Fast. Female. Fierce. Sparkly. Sweaty.

A week ago, thanks to amazing organizing and hard work from Liz Stephen, we pulled off a record-breaking attendance at the annual Park City Fast and Female event! We had 190 girls out having fun, being active, getting to meet ambassadors from all types of winter sports and hear inspirational stories.

The girls listening to ambassador talks about competing in sport (USSA photo)

True to form, I got to run the “Dancing with Diggins” station, but now it should be named “Dancing with Diggins and Hopping around with Hart”, because Anne Hart led the other part of our station, where the kids followed her around a loop and did ploys, lunges, hops and high-skips!

Annie leading the girls in a warmup! (photo by Lauren Fritz)

In between laps, I would teach a few moves of a dance at a time, and after 15 minutes the girls had learned a new dance and were tired out from all the jumping around! We got tired, too. :) But it was totally worth it! It was really fun to see smiles on everyone’s faces and see girls willing to learn something new and give it a try.

We also did some stretching afterwards! (photo by Lauren F.)

The other stations included ski jumping, snowboarding, mountain biking, speed-skating, biathlon, aerials on the trampoline, and alpine slalom courses.

Girls trying out simulated G-forces in speed skating (photo by Lauren F.)

At the end of the event, we signed the girls posters (and some hats, too!) and got lots of pictures. I hope to see everyone back next year!

Signing event posters for everyone! (photo by Kikkan)

It’s funny because one day I’m dressed in pink and glitter and dancing around in a skirt, and the next day I’m still dressed in pink but I’m skiing all-out on the treadmill during testing until I fall off. It’s not an either-or situation for me. I don’t have to choose between being girly and loving chick-flicks and wearing pink sometimes or skiing hard and fast. I can do both! And that’s one of the messages I think it’s so important to pass along to young girls in sport…you don’t have to stop being active and competing and going all-out because you’re worried about fitting in at school or looking “girly”. You don’t have to stop trying to win races because you’re worried people will see you as intimidating. You can lift weights and run incredibly far distances and still wear glitter or whatever you want and look cute. Or not. It’s your choice. The point is, it’s YOUR choice, and you don’t have to drop out of sports if you don’t want to.

So! The next day, we started in on our yearly testing. I had a classic max test on the treadmill, and wow did that ever hurt. But Matt and Cork said I kept my technique together for longer than I have before, which is something I’ve been working really hard on this summer: keeping it together even under a lot of stress. So that was a small win for the day! String enough small wins together and it starts adding up to fast racing, and I’m psyched because everywhere I look I see my teammates chalking up more small wins in strength, in technique, in intervals and long distance skis.

There are a TON of balloons in Park City. One landed right outside the COE!

Camp is just starting so I need to keep my excitement at a sustainable level, but it looks like it’s going to be a great 2 weeks out here in Park City. The sun in shining, the pavement is great for roller skiing, we have a bunch of teams out here to join in some training sessions and the coaches are ready to roll as always. Happy fall training, everyone!

Some poppy fall colors from back out east.

-JD
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