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State Champion Spotlight: Julia Ramsey

Our next state champion spotlight is Julia Ramsey of Mt. Blue.  She was the 2017 Class A Freestyle and Classical state champion.  She had a very successful senior year after battling an illness during her junior year.  We asked her about these successes, her future plans, and her favorite part about skiing.

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?

I think my preparations for states were the same as any other nordic skier's would be. Lots of hard workouts and long practices starting in the summer, doing everything to stay healthy, sleeping well, and eating right are all part of the plan. As far as eating goes, I got some really great tips from @ournordicdiet on Instagram. 
2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
 I was very aware of my nerves (and how to control them) going into the state meet. I had thrown up before the previous two races (Oxford Hills sprints and KVACs), most likely due to nerves, and I was worried that would happen again. So going into states I just stayed focused on what skiing is to me. Skiing has been a stress reliever/mood booster my whole life, as well as a way to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. It is my priority to make sure skiing always remains that way, and that nothing ever makes it a burden, so that's what I thought about going into states. Also getting absolutely pumped. 
3) What was going through your mind at the starting line knowing that the conditions were soft and warm?
I was thinking about how I was probably getting a sunburn. I knew the conditions were rough, but I knew that we were all experiencing the same thing. Everyone was going to be overheated and in severe physical and emotional pain, I just had to give it that extra push where others might give up.  
4)  You have had a remarkable Nordic skiing high school career.  What do you attribute your fast races to?
I think a big part of my high school skiing success is due to the family I was born into and the community I've grown up in. I have been blessed with parents who love to ski, and was carried in a backpack on family skis before I could walk. I learned to ski pretty much as soon as I could walk from my parents, and then began skiing in our bill koch ski league. In forth grade I started skiing more seriously with Farmington Area Ski Team (F.A.S.T.), and then transitioned to skiing at Mt. Blue. I've had great, enthusiastic coaches throughout, and I'm so thankful that they've showed me how to truly love a sport. As the youngest in my family, I've also been able to watch my siblings ski, and their success in the sport really inspired me. And of course, there's lots of hard work, too. 
5) You came back and had a fantastic senior year.  What was it like finishing your high school Nordic racing with all of these successes?
It was amazing year. This was a really successful year for me and my team. This is the closest I've ever been to my team, and we really are just a big, giggly family, so it was a fantastically fun year. It was also amazing to have a full year of skiing, since last year I got mono and had to take a break from skiing for a while. I'm really excited to be ending my high school career this way. 
6) Your team won the state championships.  What was your reaction to winning? 
Yes! I was so incredibly proud. I've been with my teammates through the toughest workouts and midterms and happy moments and stressed moments. They worked so hard this season, and to see that all pay off was absolutely amazing. I couldn't be happier to be on the team I'm on with all these amazing human beings. 
7)  What are some of your best memories from ski racing this past season?
I think the best memories are skiing with my teammates. Whether we are going on long skis telling stories, doing intense intervals, taking rides up the lifts to ski down the alpine trails (#NST2017), or going on adventure powder skis, we are always having a blast. 
8) What is your favorite part about skiing and ski racing?
I love how smooth skiing is. It takes strength, but also significant grace. I grew up doing gymnastics, which instilled this love for the combination of strength and beauty into me, but found that gymnastics was really jarring on my body over the years. Skiing had the same beauty and flowing motion, while still harnessing great strength, but is much easier on my joints. My body always feels better during ski season than it does during other sports, not including all the sore muscles (ha!). I also just love skiing in the woods and spending time amongst the trees. A good ski in the woods during a snow storm can cure any ailment. 
9) What are your plans for next year?
 Who knows! I've applied to some colleges but will most likely take a gap year to travel, farm, work on a boat, or something of the like. 
10)   What were your goals for this season and did you achieve them?
My personal goals for the season were to improve my skate technique, not get sick, gain more shoulder strength, transfer power through my technique better, and podium at states. I think I achieved all my goals. I was really struggling early in the season to remember how to ski fast after taking half of the previous season off, but by the end I felt like I was really powerful and able to get my body to go fast. I didn't get majorly sick this year (phew!), and I made sure to hydrate as much as possible and take all my herbal supplements when I thought I was getting a cold. Quick shoutout to tea for always being there for me. Also nasal rinses and vitamin D. I had a very minor shoulder muscle annoyance through the season, so I wasn't able to do as much shoulder strength as I would have liked, but I still saw an improvement this year. And because I am writing this, it is clear that I achieved my goal of top 3 at states! All in all I am really happy with my season and how well my team did, and I can't wait to see how skiing works in to my future. 

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