For those of you who have never heard of or been a part of Fast and Female; you should fix that. Quickly!
Started by gold olympic medalist Chandra Crawford and supported by professional athletic women, Fast and Female is a non-profit organization that works to promote healthy active lifestyles for women. They put on clinics for girls aged 7-19 in different locations across the US and Canada.
Each day-long Fast and Female event looks something like this: the girls are split into groups based on age, and they make headbands with their names, decorate a group poster and come up with a group cheer. They make friends and get to know their group better. Each group is led by a few ambassadors – older athletes that are there to provide fun mentorship and inspiration. Then the girls go outside on skis for games, ski manuevering stations and obstacle courses. The girls participate in yoga, dance, and listen to inspirational speeches and stories while enjoying a healthy lunch. The event ends with each girl getting a signed poster to take home. The goal is to promote healthy, active, self-confident girls who are ready to chase down their dreams!
I got to be an ambassador for the two US Fast and Female events this year – one in Maine after Nationals and one in Sun Valley right after the last race of the season! It was super fun and really inspiring to see all these young girls getting after it, loving the outdoors and making friends.
Chandra and I ran the “dancing station”, where we taught the kids a simple line dance that Annie P. and I made up beforehand. Once the group memorized the dance, they got to make up and share their own dance moves (on skis, of course!) and the group made up a dance of their own. It was a fun way to build coordination on skis and get moving! After yoga, all the groups did the line dance together, which I personally think looked pretty darn cool. Of course, I got super into it and pretty much decided that at some point in my life, I’m going to have a career as a dance instructor. And it’s gonna be awesome.