Keep her in the game

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Avital Shimko.

2018.

Steamboat.

I am hungry.

I am confident.

I am myself.

Earlier in the year I got a phone call to be a part of an event, Keep Her in the Game, which would be hosted on March 30th. When I received this phone call, I was hesitant. I had never spoken in public, and I for sure never opened up about the hardship of sport and why we put our bodies through what we do. I was absolutely terrified, but I said yes. I said yes because this has been an ongoing fear of mine for a long time, and I had a new obstacle to overcome.

When I got to the spotlight I was given a microphone. We watched a motivating video with the crowd before starting our panel discussion. I think my heart rate spiked to about 170 bpm. I was so nervous I thought about running to the bathroom in the back, laying on the cold tile ground, and crying. BUT… I didn’t! I started nervously talking; until I realized – it wasn’t that bad! It was really cool to see the audience listen to your story with bug eyes. You never think your story is interesting because you are living in it, its your life. But to others it is eye opening.

We covered subjects like:

How did you get into your sport?

What would you tell your high school self?

What is a challenge you have overcome?

^ ^ This question stumped me… I answered with a simple challenge that I had overcome, about a tough conversation I’ve had with one of my coaches. …but after everyone else answered I chimed back in because I realized that I was living in a challenge of coming back from injury. It blew right over my head, because like I said earlier, I was living in it. I told my story. In short – dreaming of making the US Ski Team for years and years and finally getting there. And a few months after I got there, I got injured, I had to put this dream on pause for a hot minute. The audience got teary, as did I.

Talking about why I do this, and wanting to achieve all my goals makes the grind easier. Expressing that with kids, and showing them what grit means was empowering.

I think about this event every day. Not only did it inspire the next generation of athletes, but it inspired me. I’m so happy I said yes to that phone call.

Thank you Karen for this opportunity I will always remember and be influenced by!

3 thoughts on “Keep her in the game

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