Keep It Simple – A profile of Bill Nupp

By Courtney DiFiore

Health is important, but it shouldn’t be a point of stress or anxiety. By incorporating healthy habits and activities into your lifestyle, fitness will become a source of happiness and peace.

Some people spend their whole lives searching for the secret to happiness. According to Bill Nupp, Vice President of Lodging and Community Relations, keeping it simple is the key. “My active lifestyle has been one of the main reasons for my happiness and peace in my life,” shares Nupp.

‘Active’ to Nupp has a wide range of meaning; getting outside, walking the dog, taking a swim all qualify. This insightful VP shares the reasoning behind his “keep it simple” philosophy saying “it used to be that my goal was to be within sight of Sky Foulkes’ fitness level. But since he has gone on to amazing levels, I am left to more modest goals of being be in good enough shape to live an active lifestyle.”

Growing up on a farm, being outdoors came naturally. Now, as an adult, he explores the Southern Vermont outdoor playground. Nupp opts for activities like hiking, road biking, jogging and in the winter snowshoeing and skiing. “Working is part of living and when you can work in a place you love to live, surrounded by people who appreciate it just as much, I just don’t know how it could be better.”

One of Nupp’s go to workouts is a hike to Stratton’s summit for sunrise, “you get to witness something that makes you feel really alive and lucky.” When Bill takes a break from the elements and hits the gym, he keeps his workout fresh, changing up his routine by trying fitness classes. “Most recently ‘Tondreaus,’ Susan’s Cross Fit routines, seem to be the most productive workout I have ever done,” shares Nupp.

It’s nice to know you can live a healthy lifestyle without it being a chore and Nupp has found the perfect balance. The next time you begin to feel stress because of your daily workouts remember Nupp’s advice to keep it simple, keep it fresh and just get out there.

Katie Mallia named 2014 VARA Development Coach of the Year

Posted by David Edry

Jun 11th, 5:34pm

10437310_483557878456848_954416269_nI want to share some exciting Stratton Ski Racing news! Stratton’s Head U12 Coach, Katie Mallia, has been named as the 2014 VARA (Vermont Alpine Racing Assoc.) Development Coach of the Year!! Woohoo!! She’ll receive her official recognition and award at the 2014 VARA Gala this fall. This is exciting news and reinforces that Stratton Racing is moving to the front up in Vermont! Katie’s leadership, knowledge, and connections with the kids and coaches is a model for the club. These recognitions are important and we’re all thrilled and proud of Katie!

It’s in his nature – A Profile of Craig Panarisi

By Courtney DiFiore

IMG_4488 If there’s a Richter scale for adventure, you’ll find Craig Panarisi registering an 11. But what Stratton’s vice president of mountain operations loves just as much as dropping into the next chute or gliding off the highest peak is sharing great outdoor experiences ranging from mellow to the extreme.

IMG_0294With a passion for the outdoors instilled at a young age, Panarisi grew up loving nature. “My grandfather enjoyed trout fishing and taught me everything he knew about fish and their secret underwater lives,” recalls Panarisi. He went on to talk about his increasing curiosity and need to share personal experiences with others. “From there, my passion exploded and I began working as a backcountry ski guide, ski instructor and white water river guide,” shares Panarisi.

He jump started his career teaching telemark skiing at Purgatory Resort in Southern Colorado. Quickly he began jumping through the ranks of PSIA, eventually reaching level 3 a few years later. It’s no surprise that Panarisi then became an Examiner and successfully made the National Team where he went on to travel and work with amazing people worldwide. “It was on this team that I gained a tremendous amount of experience,” says Panarisi, “I traveled to nearly every skiing nation in the world to learn, share and shape the future of ski instructions.” While he has traveled the world in search of fresh powder, elusive trout, wind and water, Panarisi feeds his need for adventure from his southern Vermont home base.IMG_8117

“Like any great mountain town, Stratton has the lifestyle that most envy. Outdoor based, healthy food straight from the farm and sincere friends and neighbors,” explains Panarisi. Claiming to be opposite of a ‘gym guy,’ Panarisi says he focuses on a destination to keep him in shape. “A destination can be anything you want. Hiking to the summit of Stratton can be your destination. Some destinations take serious planning, fitness and execution to make a reality. I enjoy them all.”

With plenty of experience under his belt, Panarisi is definitely someone to learn from. Filling his free time with activities like paragliding, fly fishing and mountain biking, Panarisi finds joy in adrenaline claiming “every day is an adventure.”

Happy (Early) Father’s Day!

Top 10 Gifts for Dad

Fathers can be tough to buy for, but we’re here to help with the Top 10 Gifts for Dad. Whether you’re spending quality time together or treating him to a stress-free guys’ weekend, give him a gift he’ll brag about.

