It’s A New Year…Almost

By Courtney DiFiore

I’ve heard people say something to the effect of “look at life through the windshield, not through the rearview mirror” and I understand the concept; we should look forward instead of wasting a moment on the past. However, when New Year’s rolls around, I can’t help but look back. I like to reminisce about the year I’ve had and reassess my goals, where I’m headed, who’s in my life and so on.

This year, I made a list of all my intentions for 2014. I’ll keep this list posted by my bedside, the bathroom, my office, the kitchen, my car and probably more places I’ve yet to think of so I’m constantly reminded of my goals.

Courtney’s New Year Intentions:

  1. Kick the bad habits and replace them with healthier ones (examples below)
    1. Eat fruit instead of sour patch kids for some sugar
    2. Drink more water, even though it means more trips to the bathroom
    3. Work out in the morning instead of after work…them maybe it’ll actually happen!
    4. Make healthier choices starting with joining the Be. Lifestyle Challenge (check!)
    5. Read a book a month
    6. Do something for someone else every day
    7. Travel somewhere new
    8. Be a better sister, daughter and friend J
    9. Write more…it’s relaxing
    10. Practice yoga…once a week to start will be an accomplishment
    11. Slow down and enjoy the moment. I’m usually in a rush.

What’s on your list? Share your intentions, resolutions, and goals, whatever you want to call them here on the blog, socially or if you catch me on the hill you can do it in person!

Happy Early New Year Everyone!

#PayItForward with Stratton Mountain

By Courtney DiFiore

Receiving is always a nice treat, but giving is just as much for the giver as it is the receiver. This holiday season, Stratton wants to #PayItForward. We love seeing skiers and riders fill the mountain with their smiling faces and we especially love when they share their fun pictures and stories with us.

We’re showing our love by randomly handing out pairs of lift tickets through the holidays and into the New Year! We’re encouraging you to keep the chain going and use the second ticket as your chance to #PayItForward.

Watch the fun unfold as our Snow Reporters surprised some of our guests this weekend.

Get Ready For A Girl’s Weekend On The Snow

By Jenny Dempsey

I started snowboarding when I was 17. I got into it because the guy I was dating at the time was a snowboarder.  The first year I was basically tagging along! I was always riding with guys and getting left behind because I was learning. My guy friends would try to teach me, but they don’t understand the difference strengths men and women have.ski school girls

It wasn’t until I started riding with my best friend Sage that I began to really progress in my riding. It was so much different riding with another female. We pushed each other and fed off of each other’s energy. In time, we ended up being faster riders than all of the guys we snowboarded with!  It was so awesome riding and sharing the experience with one of my girlfriends.

3 girls time outLast year, Burton brought their Girls Time Out Snowboarding Camp to Stratton. It’s a camp designed for women by women. This allowed for more than just a normal lesson. It created a fun weekend getaway with your girlfriends where you develop new or fine tune existing skills. Last year, the first night we had a welcome reception with gift bags and a chance to meet all the ladies and coaches attending the camp. We had cocktails and got to know each other, talking about our riding experience and what we wanted to take from the camp. Saturday morning we met at the Burton store to break into groups based on ability and what you wanted to learn.  All the girls were so excited that the energy was addicting. I remember speaking with one of the campers and she said that it was the first time she didn’t feel nervous or intimidated. I loved that this camp was making her feel that way. The weekend was filled with laughter, progress and smiles! I’m so ready for this year’s Girls Time Out and look forward to welcoming back the ladies I met last year.130211_Lauren_newshow_bluecoat_HS 7360px3

Pay It Forward This Holiday Season

By Courtney DiFiore

It’s that time of the year when the warm fuzzys and hot chocolate fill us up from head to toe and we can’t help but pass along the joy of the holiday season. I witnessed a simple act of kindness just the other day that I in turn paid forward to another.121109_snow_summit_2400pxHS

A coworker was out in the parking lot brushing off the dumping of snow we got from her car and when she finished with hers she proceeded to move on to the neighboring car and clean that one off too. Then, once again she made her way to a third car where it was apparent a woman was having trouble. She didn’t have a brush, just her arms. This simple act of thoughtfulness spread like wildfire. MY car was brushed off when I left work that night! I made sure to keep the chain going and brushed off a huge SUV that was hidden beneath a foot of snow. But enough about me right?

