Being in UW's homecoming parade was something that previous generations on the ski team used to do, but I hadn't gotten to be a part of it yet. This year, with our ever-growing team, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase who we were. Waking up the morning of the parade it was a little chilly and we stood in the parking lot decorating our van, Zima. We'd bought window makers the night before, possibly testing them out on a few of our teammates cars just to make sure they worked, and we wrote all over the windows. Lydia, one of the SUS skiers, wrote snow in Chinese on the back just to add a little touch for our SUS skiers. To be as festive as we could I ran around giving sparkles to anyone that wanted them. Nordic skiers often put sparkles under their eyes by applying chapstick to our faces to stick on the cheap glitter. I was excited at the reaction that I was getting from the SUS skiers as I was doing this. They were all giddy as they asked me to put glitter on their faces, even the boys. I'd been so used to watching my previous male teammates run from me the second I got my glitter bag out, and I was happy for the change. I felt as though I was growing a little closer to my new teammates, literally and figuratively, as I gave them glitter. Nothing bonds you better than touching each other's faces.
As the parade started we put on our roller skis and proudly circled Zima down through the main streets of Laramie. We seemed like kids in a candy shop as we zipped around on such smooth asphalt. That feeling is something that makes nordic skiers' weak in their knees, and our SUS skiers were starting to feel that as well. We weaved in between our teammates all laughing as we thought about how funny we must look to the parade patrons. We did a few little sprints down the street to catch up to the floats in front of us if we fell behind receiving cheers from the viewers watching from their camping chairs. Looking back on this memory makes me think about how important it is to have those days where you just are goofy and you soak up the time together seeing everyone's' smiles. I'm grateful for this time that we got to share and it still brings a smile to my face to think about that chilly homecoming morning.