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Freitag , 23 Oktober 2020

Nordic Warrior? A Midlife Crisis in Biathlon

Liebe Biathlon-Fans,

Craig Wiggers aus New York hat ein Buch über seine Erfahrung mit dem Biathlonsport geschrieben. Wir möchten euch dieses Buch gern vorstellen, vielleicht verringert es die Wartezeit bis zum Start der neuen Saison.

Craig Wiggers probiert sich im Biathlon. Eine ungewöhnliche Sportart für einen Amerikaner – Foto: Privat

Nordic Warrior? A Midlife Crisis in Biathlon

By Craig Wiggers

My journey into Nordic biathlon as a southern raised, middle-aged, New York transplant has been exciting, funny and memorable. This story is written for sport enthusiasts who are interested in challenges, are considering trying something new and want to laugh. I hope my adventures (and steep learning curve) will be informative for newcomers to the sport and entertaining to those who have lived their lives growing up on skis in snow-covered landscapes. Finally, to those who might “give it a go,” know that you will be joining a community of wonderful, supportive and generous people who love the outdoors and enjoy healthy competition.

January, 2019

The world is filled with stories of men and women who face a mid-life crisis. In a sense, I guess this is another one.  But, at the same time, I don’t think my circumstance qualifies as a crisis.  The reality is that I am a competitor, and, although this is written in my 49th and 50th years of living, the feelings aren’t crisis as much as they are about going after new challenges and enjoying the journey.

I decided to start skiing this year.  To make things more challenging, I decided to become a Nordic biathlete.  Having the background as a P.E. major and being a Marine, I began this journey with an over inflated ego and was quickly humbled.  I needed to get in shape.

The last event of the 2019 season was scheduled for March 9th.  This would give me 2 ½ months to prepare for my first and hopefully not my last race.  I had no aspirations of medaling, no aspirations of “shooting clean,” no aspirations of skiing well. My goal was to participate.  I didn’t even know if I could ski 5 kilometers with the novice group.

Fast Forward 18 months – This story culminates with the Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY and Covid-19.  As far as I am concerned, I have only written the first chapter.

Success can be measured in several ways. I am not wearing any medals but I am a better person because of biathlon. New relationships, camaraderie with fellow competitors, healthier living and a determination to improve through training and hard work are my intangible gold. I’ve learned biathlon is accessible to anyone and regardless of your skill on skis, the community will welcome you into the ranks.



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