What is everyone doing to brighten someone else’s day as they spread holiday cheer this time of year? Stratton wants to hear your story. Comment on this post, tag us in a tweet, insta post, vine video or Facebook us. If email is more your style, we have that too and there’s always old fashion snail mail. No matter the avenue you choose, just drop us a line. We want to share your #PayItForward stories.

Meet the Women of Stratton – Sarah Nasoff

By Courtney DiFiore

66158_10201068162331162_1199901254_nBorn and raised in New York City, Sarah Nasoff isn’t the typical city girl; she enjoys being outdoors and in the mountains. The oldest of three girls, Nasoff is very close with her family which includes a rescue dog named Abby. We love doggies here at Stratton! Nasoff grew up skiing the west coast.

“Coming from a family of skiers it was the only option,” remarks Nasoff who put on her first pair at the age of four. She made the cross over to snowboarding at age thirteen and continued to do both until she was fifteen. “Then I gave up skiing to board exclusively,” said Nasoff. Woods and back trails are this shredding Betty’s run of choice, when there’s fresh fallen snow of course.

Nasoff spent the last four years in Vermont attending the University of Vermont Business School, having majored in international business. “Going to school at the University of Vermont gave me the opportunity to snowboard more frequently on weekends and whenever my schedule permitted,” shares Nasoff. That’s a definite perk. Once her schooling was over, the draw to stay in the mountains was too much and the search began for something local.

“Previous to starting work here I had actually never snowboarded at Stratton. Didn’t know what I was missing!” Nasoff explained. Now, you can see Nasoff in our Burton store in the Village. “My favorite thing about Stratton is the fact that everyone who works here genuinely wants to be here and enjoys what they do…I love the friendly environment and the chance to ride and be outside almost every day.”

Other hobbies for this new face include running, spinning, spending time with friends, catching a good movie and getting the chance to travel. Having spent a summer studying in Barcelona, Spain, Nasoff would like to continue combining her passion for travel and exploring new places with snowboarding and one day ride in South America or Europe. When you go, don’t forget to invite your new Stratton family!

Meet the Women of Stratton – Kayte Suslavich

By Liz Millikin

kayteLike many of the shredding ladies at Stratton Mountain, the love of the mountain started young. Suslavich’s father duct taped her into the smallest ski boots he could find when she was just a year and a half old. “One of my earliest memories is being on the lift, clicking my skis together to get the snow off and having my skis and boots fall off onto a black diamond.” But, a great skier isn’t just born. “While I’d like to tell you that I was a black diamond skier from the time I could walk, the truth is that I took a teary-eyed, barefoot piggy back ride down one early [on], and then didn’t tackle one again for years.”

For all you parents out there trying to find ways to convince reluctant children to join in the winter sport fun, Suslavich is living proof that bribery works. “Until I was 6, my parents really only brought me out when it was 40 degrees and sunny and they bought me all of the hot chocolate I could drink.”

While skiing is a Suslavich family affair, so is Stratton Mountain. Suslavich trained in the mountain race program, scanned tickets in high school and joined the ski patrol at her college hill, only to return to Stratton after graduation to join the Stratton ski patrol team. Even her younger sister, Maisy, caught the ski patrol bug and is also part of the Stratton team.

Suslavich is passionate about her job, from being the first one up on the mountain in the morning to helping skiers and riders stay safe on the slopes. “Ski patrol,” she says, “is like a big family. I’ve adopted a few new grampas, so getting to come up weekends and see everyone helps me keep perspective when med school gets intense.”

Yes, you read that right. In addition to working weekends at Stratton as a ski patroller, Suslavich is also a first year med student at Tufts University in Boston. She sees her job as a way of keeping up her skills and gain experience that she will put to good use in either Emergency Medicine or Orthopedics (two branches of medicine she’s interested in pursuing).

On mountain, Suslavich has snow sports covered. You can find her on skis… snowboard… and telemark. It seems like the only thing she doesn’t do is monoboard, but she immediately said she’d love to learn if you know someone who’d let her borrow one.

