By Warner Nickerson
As the season comes to a close, the NASTAR resorts’ snowbanks and perfect pistes begin to melt into strands of grass, flowers and the beauty of spring. It’s a bittersweet time for many. But if nothing else, it’s a moment where you get to take a deep breath of fresh air and think about the NASTAR season behind you.
My favorite part of the end of a ski season is “Fat April.” Coined by a former coach and longtime dear friend of mine, Carolyn Beckedorff, Fat April is a month of giving your body a break from the rigors of travel, hardship and competitive racing. There is no doubt in my mind that individual sport — where you are tested day in and day out — is the most intense and grueling industry in the world. Fat April is a chance to stop eating crappy food on the road. You can cook, eat, drink and be merry. It’s a month to give your body some time to repair itself from a tough season.
Fat April is also life-summit time after a long NASTAR season, evaluating every aspect of your existence. So here’s the Fat April Challenge: your moment to focus on you and nothing else. Are you ready?
Step 1: Sit down. During the month of doing what makes you happy while balancing everything else in your life, you need to sit down and answer some hard questions. It’s time to sketch out your summer. It’s far too often in life and in work that we’re reacting to our situation rather than executing our strategic plan.
Step 2: Start asking the hard questions. This is your chance to fully evaluate your NASTAR season. Where did my best performances come from? Why did I perform well there? Who was there or who wasn’t there (parents, friends, significant other)? Do I perform better when certain coaches are at the start? Was training or mental preparation a factor? What made me truly happy this season? When was skiing effortless? Should I spend more time focusing on nutrition or supplements? What’s the best type of conditioning program for me?
Step 3: Create a new NASTAR plan. This step is about looking at your answers and creating a new plan for having the most fun while racing fast in NASTAR. Maybe you don’t change anything, or maybe during this process you’ll realize that you need to move on to something else, but whatever you learn, it will take you to a better, happier place. Focus on what you need to perform NASTAR at your best, and then rigorously follow your new plan. The spring and summer months are your chance to elevate your NASTAR game to a higher and more intense level.
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