  1. Treat Dad to a round of golf at a championship course with scenery to match.
  2. Help him get back in the swing of things with a lesson at the Stratton Golf School.
  3. Book a tennis lesson or a weekend workshop with the pros at the Cliff Drysdale Tennis School.
  4. For the foodie fathers, a Farm-to-Table dinner is on the menu. Choose from three nights, each with an exclusive menu.
  5. Does Dad think he’s the next Top Chef? Reserve a spot for him in one of two Green Mountain Culinary Escapes. A weekend of cooking with Stratton’s Chef Ebel with farm-fresh ingredients.
  6. Nothing says family bonding like trying a new sport together. Rent the gear you need from First Run in Stratton Village.
  7. Yoga and music come together at Wanderlust Stratton. Dad can choose from yoga classes to guided hikes, intimate lectures to live music and more.
  8. Does Dad want to do it all? The Cross Fun package is just for him. Includes lodging, rentals, fitness classes, golf, and more.
  9. If he’s already dreaming of winter surprise him with a 2014/2015 season pass.
  10. Dad can’t make it up to the mountain for Father’s Day? Bring the mountain to him with apparel, glasswear and more so he can show his Stratton pride wherever he goes.

The Goddess Within

By Anne Reynolds

Anne yoga 1.0 If you had told me fifteen months ago that I would discover my inner goddess through the practice of yoga I probably would’ve spit out whatever I was drinking and told you to lay off the home brewed Kombucha.

I didn’t particularly care for yoga or those that practiced it. In my opinion the typical yogi or yogini could best be exemplified by my old college roommate Chloe and step grandmother, Virginia. Chloe was beautiful, married rich and looked amazing in her Lululemon pants. Yet the only yoga pose she ever practiced was a forward fold when she was trying on shoes at Nordstrom’s. My step-grammy, on the other hand, was stuck in the counterrevolution of the sixties. She preached free love, women’s liberation and spent way too much time in her transparent white leggings. Her favorite pose was snow plow but only if she had a predominately male audience.

Anne yoga 2.0Admittedly, my knowledge of yoga was limited but that didn’t stop me from dismissing all yoga practitioners as phony and pretentious. These two women were definitely polar opposites but they were both classic examples of posers, yoga posers.

I had no desire to try yoga but it found me anyway. It didn’t knock politely on the front door of my intolerance. Instead it snuck through the back door of my people-pleasing issues and inability to say no. Stratton had just opened a brand new yoga studio and yoga was quickly becoming one of the most popular non-snow activities at the resort. The consultant for the new studio was also a yoga teacher and we would meet occasionally to discuss employee involvement with our health & wellness initiative. One afternoon she mentioned that she was having trouble finding someone to help with class check-in. Before I could stop myself I said “I’ll do it!” in my best please be my friend, people-pleasing voice. Not one to pass up on free labor she gave me my schedule.

I woke up with a migraine on the day of my first shift. I debated long and hard about calling in sick but people- pleasers don’t call in on their first day.  With a long sigh I ripped off the tags of my new yoga pants and went to the studio. I was allowed to join the class after everyone was checked in so against my better judgment and rapidly increasing head pain I unrolled a mat, stood there in my socks and figured how hard could yoga be anyway?

Yoga, as it turned out is hard, very hard. I quickly discovered that I was about as flexible as the LTR (learn to ride) snowboard that I could never seem to learn to ride on. I could barely touch my knees let alone my toes and jumping back to plank position or anything closely related was not happening. By the end of class I was sweating profusely, completely out of breath and sure I had torn every tendon in my body.

Ironically it was the last pose (Savassana a.k.a Corpse pose) that I found the most intimidating. I understood that all I had to do was lie there and play dead for five minutes but the thought of being still longer than 30 seconds with just my own thoughts seemed torturous.   While I was lowering myself down on my mat I made a decision that if I couldn’t stand it I would get up, quietly excuse myself and go to the restroom where I would spend the rest of the class checking email on my iPhone.

Something happened during that last pose that prevented me from following through on my planned escape. I don’t know exactly how to describe it but once I settled my body on the mat and started to breathe deeply I felt something inside of me begin to soften and open up. When we finally sat up I felt physically lighter and an overwhelming sense of peace. On the way to my car I noticed that my head didn’t hurt anymore. My migraine was completely gone! That was good enough for me and from that moment on I was hooked.

I now practice yoga daily. I don’t go to class to parade around in the latest yoga fashions or scope out the scene. I also have no plans on giving up all earthly pleasures to move to an Ashram in India. I don’t practice for the physical workout either but I am in the best shape of my life. I am amazed at what my body can do and how strong I am. I can not only touch my toes but I can do handstands and almost a full split.