When not on the mountain, Suslavich is an avid runner, having competed in her first marathon this past summer, hiking, wakeboarding, water skiing, and learning to surf.

Suslavich’s passion for snow sports and Stratton is incredibly inspiring. She got her start on this hill and keeps coming back for more. People like the Suslavich sisters are what make the Stratton community so special and such a warm, energizing place to be!

Looking For A Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer?

By Courtney DiFiore

New to Stratton Sports Center is Susan Tondreau, Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer. In the interest of letting you get to know Tondreau a little more, here’s some of her history. She decided to become a Health Coach and Personal Trainer to fulfill her passion of working with those who are looking to get more out of life and achieve maximum health. She received training at Integrative Nutrition in New York City and by AFAA fitness training in Orlando, Florida. She leads workshops on fitness and nutrition and offers individual health and nutrition coaching to parents, families, schools and work places.

Adding Tondreau to the roster of Sports Center Employees was an easy decision based off her experience and passion for the health and wellness of others. “As a Health Coach, I am your personal advocate for living an energized and passionate life. I work with my clients to help them create happy, healthy lives in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial and discipline,” shares Tondreau. By working together, clients and Tondreau will discover the food and lifestyle choices that best support the client.

Imagine what your life would be like if you had clear thinking, energy and excitement every day. It’s rare for anyone to get an hour to work on improving their health with a trained professional. Join Tondreau for a one-hour health consultation to discuss your unique situation and determine how she can help you reach your personal goals. She’s here to create a supportive environment while you explore what really works for you.

Stop by the Sports Center to get more information or contact Susan Tondreau via email at Susan@totallyforyourhealth.com

Meet the Women of Stratton – Kristin Powers

By Courtney DiFiore

Blog PictureKristin Powers is yet another amazing woman of Stratton. She was only two years old when she put on her first pair of skis. “My grandparents bought a farm just outside of Killington in the 70’s, so ever since I was born, my family would drive up from New York just about every weekend,” shares Powers. As soon as she was old enough to stand, Powers’ grandparents strapped her into those little red plastic skis and brought her down small hills around the farm. It wasn’t until the age of three that Powers began to hit the real slopes. Her and her grandparents would go to Pico Mountain just about every weekend. “It was a chance to get away and do what we love together as a family,” said Powers.

As Powers grew older, she held onto those wonderful memories of the farm and goes back to meet up with her family as often as she can. Still on skis, Powers likes to explore the whole mountain. “I’d say I’m an all mountain rider. I absolutely love going out early and skiing on the freshly groomed trails,” remarked Powers. She enjoys throwing on her favorite music and cruising around on any trails she can find. Last season was Powers first full season skiing at Stratton and she fell in love with the mountain, the community and the people in it. She began as a Coordinator in Human Resources but after a summer of travel and working in Nantucket, Powers is back in a new position as a Training Specialist. Aside from personally interact with fellow employees, one of Powers favorite parts of the job is “having the opportunity to walk a few steps out of my office and be right at the base of the mountain.”

Powers is so into winter sports that she tried her luck with snowboarding last season and fell in love with that too. “It definitely helped that I have some great friends, who happen to be instructors, to get me into it (snowbaording),” Powers told me. “Now, I want to say I’m a hybrid, but I’ll never be able to give up skiing.” Powers is one of those people that love adventure and is willing to try something new, which is why it was no surprise to me that she tried snowboarding too. Powers is now dabbling in the parks, “hitting the baby box last season is probably my highlight.”

Her need for adventure goes far beyond the mountain. “I’m working towards my goal of traveling to every country in Central America,” shares Powers. She’s also looking to get her yoga certification in the near future. Her spare time is usually comprised of yoga, so that makes sense. Powers also enjoys her time spent with friends, hiking, wandering around art galleries, swaying to the rhythms of live music and basically anything that takes place outdoors. I’m glad to see that her wanderlust led her to Stratton, Vermont. Where will it lead her next?

