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This is why I train: Kit Deslauriers
An interview with bande member, Kit Deslauriers, as part of bande’s life athlete series.
"Training helps me stay physically and mentally fit. It helps me continue to be able to take my children and their friends on big adventures. It helps me keep doing what I love at a professional level. Most importantly, it helps me be where I want to be–which is outside, feeling connected and vibrant."
Tell us who you are? What do you do in life (work, family, volunteer, etc)?
Kit: I have lived in Teton Village, WY (at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort) for 21 years. I moved here from Telluride, CO where I spent most of my twenties. I’m a Rocky Mountain girl born to New Englanders. I’m the mother of 2 daughters, 12 and 14 and married to my husband of 20 years. I’m a mountain athlete. I embrace the seasons. Skiing is my #1. I like to have my feet on the earth I am a dedicated supporter of the natural environment, in particular, the wild place that’s called the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In support of that I’m a board member of the Alaska Wilderness League. I am a 17-year member of The North Face Global Athlete team, as a professional ski mountaineer. I’m the first person to climb and ski the 7 summits. I am also an author and public speaker. My book is called Higher Love: Climbing and Skiing the Seven Summits, and is about my journey, especially the inner one. I speak about my experiences in the mountains and how they have informed my life - through those moments it’s become clear that love is the only way. Being outside is my creative place and my muse.
Why do you train?
Kit: The simple answer that I’ve given for 20 years is that I’m training for life. I always want to be able to physically do whatever I want.
What are the big challenges you face?
Kit: I face the same challenge we all face in that our time is all we have, and there’s only so much of it. I’m dedicated to my children, and among other things that means it's important that I show them my way of being a strong woman, aging gracefully and powerfully. In the moment, the past year I’ve had the challenge of recovering completely from a knee injury which required surgery… I have had to be dedicated at a high level to achieve that. A challenge, especially around injury recovery, is knowing my limits in the moment and dancing around them, not letting them entirely rule. This means testing myself without being reckless or so conservative that I don’t get where I want, which is back to the full depth of myself and my sport.
How does training help you?
Kit: Training helps me stay physically and mentally fit. It helps me continue to be able to take my children and their friends on big adventures. It helps me keep doing what I love at a professional level. Most importantly, it helps me be where I want to be which is outside, feeling connected and vibrant.
What sets bande apart from other things you do?
Kit: A lot of what I do for training is individual and sometimes solo, I have to be self-disciplined. Bande is a fun community, so when I want my community training fix, it’s an easy option. When I sign up for a class it’s also because I want to be held accountable to show up and try hard. It’s social, I’m never in it alone. And someone else is deciding what I’m going to do next!
What are your favorite classes and modalities?
Kit: I like the strength and HIIT combo, mostly because I despise HIIT - I wouldn’t otherwise do it on my own, and I’m good at strength so that combo feels nice. I also love Pilates as I consider that core work to be the secret sauce.
What is your outlook for 2022?
Kit: I want to be stronger at 52. I want to cultivate more compassion and equanimity. To not react, just respond, which sometimes means putting a filter on responding and practicing equanimity.
What advice would you give to other women or girls who strive to live life as an athlete?
Kit: Remember that no one else is going to do it for you. Do it at a high level only because you love it, irrespective of if you’ll ever get paid to do it or are acknowledged for it. Find your unique motivation by doing what makes your heart sing, otherwise you’ll never reach the level you want.