The Power of a Club

When I think back on how many times I’ve done bounding intervals up Stratton it’s mind blowing. I’m sure it started as an epic workout when I was a 13 year old attending the SMS summer training camps, but since then it has grown into a staple of the SMS club and something that is much more meaningful for me. I realized this more than ever on Thursdaywhen the team braved the hottest and most humid of conditions for our bounding intervals joined by a Swedish ski club from Sundsvall.

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This group of speedy juniors from Sportringen Ski gymnasium has been training with us for the past 10 days, which says a lot about how far the SMS club has come since those early days of junior camps and those first few bounding workouts I ever did up Stratton.  Having these two clubs training together says a lot about how far we’ve come, and is extremely meaningful for guys like Sverre and I who have always dreamed of creating a successful Scandinavian style club here in the US.

The Scando ski club model is a simple but effective one based on creating a development pipeline for skiers from the young BKL youth skier age all the way up to Olympic caliber. Here at Stratton we have always had a strong youth program, which starts with the West River Nordic BKL program and the super fun junior ski camps during the summer.  The same camps that taught me how to begin to train as a full time a skier and motivated me to attend SMS for high school.  Now that the senior team has had a few years to establish ourselves it feels like the SMS club has finally rounded out that desired Scandinavian model.

unnamed-1Thursday’s sweaty interval session is a perfect example of that and a testament to our club, considering a group of Swedish skiers traveled all the way to the US to join in.  It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn from one another.  As for the Stratton kids it was just another lap up the mountain just like we have done several times already this summer. The older kids bounding from behind so that for each interval the younger kids can hop in and join an interval with National and World Cup champions. A massive group of 25+ athletes from J3’s to old guys like me working with one another and cheering each other on which for these kids, I’m now happy to say, is just like any other Thursday.

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