Meet the Women of Stratton – Devon Paskewich

By Courtney DiFiore

I’m really happy that International Women’s Ski Day is an actual thing because without it I don’t know if this amazing series would have ever taken off. Through my many interviews, I’ve realized that I’m surrounded by wonderful, talented women here at Stratton. Devon Paskewich is no exception. Paskewich started skiing when she was 3 or 4 and it was definitely a family thing. The Paskewich’s would pack up the car for weekend trips to Vermont all winter long.

devoAfter many seasons on skis, Paskewich decided to try snowboarding on for size just ten years ago. “I realized that was my calling; I fell in love,” remarks Paskewich. It’s one of the reasons she made the move up to Stratton full time! No complaints here. Now, Paskewich works as the Junior Mountain Sports School Manager. It’s the perfect job for her as she loves kids. That’s her favorite part of the job in fact. “They really do say the funniest things,” shares Paskewich, “one comment can really turn your day around.”

The bonds you make with your students are another bonus to the line of work Paskewich is in. She took a moment to go back in time and talk about a wonderful 3 days spent with a 70 year old woman she was teaching to snowboard. “By the third day she was making beautiful turns and totally rocked it! All I did was try and keep her happy, calm and prevent her from falling. I think we were inspiring to each other and I think it is important that women do that for one another,” explains Paskewich. Maybe that’s why she also participates in the Women’s Camps Stratton holds every season. If you have a passion for the sport, why not share it right?!

One thing she was able to personally share with me that I’ll pass along to all of you is that snowboarding and skiing have always been a great way to escape for her, making it seem like a very therapeutic and  stress relieving activity. “Take time to explore new mountains and trails,” Paskewich tells me, “my favorite being the woods.” Who doesn’t like a good tree run?

In the off season you can still catch a glimpse of Paskewich on the mountain hiking, at the tennis courts channeling her inner William’s sister or indoor cycling. After all she is a certified cycling instructor. Is there anything this girl doesn’t do?

Meet the Women of Stratton – Gigi Matthews

By Courtney DiFiore

gigi matthewsMeet Gigi Matthews. If you don’t know her, you’re one of the few. Matthews is in her 8th season working at Stratton. “I work with a great team – the Info Desk crew can solve just about any problem or mystery that comes along…” says Matthews. You can find Matthew’s friendly smile in the Base Lodge as she’s the Resort Services Supervisor. She also manages the resort service team. “Their passion for Stratton inspires me! They bring such a depth of experience and great energy to their volunteering, and they’re lots of fun to work with,” shares Matthews as she explains to me why she calls her job the best on the mountain.

Matthews learned to ski at Stratton when she was 8 or 9 years old. Her dad loved to ski and her mom was a good sport about it and would tag along for the many weekend trips from NJ. “We stayed at the Liftline Lodge where my parents would listen to the Stratton Mountain Boys and us kids would sled down the hill on cafeteria trays at night,” explained Matthews. It wasn’t until her “poor college phase” that Matthews took a short hiatus from skiing. “I started again when my husband, Scott, decided he wanted to learn to ski and booked a trip for our second anniversary.” What a sweet guy! “He was hooked, so we started skiing together a lot. When we had our daughter and she loved to ski, it sealed the deal!”

Skiing for Matthews is very rewarding. “There is nothing more exhilarating than flying down Free Fall on a sunny day. But I also love the reflective groove I get into making short turns under the arches of tree branches on Work Road after a fresh snow,” says Matthews. Really an alpine skier, she also telemarks. You can find Matthews sharing her love for skiing every Wednesday with the Green Mountain Woman. “This program brings together woman of all ages and experiences to explore the Mountain. We learn a little about ourselves and our skiing, forge friendships and laugh a lot,” Matthew tells me. The social aspect seems to be a big motivation for these women, just like Matthews, that continue to return year after year.

Though Matthews lives for the winter months, she carries a strong passion for tennis as well. You can find her in a rally every morning over the summer or perhaps working with Stratton’s 3.5 USTA tennis team which she captains. Another passion for this well-loved woman of Stratton is travel. “I’m really excited to be going to Iceland this spring. Maybe I’ll see the Northern Lights!” remarks Matthews. If you do, I best see a picture upon your return.