With six weeks of training under my belt, I asked JHMR athlete Griffin Post to take a high alpine excursion from the Aerial Tram into Cody Bowl.
Spending time in this mountain environment made for a great setting to consider what type of focus it takes to be an athlete. We enjoyed the easy run down to the Cody saddle, then put it in gear as we navigated the rocky and steep terrain that is so famously skied in the winter time.
Throughout the adventure with the beautiful peak as the backdrop Post and I chatted about skiing, training, failing and finding zen in running.
AC: You’ve had a very successful career as a pro skier– what keeps you focused each season?
GTP: I think the same thing drives me as a lot of other athletes: the idea performing better than I did the season before. Unfortunately, the type of skiing I do isn’t as easily objectively measured as other sports, such as running. That is, there’s not a clear end-of-year performance measurement that a lot of other sports have. To stay focused, I try to concentrate on what I did well the season before and what areas I’d like to improve on. This way, I’m constantly trying to improve against myself, which keeps things interesting and keeps me focused (just in case the whole jumping off cliffs thing doesn’t).
AC: Earlier this summer you created your own mountain marathon and didn’t finish – are you still determined to complete a big run this summer? (Note: For more details on Griffin’s run and a funny read, click here)
GTP: Yes, definitely. I bit off more than I could chew when I attempted a 26 mile traverse of Idaho’s Smoky Mountains, but I think it was more a matter of underestimating the terrain rather than the mileage. I have some plans around the Tetons for later this summer, but more than anything I want to redeem myself in the Smoky Mountains. While failing at something is always frustrating in the moment, in the long run it always serves as a really good motivator.
AC: Why do you run?
I was definitely the guy in high school that despised running. We’d have to do a 2-mile assessment at the beginning of each soccer season and it was by far my most dreaded day of practice all season. Now, I find it oddly meditative. For me it’s a great way to disconnect from everything that’s going on, even if it’s just for an hour or so. Also, with the amount that I travel, running is sometimes the only reliable exercise I can get. I’m yet to travel to a place where you can’t run.