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World Masters Champion helps women train for life

Each Friday, starting in early October, a diverse group of women have gathered in the late afternoon to prepare for the coming cross country ski season under the guidance of recent Stowe resident, 1972 Olympian and current age group World Masters Champion Trina Hosmer. Her only requirement for joining the group is a willingness to try. The idea for a womens only cross country ski event originates with the grandmother of all events, Norways Inge Lame, when approximately 5000 women gathered, many in traditional Norwegian dress, to celebrate cross country skiing with races / tours of varying lengths. The longest running all womens cross country ski event in this country is the Alaska Ski for Womens Day. The Alaska event is the model for the New England Womens Ski Day. This event, in its sixth year, is held in varying locations throughout New England, with Jackson, New Hampshires Ski Touring Center as this years destination during the last weekend of January. It was with this background that Hosmer had the idea to start a womens ski group last winter. Her primary reasons are that she strongly believes cross country skiing is one of a very few lifelong fitness activities and to fully appreciate it and benefit from the sport, one should have the basic elements of its technique. In her words: If I can teach women the basics of the kick and glide and they feel it just once, they will be hooked on it for life. The enthusiasm and subsequent improvement of all the women in last years group led them to ask if they could begin earlier this year. As a result they met throughout the fall to work on ski specific drills that emphasize balance and strength building exercises. On a cold, blustery Friday last December, 16 of the women took to their skis for the first time. The drills were typical in that they emphasized balance, weight shift and using the arms and upper body for propulsion not merely to hold oneself vertical. To practice balance and riding a flat (fast) ski the women first ski with no poles and when the legs scream aunt they switch to arms. In this drill the women propel themselves down the track using just their arms. Finally arms and legs are used to practice the different ski strides. Why bother with drills? According to Hosmer if you are going to be out on your skis then one should learn to ski. Walking on skis is not skiing. This requires practice, practice, practice and then more practice. Apparently the women understand this because they go back and forth and back and forth in a seemingly endless parade, totally focused and unaware that it is 15 degrees outside with a howling wind. Who are these women? Well, on this one particular day the participants included Nancy Davis, Moira Durnin, Sally Duval, Sue Emmons, Karen Goodhue, Kris Hathaway, Sally Howe, Mila Lonetto, Cindy MaKechnie, Carrie Nourjian, Dee Reaver, Phyllis Rubenstein, Lexi Shear, Cece Teague, Carol van Dyke and Karen Westervelt. Attendance is optional and over the course of the fall 30 different women have attended. Among the group are doctors, dentists, lawyers, nurses, teachers, counselors, and the towns resort oriented businesses. Why do they train? They each have goals to be better skiers and more importantly, they train for life.

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