Sliding into Winter, Teachers’ Favorite Sports

Nico Marvin, Sports Editor

Spanning 4,349 miles, and reaching a peak height of 22,838 the Andes mountains in Chile are ancient beasts. Speeding down one of the mountains on the chain, weaving in and out of trails comes a snowboarder.

The snowboarder continues to rocket down the mountain towards the bottom. This snowboarder is English teacher Ms. Tessa Weghorst. 

 Ms. Weghorst has traveled all around the world on several continents. In America, she has boarded mountains from coast to coast. She has carved turns across many famous mountain faces, including Heavenly Mountain, which crosses two borders, California and Nevada. 

The Remarkables- Otago, New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Ms. Tessa Weghorst.

Closer to home, Ms. Weghorst has snowboarded at Snowshoe Mountain located four hours away in West Virginia. At Snowshoe, unlike most resorts, snowboards and skiers start at the top and slide down to the bottom, instead of starting at the bottom and taking a long lift ride up to start the day. 

But that’s not all. Ms. Weghorst has crossed international lines to snowboard. With the Earth having two distinct hemispheres, seasons are relative. Chasing winter and leaving behind the hot muggy summer days of the northern hemisphere, Ms. Weghorst trekked south, traveling 23 hours. The arrival destination is the skyscraping Southern Alps of New Zealand. She has also traveled due south of North America to the long, snow-covered caps of the Andes in Chile. 

Ms. Weghorst said her favorite thing from all these trips is “being out in nature, being out with the mountains, and forgetting about work stress. It’s just you and the mountains.”

Another teacher, Mr. Joshua MacNabb, who teaches social studies, has been snowboarding since he was first introduced to the sport. “The first time I saw someone snowboard was when I was in high school. I thought they were on a surfboard with leather straps. I wanted to try that and I have been hooked ever since,” said Mr. MacNabb. But before he surfed the snow, he was a skier. Mr. MacNabb started skiing with the Boy Scouts when he was ten, and would travel to local mountains. 

Valle Nevado- Vitacura, Chile. Photo courtesy of Ms. Tessa Weghorst.

This February, Mr. MacNabb is looking to go heliboarding in Alaska. In the jagged and untamed mountains of Alaska, it becomes too hard to build a lift. The only option to board these mountains is to ride a helicopter to the top, and then slide back down to the bottom, an experience that becomes different every time.    

 Like Ms. Weghorst, his favorite aspect about snowboarding “is the oneness you get with the mountain, it’s just something about the joy, and having fun with it,” he says.

But for those who don’t want to wait for winter to come around, or trek to the other side of the world, that’s what indoor ice rinks are for. English teacher Mr. Ryan Brown, after being a huge fan of watching hockey, played for multiple years before getting injured. “[The season] was all year long. We would play in the summer, and each season lasted about 12 weeks,” said Mr. Brown.  

Running shoes. Photo by Nico Marvin.

For sports enjoyed during the warmer seasons, winter can be a great time to train, and get ahead of the pack. Counselor Ms. Elizabeth Walters, who has been running ever since high school, uses the winter as a time to train for races in the spring and summer. But she does do one race during the winter, a 5k/8k called Jingle all the Way, put on by Pacers. “I make a running schedule for how many miles, or whatever I am trying to do that day,” Ms. Walters said. 

The famous saying is that there is no such thing as bad weather, just being unprepared. This applies to Ms. Walters who gears up in gloves, headbands, jackets, and other clothes to push through the weather and train.

As the days become shorter and the temperatures start to fall, and most people start to think about staying indoors, some know that the season is about to begin.