“I’m not a skier, I’m a person who skis.”
That was the refrain from my ski club coach during high school. Honestly, I didn’t get it. Or, maybe I did understand conceptually, but I just didn’t relate. I was a motivated 16 year old aspiring to make my regional team to the Junior Olympics (aka US championships). On the weekends I jetted around New England to ski races, I daydreamed about skiing, I jumped at the chance to ski around the field in front of my house at even the hint of the first snowfall of the winter. I was a skier. But I get it now.
I grew up in a small town in Northern Vermont amongst a tight-knit community of neighbors. I spent many of my waking hours outside, building forts at the edge of the woods, kicking a soccer ball around the field. On the weekends we took off on hikes in the Green Mountains, or to Craftsbury, Vermont to cross country ski. Soccer was an early favorite sport in the fall, and before long overtook little league baseball in the spring. When I was 10, at the urging of my bike-racing neighbor, I entered my first ski race - a 2-loop, 2km skate race. I felt pretty cool. Later that year I raced in the New England Bill Koch Youth Ski League New England championships and immediately solidified my love for this sport. I stopped playing basketball the following winter in order to race more ski races, and spring soccer didn’t last too much longer as I realized that to get faster I had to spend more time training in the off-season. By high school I was also very much interested in music, playing saxophone in the school band and jazz band and also informally with friends. In the summers I worked full time, building houses with my dad and his partners.
I attended Bowdoin College, a small liberal arts school in southern Maine, where I majored in physics, minored in music, raced on the ski team and played in a jazz combo. I had a short-lived stint in a classic rock/funk cover band, and spent a summer doing mechanical engineering research at Colorado State University and exploring the Rocky Mountains, and decided that I wanted to pivot toward engineering in the future. I applied for mechanical engineering masters programs and ultimately decided to attend the University of Minnesota the fall after graduation.
I thought for sure I would finish my program and leave to greener pastures (aka back to Colorado), but instead I became more and more fond of the Twin Cities. I spent grad school and a few more years employed as a research assistant at UMN, learning about aerosol science and particle technology and how to conduct research, and then got hired at the company that I still work for.
These days I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my wife and dog. By day I manage new product development projects, creating particle measurement instrumentation.
In my spare time, I compete in skiing and running races, bike around town, walk my dog by the lake, eat dinner with friends in backyards, take photos, travel to fun and exciting places, go to concerts and music festivals. My love for ski racing has never been greater, and I’ve finished the North American Birkebeiner 7 times in the past 7 consecutive years. Inspired by a night running with my good friend and now coach Adam St. Pierre (of ASTP Coaching), I’ve really gotten into trail running and have completed 3 trail marathons and a 50k. The list of races I’d like to race, places I’d like to visit, gear I’d like to try, and things I’d like to do gets longer every day.