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Sometimes you’re the HAMMER! 
yup, you’re the nail!  
Dewa experiences both this weekend!
pic by WF Master Student Kavik
of Team SteWa (Steve and Dewa) after both got podiums at Saturday’s 
Southwest Nordic Cup Series Opener in Pagosa Springs, CO.
The next day however?
Not so much!

Saturday, Season Opener for the 5th Annual Southwest Nordic Cup – Cloman Park, Pagosa Springs, CO

Thanks to CoVid,  Dewa is able to race this precious series of hardcore Nordic Races within our beautiful region.   Ilg was honored and Blessed to have won this Series in 2017 becoming the oldest ever Champion in the Series Cup history.

Ilg is even older now.

Sprung Dewa outta St. Columba half day on Friday so we could pack and pre-ski the Course on Friday evening.   Solid call.  The gro(om)ers of Pagosa Nordic worked yet another and sadly all-too-common miracle by creating a 5k and a 20k track on basically a few inches of snow.   Ugh.   Head bowed to Pagosa Nordic!   You did AMAZING!

The track  has been historically pretty stinking  flat and fast with only a couple of hundred of vert per lap.

We are used to much more.

In fact,  due to our typically super hilly courses,  those of us who grow up in Durango and the entire Western Region?  Don’t have the polished flat, fast technical savvy of the racers back East.  Today was such a demonstration in our lack of high tempo, high speed, rhythm, and balance.

Dewa raced the 5k and finished 2nd Female and 3rd OA.

Daddy raced the 20k and managed a 2nd AG and 11th OA.  The 20k was STACKED with Olympians, National Champions, and young National Class Skiers such as Travis Brown, Logan Moore, Caleb Thompson, Greg Lewis, et. al.   Okay, so maybe ilg invited many of these, yet was really pleased to finish 20k at over 10mph with only ONE speed workout after my epic 87,000′ of vert to win the Merry Vertmas last month.   i had the endurance for sure;  it’s just that my legs were no longer possessing ANY morsel of Fast Twitch or Tempo which is needed in Nordic track ski racing; especially the Freestyle Technique of which ilg is NOT a big fan.   ilg is all about Classic.

Yet,  stood up to the challenge and delivered well.

stoked for being Dewa’s Teammate in the Purgatory KNOW THE SNOW RANDO RACE,  an Up and Down Ski Race at our local area!

Sunday, 2nd Annual KNOW THE SNOW RANDO RACE, Purgatory Ski Resort

can ilg say how stinkin’ STOKED i was to wake Dewa up at 530a and drive up in dawn twilight to Purgatory to ski beside Her in Her first EVER RANDO RACE!?!?!

Rando Racing:   ski up downhill ski runs via climbing ‘skins’ which give traction for uphill movement before “ripping skins” (taking off the climbing traction ‘carpets’) and then skiing fast downhill.

Dewa had matured quickly in SkiMo (another term for Rando Racing, except SkiMo means, Ski Mountaineering, and involves much more technicality such as boot packing, extreme uphill and downhill terrain, including rock climbing, ice climbing, etc.  Rando is SkiMo without the technicality.).   knew that Dewa’s cardio and skiing skill sets would absolutely CRUSH on this 1,7–‘ vert climb into a GREEN CIRCLE (EASY) descent!    It was a beautiful morning!   Grandfather Sun peeked up and then over the Twilights to the east, illuminating the ski runs in a golden crush of Divine Light.   Dewa and i were stoked as we did our warm ups in the invigorating cold crash of air.  Racers multiplied.  Excitement built.  BOOM!  Our fastest wave of Short Course racers took off uphill!   Dewa delivered a 38-minute (!) ascent of Purgatory’s front face (you try it!) and we were SOOOO STOKED to be in FIRST PLACE as we ripped our skins and dive b(om)bed down the easy (for us) descent!

Yeah, well,  it’s all Go(o)d til it’s not, right!?!?

Dewa’s paltry 80lbs of bodyweight was not enough to compress our full fishscale mountaineering skis to the well groomed ski run and She was just FLYING at 30mph before i could even adjust!    by contrast?  ilg’s what Dewa calls, “Old Man Fatness,”  (150lbs) WAS compressing the fishscale into the snow and slowing ilg’s speed down.   Dewa got ahead… then, DAMNIT!    Dewa – in full on bullet tuck mode at 30+mph according to Garmin? – went SIZZLING PAST the Long Course/Short Course and She was careening down the Long Course at breakneck speeds!   OMG!   i was YELLING MY LUNGS OUT AT HER TO STOP….

800-meters later?

She did, thank God…


She was SOOOO stricken with confusion!  She was going too fast to see, let alone READ the small signage at 30mph!  7 minutes later?  we regained the Short Course,  and had fallen from First Place to…. God knows where….

Yet?  the Aparigraha Teaching?  did not end there!

after scrubbing ALL our speed after getting back onto the Short Course route?   while skating i looked under my legs to see if Dewa was still behind me, and?

my sunglasses fell out and onto the snow.

skidding to a stop,  had to ski uphill to fetch the glasses.  Dewa passed me and continued to ski fast downhill.

in doing so?


She skied so fast again,  She missed yet ANOTHER critical turn and skied another 800-meters before realizing She could not see any course markings….  catching up to Her,  i just dismally shook my head and said, “Baby Girl,  it’s all over, we gotta DNF.”


“Why Daddy?”  oh, the look of exhausted confliction, confusion etched into Her precious 13-year-young face… Her eyes penetrating into my Soul…

“You missed another intersection,  we’re supposed to ski under Lift 4 and now we’re all the way down at Lift 2,”

Ever the Warrioress, Dewa?

Was NOT about to give up…reckon She is one of those NEVER DNF babes that are tougher than all us c(om)bined, cuz at 13?   She is already a seasoned Warrioress that has yet to lay down Her Dharma Sword regardless of how intense, how enduring the trials….

“Okay, Precious First Daughter, lets FINISH THIS THING!” i yelled, well, SCREAMED as i took off once again skiing uphill with Her toward Lift 4,  which was at least 400′ higher…

ilg says to Course Marshall at Lift 4,

“We took the Scenic Route!”

“Oh no–did you get lost?”


“Well, you’re back on track, just ski downhill and there’s another Course Marshall in 100 yards!”

5 minutes and 800′ vert later?

Dewa and Daddy crossed the Finish Line…

no longer in First Place,

far, far fr(om) it…


We crossed the Finish Line.

And s(om)etimes?

As Warrior Athletes?

That’s what matters most:  Just Toeing the Start Line and?

Doing whatever it takes to cross the Finish Line.



even after losing a quarter HOUR on the Short Course?

we did not finish last!


Blessed Be Thy’s Sacred Sweat Mistakes!

Team SteWa will be back NEXT YEAR at this SAME RACE, and?

Well, just try to beat us.  Cuz?  We AIN’T gonna make THOSE MISTAKES again!


head bowed,


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