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Thursday, March 29, 2012

It Was All About a Boy

Crystal Ridge Ski Patrol-I'm right in the center

"Sometimes our lack of confidence keeps us from trying things we could easily master if we could summon up the courage to get started."-Tony Stoltzfus

When Tom Held interviewed me last week he asked why I started running. I told him I started running to become a better skier.  What he didn't ask was why I started skiing and it was all about a boy.

A college boy actually.  I was an 18 year old freshmen, just pledged to the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. One of my sorority sisters was dating a member of the Engineering Fraternity Triangle. I was meeting her up in the Triangle office and as I was walking in, he was walking out. It was love at first sight.... well for me anyways,

We'll call him Mr. Triangle and  I was later to find  out was the object of most of my sorority sisters crushes.  Never mind, we had lots in common because we both worked as chem techs. He was a Chemical Engineering student and I was majoring in Chemistry. 

One day I worked up the courage to ask him to my sorority fall formal. He said no and it didn't even bother me.  I was so excited that I actually had the courage to ask him, that it didn't matter that he said no. I was thrilled I took the risk and I was so proud of myself.

It was the feeling I still get every time I take a risk. Like the time I jumped off a cliff into the ocean in Kaui.  The exileration is intoxicating.

I found out soon after he was a skier.  Several of his frat brothers were heading to a local ski hill and invited my friend Ginny and I along.  Since it was their first night skiing for the season, they dumped us on the bunny hill with no instruction..  I spent the whole night getting up and falling down, but I was hooked.  

I got a few lessons and got to ski well enough to ski many nights and quite a few vacations skiing with Mr. Triangle, his frat brothers and our mutual. friends.  Mr Triangle did everything well including skiing. If athletic grace was a term in the dictionary, his picture would be next to it.  

I have never been a natural athlete at anything. So I knew I needed to improve my skiing. Friend Lynette was a little sister of Triangle and a runner. When she invited me to go running I knew it was the ticket to improve my skiing. Just so happens Mr. Triangle was also a runner and we would just happen to work out at the University track while Mr. Triangle and his buddy were running. I thought well if he sees me, he will just be smitten.

Not so much since I looked like I was about 12 years old when I was in college. He would have been a pedophile if he had been attracted to me.

 Well he never did fall in love with me....I got over my crush and we became really good friends.  Over 30 years later I'm still running and skiing. I have been a member of the National Ski Patrol at Crystal Ridge for over 25 years.  

Volunteering as a First Aid instructor got me my start as a professional trainer.  Mr. Triangle now lives in Boston and has been married for 20 years and has two beautiful children. Hoping to connect with him in a few weeks.

So you never know what influence your  life may have on someone just by doing the things you do  or what will happen if you are brave enough to take a risk.  So be brave and take that risk, whether it's asking someone out, jumping off a cliff, pointing your skis downhill or applying to the Boston Marathon.  Think big and be brave.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

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