know that I would be the one who would finish out the first ski season of my life with 103 days! I got the pin, I got the accolades and those close to me thought that I had literally lost my mind. How did I do it? I didn’t know how to ski. I never had a lesson, and I didn’t know how to carve a ski or arc a turn in the snow to save my life. So I bought my Premier Pass and a locals clinic pass and went to work.
I jumped into every locals clinic that I could get my hands on, and the ski school of talented pros inspired and challenged me in every way. Thanks Didi! But, there was one locals clinic that I attended that fundamentally changed my skiing. The Tache Introduction to Racing clinic. No experience necessary … clearly I qualified. Mike Tache, director and head pro, hails from a true Aspen skiing dynasty. He and his elite coaching staff of Nad Luchetta, Ben Stonebraker and Mike Whalley are passionate for the sport and work diligently to help others master the techniques of great skiing. Did I have any expectations of racing? Hell no! But after that clinic my first winter here, I decided that year two I was going to dedicate my season to become a better all mountain skier through the Tache Racing Program at Aspen Highlands.
I had to learn to breathe, relax and LET IT RIDE! The gate-related drills, exercises, video analysis and mind/body awareness techniques were endless, but the learning curve was quick. The individual attention is unique and the experience and dedication of the pros of Tache Racing catapulted me from a beginner skier to a speed racer in the Aspen Times Town Race Series. Winter 2011, I was the bronze medal winner in the women’s recreational division and placed third in the women’s division of the Bootech Super Combined. Thanks, Mike, I never could have done it without you! The Tache Racing Pros have become family and the experience is beyond amazing. For program details go to tacheracing.com or email Mike directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Aspen tradition for over 30 years … be boundless.
Lori Augustine is a certified personal trainer and instructor in the Roaring Fork Valley. To learn more about Lori, go to mintconditioning.com. To read about the Aspen Times Town Race Series, please visit aspentownraceseries.com or call 970.544.3005
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Winter sports practices were officially allowed to begin last week, Jan. 18, after the Colorado High School Activities Association was given a variance from the state’s health officials. Games were allowed to be played starting this week.