I practice yoga for one reason only: to feel connected. It’s as simple and complicated as that. When I am able to connect my mind and body with the universe I am able to experience authentic happiness. Does this mean I’ve become a spiritually enlightened goddess? Hardly. Fifteen minutes ago I just used an inordinate amount of force and half a can of Raid to kill a spider. I wish I was in a constant state of Zen but alas, I am still a mere mortal on most days. I continue to struggle with letting go, people pleasing and saying things that I later regret. It’s not uncommon in yoga class for an instructor to remind us to “meet yourself on your mat”. This truism has taught me that the most important relationship you should have is the one with yourself. This means I have to accept me exactly as I am right now. Practicing yoga has given me the ability to understand that my weaknesses are equally as important as my strengths. After all, if I wasn’t a consummate people-pleaser I might not have discovered yoga when I did. When I can accept myself completely I am better able to accept others including the ones I love.

Yes, as it turns out yoga has shown me the path to my inner goddess. This is our true self and everyone has an inner god or goddess. Some days are harder than others to connect with her but when I do I know without a doubt that she is all that is good. She is pure love, beauty and light. She is me.

Once Isn’t Enough – A Profile of Matthew McPhillips

By Courtney DiFiore

It’s a funny thing, mountain life. There’s an allure to it and the lifestyle engulfs all who take part. The atmosphere is electric and mellow all at once creating the perfect oxymoron. Matthew McPhillips experienced the pull of this energy in 2006 when he first moved to Stratton Mountain. Now, 8 years later, he is immersed in the mountain culture as the Head Golf Professional.

“I was fortunate enough to be given the keys to an operation at age 25, and I take great pride in that. The fact that I am now entering my fourth season [as Head Pro], living on the complete opposite side of the world to every member of my immediate family just goes to show my dedication to the position,” shares McPhillips.

There’s debate as to whether it’s something in the water, air or Kool Aid that infects those that find their way to the mountain, but one thing’s for sure, there’s something special going on at Stratton that keeps people coming back. All year long, license plates from around the North East and beyond turn up in our parking lots. Before visitors reach the mountain they begin to feel the magic of Southern Vermont. The rolling hills and vibrant colors of green set the stage for a true scenic trip.

“Being close to major cities is nice but being able to literally get in your car and drive nowhere in particular…that is a luxury that a lot of people cannot access in their urbanized lifestyles,” explains McPhillips. The bends and curves of Southern Vermont roads become hypnotic to travelers. Sights of native wildlife create excitement and that’s the moment mountain life sweeps you off your feet leaving you breathless and wanting more.

When McPhillips was asked what keeps him coming back to Stratton after all this time, his response was simple, “I love the work I do and the beautiful Green Mountain State that is Vermont. I’ve found the right balance between work and play enabling me to stay active on a daily basis.”

Everyone has their own reasons for sticking around and though different, the one thing they share is Stratton. Have you found your reason to keep coming back?

Summer is for Adventure

By Shane Kelly

In honor of Men’s Health Awareness month, I find it appropriate to take time, sit back and recognize the importance of health and wellness. Stratton Mountain and the rest of the beautiful Green Mountain State provide endless opportunities and adventures to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.A healthy lifestyle leads to more than just a fit body, it opens doors to new opportunities, improves overall quality of life and much more. Healthy living has been a building block to my success. By sharing my journey to lead an active lifestyle, I hope to inspire others.

I’ve spent the last two winters working at Stratton Mountain and during that time adopted a new lifestyle that I had been looking for since graduating college. I found my American Dream; I was snowboarding up to 100 days a season, spending quality time at the Stratton Training and Fitness Center and getting paid for it. As the winter wound down, I panicked. Do I make my way back to the hectic hustle and bustle of New Jersey or do I stay and see what exactly a Stratton Mountain summer has to offer? I’m happy to say I chose the latter. I now call Stratton Training and Fitness Center my home (make sure to come say “Hello!”). The facility offers such an array of equipment, classes and knowledgeable staff that it’s almost a crime not to be a yearly member. Other perks that can be found at the S.T.F.C include a 25 yard salt water pool, hot tub/steam room and indoor and outdoor tennis courts. Having an indoor option is a big advantage to the resort, but let’s not forget about the natural gym right in our backyard, the Green Mountains.

My first Stratton summer has made me realize that I haven’t even hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taking advantage of all Southern Vermont has to offer. The amount of activities and events Stratton Mountain has in the summer is unbelievable. I’ve been exposed to a whole new world of subcultures and challenges that I’m excited to experience. Where will you find your adventure?