Madhumita Oracle

Straight from the heart

Every once in a while, we dare ourselves to do something outlandish and crazy. Something triggers deep within and we go along with it. My venture into skiing, cross country skiing, is one such dare. Big dare, I might add. It involves learning to ski, falling, extreme cold, injuries and finally skiing against the best. But what the heck!!

After experiencing life and its vagaries for almost 4 decades, I am having the best time training myself for Stafettvasan. Stafettvasan is a cross country skiing team event held at Vasaloppet. Vasaloppet is an annual cross country marathon event held in Sweden.  As I understand, the Vasaloppet races is like a skiing cult in the Nordics.  Its as much a test of your true grit and endurance as much as your skiing prowess. And I am training to be in it. Yippee!!

Someone in IBM had this sparkling idea to have a ski team for Stafettvasan composed of IBMers from countries with little or no skiing culture, people with no skiing experience. In came Bente, easily among the most amazing people I know. We got skiing equipment, trainings and more trainings. All co-ordinated like magic by Bente. She is a bundle, big bundle at that, of energy. She is also chief ski coach. A complete package, I say. Together we are called the IBM Diversity Race team!! And we are on our way to Vasaloppet.

Together we have the best time, skiing at -12C, we fall and we rise up again, we travel, we discover, we experience. I learn more about myself and my team. And of course we all learn to ski, to be in Stafettvasan.

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