When I committed to being a full-time ski racer, I had great expectations for what that commitment meant. It meant that I would make grander goals, I would get to travel more and go to school less. I would have access to incredible training in unbelievable venues. I would also have a legitimate excuse to fill my closet with strictly lycra based products.
Unknowingly (or ignorantly), I also committed to being broke. To many people, professional athletics inspires a vision of wealth and fame, one filled with Nike commercials, free sneakers and 24 hour traveling DJs (I’m looking at you, LeBron). For me, it means higher intake of cheap, processed carbs (so. many. tortillas.) and a greater appreciation for what it meant to afford clothes without lycra in them.
This year, despite the massive amount of work being done by the NNF, athletes like myself are responsible for footing a pretty huge bill to fund our aspirations. Even US Ski Team athletes have that responsibility, as funding during Olympic years sees little variance and can even go down (wait…what?)
Many of my contemporaries invest themselves (you see what I did there?) in the same old run of the mill techniques for fundraising—like sponsorships or part time jobs—but, as our country climbs out of the gaping oblivion of financial crisis, I think that now is a time for innovation.
After weeks of observing the world around me, I’ve devised a foolproof list of ways to fuel a fledgling ski career. Stopping short of prostitution and selling my organs (both of which, in the words of my good friend from school, are “right up there with babysitting as far doing very little and making a lot”), this list may just be the first step in a long, lucrative career:
1. Beg. Yes, there are such things as affluent beggers.
2. Hustle. All I need is a shaky entrance into the local master blaster’s club meeting. Next thing, smooth money.
3. Street performing. Ever seen a backwards rollerskier playing the harmonica while painting caricatures? With her feet? Upside down? Yeah, me neither.
4. Get really good at online poker.
5. Open a toll road.
6. Become a meth lord.
7. Rollerski 100 Kilometers through New York and Vermont with your teammates and ask everyone you know to donate to the cause (read:charity). Do it on August 25th. Promise to tweet and instagram your way through the day, which will inevitably lead to embarrassment and shame, but also massive amounts of entertainment (@anniePokorny, @anpokorn). Write hilarious blog posts before and after the events that say something about prostitution and meth.
Meh. On second thought, maybe I’ll get a part time job.