Elite athletes of professional and Olympic caliber tend to have a different concept of “downtime.” When it comes to the offseason, most continue to travel to find the best snow, waves, or whatever be their sport and passion. While there may be more “breaks” in the schedule, the training never stops. Resi Stiegler is no exception, and she balances the intensity of her training, with downtime from wintry mountain life to the warm ocean where she travels in the off season to spend time surfing, wind surfing and stand up paddling, living life with passion, adventure, creativity, in harmony with nature, and in the NOW.
Resi is recognized as an accomplished Alpine Ski Racer on her way to continued successes. She has been a part of 6 World Championship Teams, the US Ski Team for 12 years, and has competed for the US at the Olympics in Torino and Sochi. Born and raised on the mountain at Jackson Hole in Wyoming, skiing has been a way of life for Resi since she was just two years old and racing since age six. Her father, Josef Stiegler was also an accomplished three time and gold Olympic Medalist Alpine Ski Racer, competing for Austria.
We need to dig deep and find who we really are. As much as I love the social part of things I think we need to get back to earth and nature and find who we really are and be proud of it.
Sasha Frate: You were raised in the mountains at Jackson Hole, and it seems nature has truly become a critical element in your life. Do you believe we can be inspired from nature itself? How has this concept affected you and your life?
Resi Stiegler: I think growing up in Wyoming and spending every day outside really built my love for nature. I think it’s why I love skiing so much and traveling the world. To be on the top of mountains from Russia to Switzerland and New Zealand is really powerful. Nature is for sure one of the most inspiring things for me. I love to travel the world and see all these amazing places that some people never get to see.
SF: What different sports or physical activities do you incorporate into your life and training in the off-season from skiing?
RS: I love trying anything new. With my injuries I was able to spend a lot of time in Hawaii and learned to windsurf surf and SUP (standup paddle boarding). I was a really good swimmer as a kid so ocean life came easy! I love exploring new mountain routes, finding secret lakes, and camping in the woods. Any adventure I am up for!
SF: Describe a day in the life of Resi Stiegler when in full on training for a competition. What is a “light” training day like?
RS: For competition, I usually get up early and let my body naturally wake up. With all the injuries that I’ve had it helps to just get the body moving a lot earlier. I often take my tea and get outside and walk around. Pilates, quickness, and lots of free skiing to really get pumped up, and I try to stay very calm on race day. I am a very excitable person so I need to keep calm. I eat a lot, especially during a race. I burn so much energy and I need to keep replacing it with healthy energy building foods. I have Celiac’s as well so my day revolves around good food and important planning so I don’t get hungry.
SF: How does in season training differ from the off-season?
RS: In Season Training is a lot more mellow. It’s more about recovery and maintenance. You train all summer to get as strong as possible but then in the winter you can’t go to the gym all day every day because you are skiing. You end up spinning on the bike a lot and stretching and doing a lot of balance and proprioceptive work.
SF: Beach life is quite different from mountain life, especially with the contrasting elements of brisk cold air and snow with the hot sun and salty waves, and it seems your life allows you to get a nice balance of both. What do you love most about your time spent in the sun and waves?
RS: I think it’s important to have balance in your life. Too much mountain life can leave you weathered and tense. I enjoy spending my off seasons like spring in the sun. Salty waves, over load on sun and walking in the sand is a great way to recharge the body, detox your life, and get some extra Vitamin D in your life. Swimming, surfing, and windsurfing are fun other sports to add to life when you are constantly doing impact sports, and to try new things are good for the brain.
SF: Most people dismiss skiing or snowboarding during the summer, since many resorts close for the season. There are some sweet spots however, that keep those lifts running! What are some of your favorite mountains to ski in the summer?
RS: We migrate down to Chile and New Zealand for training in the summer months and luckily most of the glaciers are good to ski on in Switzerland, Austria and France. I love Sass Faa and Zermatt the most….
SF: What is your approach with nutrition? How do you feel that nutrition affects your performance, and do you eat differently during off-season?
RS: I am from Wyoming and was raised on eating steak for breakfast. I have come away from eating an entire elk over the winter… hahaha. I believe in Balance. For me I know my body does best on grains and greens. I have an allergy to gluten, so I have to be really careful and make sure I am getting enough protein for what I do. In the off-season sometimes I can eat a bit different. More salads and more sweets hahaha. It’s good to change it up, I eat a lot of fish and fresh veggies and fruit on the island which is a nice change from winter meats and potatoes. I like eating for the season.
SF: Your website is a beautiful blog with a collection of fun and amazing photos and writings. One of your writings that struck me was where you talk about being raw and finding the animal in oneself. What inspired you to write this piece?
“I love the raw. A fresh wound is so wet and it stings and its magical how your heart almost jumps out of your blood as it spills out of the fresh cut. It’s a beautiful color. That color of real raw intensity. It’s too real for some. I like that part of humans. The animal part. Find it and run with it. Make stress caffeine, make hate love and make your brain go wild. Let it run and become something real something raw and free. Something of your own. Own it and make you yours. Don’t be the shadows a coffin wishes it had.”
RS: For me writing is freedom on the road. I need it. In this particular time I was tapping into our animalistic traits and how we don’t use our instinct enough. We are animals, we need to be more like them. We need to dig deep and find who we really are. As much as I love the social part of things I think we need to get back to earth and nature and find who we really are and be proud of it. Hope that makes sense….
SF: I would like to mention one more blog writing of yours that you titled “State of Mind,” where you talk about stepping away from the grind to rebalance, regroup, to “change to freshen up your mind body and soul.” It seems people are often on such a fast pace in their lives that they tend to skip this vital rejuvenation element, instead running themselves ragged. What type of things do you do to refresh your mind, body, and soul, and what are the benefits you experience from taking this time away from routine?
RS: Being so active and energetic and traveling the world like crazy has its downs. You get run down and that is usually when I get tired or hurt. So I think it’s important to step away. Obviously people have to get stuff done, but I think its important to either pick a moment in the day for you and to tap into what you love, what inspires you, what makes you better, and what helps you to stay grounded and live a great life. So for me it’s those little moments I allow for myself, or force myself to have that keep me going.