Freshman Jaxon Rickel has never seen snow falling before in his life, but recently, the Arizona native has been spending a lot of time browsing through base layers, insulated gloves, and spandex tights. Aside from their utility in FOOT trips and other Colorado College necessities, these new clothes will serve Rickel well in his newest athletic endeavor. Once an avid trail runner, Rickel came to CC excited to try new outdoor activities after a tragic knee injury ended a promising career. Undeterred by his utter ignorance of what he was getting himself into, he decided to join CC’s new Nordic Ski Club.
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to CC, and a large portion of the student body is incredibly athletic. When I found out that CC did not have a Nordic Club, fellow Wisconsinite Alex Beutel and I began organizing and recruiting. Interested students ranged from complete newcomers like Rickel to junior national competitors. Rickel’s enthusiasm sets him apart from the run-of-the-mill high school racers I am used to. His passion for the outdoors and excitement to try something new is something of a trademark of both CC students and Nordic skiers.
Nordic Skiing is an endurance sport that requires strength, speed, balance, and finesse. The CC Nordic Club welcomes interested students of any experience level. Our goal is not to compete with cross-country skiing giants such as Middlebury or Alaska Pacific University, but rather, simply to get students on skis. I was team captain for three years in Wisconsin and am excited to continue helping skiers, whether that means teaching them how to get into bindings, how to V2 or step turns, or how to effectively apply kickwax for a race.
I will be running dryland (conditioning, strength, and balance off snow) practices for those interested in getting in shape prior to the season. Once the snow flies, we will ride the FUCC bus to the various ski centers around Colorado. I also hope to attend at least a few races throughout the season. Membership does not require a commitment to a certain number of practices; I am willing to take people out for just a day, or work with them for the next four years.
For students interested, contact me at Kayla.Fratt@Coloradocollege.edu or visit our Facebook page by searching for CC Nordic Club. We will be attending a ski swap in November for those who wish to buy gear.