|Ben and Austin|
|Erika, Sophie, and Annie|
|Capture the flag|
|My neighbor, Wyatt|
On Tuesday, Liz, Andy and I went up to Hanover to do some filming with News Channel 5. It was FREEZING outside and we all started the ski in our down jackets and warm up pants before overheating and then refreezing. News Channel 5 is doing some stories on potential VT olympians and they met up with Ida the following day. You can watch the preview to the story HERE. Being from Vermont is something I've always been proud of, but I hadn't considered how neat it really is that four out of the eleven of us on the U.S. Ski Team are from such a tiny little state. We're very lucky to have grown up in such supportive communities, so thanks News Channel 5 for taking the time to get us together and document our stories.
|Pretty VT morning|
|Lafe and Russel starting their timetrials|
|Andy, Eric, Simi, Ben, and Gordo with their handsome mustaches for November|
|Ben and I practiced the Dirty Dancing lift for our strength warm up the other day|
|picking up our skis from Caldwell Sport! Thanks Zach and Amy!|
|Dad looking all kinds of good on his rollerblades|
My sister, brother, and I get asked a lot of questions about skiing because of our last name. The common presumption is that because our last name is Caldwell, there must have been a lot of pressure to ski growing up. I'm not sure we always give them the answer they're expecting when we explain that we did have a choice, there wasn't much pressure, and having our dad as our coach was awesome. It would be easy to be a ski coach and have three children who all hate skiing by the time they reach high school. All you would have to do is pressure them to ski and give them unsolicited coaching advice from day 1. All three of us skied or are skiing through college and we all still love to ski. The reason we still love to ski is because our dad didn't pressure us. He was dad when he needed to be dad, he was coach when he needed to be coach, and because of that, we all fell in love with the sport for many of the same reasons he did.
Before a race, most athletes like to get psyched up and focused, and having my dad be there in coaching mode was exactly what I needed. Even though he isn't my primary coach anymore, I still like to picture his sound effects before and during races. His "zips, swishes, and whoops" probably sound like a different language out of context, but anyone who has had him as a coach knows exactly what they mean. Zip zip means light on your feet, swish means glide, and whoop whoop means quick tempo, in case you are unfamiliar with those terms of his. After the race is when it's usually nice to have a parent there for a hug and a high five. My dad was there for all of his athletes after their races, but he was also there for us as our dad. He wore the same twinkly smile when I finished my first BKL race and got my purple participant ribbon as he did when I finished my first World Cup race last year. I think it means something like, "If this is making you happy, it's making me happy.” Whether the goal is to make J2 festival or to podium at World Juniors, he makes achieving that goal feel like the biggest accomplishment in the world. That’s why he connects with each kid he works with.
I don't think being coach and being dad are mutually exclusive, but I do think it's difficult to be both, and it's even harder to be really good at both. You deserve this for so many reasons, dad. If there were a dad Hall of Fame, I'd nominate you for that too, and not only because you did it right for the three of us, but because I think you're a bit of a second dad to every kid who has gone through your program. Congratulations, we love you and couldn't be more proud!
|Ross Powers, Sver, and the Henrich girls at the induction|