Our lady and skier extraordinaire, Meredith Eades is off to Chile to compete in the North Face Chilean Freesking Championship! Naturally, we wanted to wish her good luck, but first get a few words from her about her impending adventure.
Kim: How pumped were you when they opened the Chile event to athletes and you knew you were going?
Merdy: Very!! I’ve wanted to ski in Chile probably since I was old enough to know you could ski in South America. This was probably the best reason to save some $$ and actually do it!
Kim: Were there any requirements to fulfill to be able to compete?
Merdy: Being able to compete generally depends on how many people register for the event. If any event registration was full, it would be ranked by whoever has the most points and then it would be on a first come first serve basis. I had points from last year so I was pretty sure I’d be ok.
Kim: Can you describe a bit what the Chilean free skiing competition is, in terms of what events you're competing in, what kind of terrain you'll be dealing with?
*fun fact - curiosity got to me so I googled "Max Face" and Powder Magazine told me that Max Face is actually Santa Teresa,
Santa Teresa venue (dubbed Max’s Face in honor of local snow-safety professional Max Barros) in the El Colorado backcountry
Kim: What does a day in the life of preparing and competing in a major sporting event like this look like for you?
Merdy: Good question, given there’s not much skiing to be had right now! Kristin Schwab from 2FitChicks is a friend of mine and a personal trainer so I had her put together a program for me in preparation. I get up at 5:30, 4 days a week to run through my program to make sure I have strong legs and core. I also mountain bike as much as I can… usually 3-5 times a week after work and on the weekends. It’s not quite the same as skiing, but it hurts to fall on a bike, and the riding in the North Shore is technical and sometimes scary, which I think is good mental preparation for this type of skiing! Sometimes I’ll hit up the trampoline gym so if I want to try any tricks on the venue I’ll have a good sense of air time etc.
Kim: Are there any athletes that you're stoked to meet/compete with while there?
Merdy: I’m always happy to meet new people and I’m definitely excited to see all my friends that I competed with last year. The camaraderie is one of the best part of competing for me!
Kim: Is there much of a Canadian presence in this competition?
Merdy: So far of the 51 people registered there are 3 Canadians; Kim Bastedo from Revelstoke, Jonathan Vignet, not sure from where as I’ve never met him and myself.
Kim: How would you describe Thuggies to any inquiring minds?
Merdy: I usually describe is as a really long hoodie, the best thing for snuggling up in on a cold day. But also good for a cool night at the beach… I have yet to try the no pants Thuggie! Lol!
Kim: You haven't lived until you've tried the pants off option, but one day. What are your hopes/expectations for yourself as an athlete in Chile?
Merdy: It would be great to make it to finals and ski a clean line, maybe throw in a few tricks that I mastered at the end of last season, but it will definitely depend on what the venue is looking like. I try not to put too much pressure on myself as I never compete well when I feel like I HAVE to perform a certain way. I’m just really stoked to be going down with a bunch of awesome people, and checking something new and amazing off my bucket list!
Kim: Any good luck rituals/good luck charms that you do/take with you when you compete?
Merdy: I don’t actually have anything. I think of Sarah a lot and hope she’s looking out for me and just remember to have a good time and ski for fun!
Kim: Will you be rocking your Thuggie/T-Thugg etc for training? To keep you cozy?
Merdy: I just got some T-Thuggs yesterday and wore one biking, worked like a charm! The flight down to Chile is like 18-20 hours. I’ll definitely have my Thuggie for the plane, and the toques I just got made me really excited to hit the snow!
Kim: Which is your favourite new Thuggie Beanie?
Kim: Current favourite pump up song?
Merdy: There is a Glitch Mob song called Bad Wings that I listened to a lot last season. It came on my iPod the other day and got me all excited for skiing again. I think it must have played in a ski moving or something, but it just makes me want to ski pow!
Kim: Any words of encouragement for other athletes competing in Chile with you?
Merdy: Just to wish everyone good luck, have a great time and we’ll see you down there! It’s gonna be rad!
Good luck, Merdy, and thanks as always, for being magnificent.
*Updated* Unfortunately, Meredith didn't make it to finals but she portends that this was one of the most fun experiences she's ever had, and in the end, isn't that what life is about? Isn't it? Hope so, this is how we've been living, to date.