Every great story has to begin somewhere. While I could have pick the moment when we first found out we would be adding ten athletes from the Shanghai University of Sport (SUS) to our team, or when we first saw pictures of them all, or when we met for the first time, I want to choose the moment when we put them on roller skis. Our ten new teammates had quite the athletic pasts at SUS, but they had no knowledge of Nordic Skiing. They had bravely decided to devote a year of their life to learning everything that they could about the sport, and me and the rest of the team was there to support them. The first day we all met we made quick work of getting them on roller skies, a ski roller blade hybrid that Nordic skiers use to train when there is no snow. That day I found myself literally supporting my SUS ally, Murong, as she wobbled on our strange equipment. Being a Nordic skier myself for almost ten years now I was scared for my new teammates. The majority of the Nordic community sees rollers skis as an evil necessity. We need them to keep our training going in the summer, but the taste of pavement in a crash is a lot worse than snow. Even with the nerves that I had for them they showed none as they took their first strides and falls on roller skis. I ran next to Murong as she quickly progressed past my expectations with a smile on her face. After that day I was scared that we wouldn't get them to do it again, but there they were happy as ever the next day at practice.