BRAIN FOOD: We'd love that job - Downhill skier

Kirsten Clark, ski racer, US National Team

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do?

My job involves lots of training on the hill in winter and a lot of conditioning - cycling and weight-lifting - in the summertime. To be a good skier you have to be physically strong and agile, but everything boils down to your mental attitude. Believing in yourself makes the difference between winning and coming 10th. The race season starts in November in North America, after which I'll travel to Europe. The season finishes in March after the US Nationals. I love the travel, although it's hard to be away from home for so long. But it's worth it for a job that I love. I love the sport - being outside in the fresh air, skiing down the mountain. There's nothing like it. The competition part is inside of me - I was always trying to catch up with my brother.

How did you get the job?

I learned to ski when I was three with my brother on Sugar Loaf mountain. I was picked out at high school to join the US junior ski team when I was 16. I have been on the national team for 10 years now.

Does reality match the dream?

Not really. When we're on the road training in Colorado, we usually ski two trails on a mountain - warm-up and racing. It is beautiful, but at the same time we are not able to ski where we please on the mountain - we don't have the time to explore and go where we like.

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