“This year I did a cross-country skiing race where I used totally the wrong wax on my skis. I was slipping and sliding all over the place. After ten minutes I felt like stopping and calling it a day. Then I looked over towards the edge of the course and saw some friends of mine who stood up to cheer me on. I thought to myself, ‘Are you crazy? You can’t give up now!’ Another friend of mine encouraged me and told me that I should at least continue to the top of the next hill.
So I decided to keep going and waddled along like a penguin because my skis had no grip on the snow whatsoever. There were about 30 skiers from Finland, Norway and Sweden taking part in the race as well. They were taking things easy, joking with each other and chatting. ‘I can keep up with these guys easily,’ I thought.
I stuck with them for the rest of the lap. When I got to the finish line I saw that my time was actually faster than last year’s. It’s important to enjoy what you are doing and not focus too much on speed and performance. After all, who cares how fast you are? On that day I overcame my own doubts – and that’s the most important thing.”
Rainer Renauer, Barber
Rainer Renauer works as a barber and took up cross-country skiing 20 years ago. Back then it was considered a ‘sport for old people’, but these days its reputation has changed. His home town of Seefeld will host the 2019 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships and is known as one of the best resorts in the world for cross-country skiing.