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Self-Isolation Advice From Pro Skiers

  • November 17, 2020
  • Matcha
As the world continues to enforce self-isolation measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more skiers are finding themselves stuck inside for the foreseeable future. With the snowsports community now imploring skiers to also avoid backcountry skiing and #CurbYourTurns in light of the burden the pandemic is putting on essential workers, it's officially time to put skiing on the back burner.

Given the current situation, it can be easy for skiers to become restless and unmotivated. So we checked in with pro skiers to see how they are handling self-isolation and what advice they have for staying sane during these challenging times. From staying active to catching up with loved ones, these athletes share how they are biding their time inside until they can hit the slopes again.

Amie Engerbretson

Amie’s Self-Isolation Tips:

  • Work on your sleeping habits to promote a healthy immune system
  • Organize your living space
  • Pick up old hobbies and learn new ones
  • If you have a spin bike, work out with the Peloton app

After a recent filming trip to Europe with Warren Miller ended in evacuation due to closed borders, Amie Engerbretson has been self quarantining in her home in Tahoe. When she isn’t keeping her pup Bill entertained or trying new recipes, Engerbretson has been focusing on her health and staying positive.

“I’ve been trying to focus on my immunity and health to make sure I don’t get sick while I’ve been home and I think one of the best things you can do for that is sleep. Now that I’ve got loads of time on my hands I’ve been trying to get as much sleep as possible.”

According to Engerbretson, it’s a skill you can learn. A consistent bedtime routine has been essential and even if you can’t fall asleep she suggests scheduling a full nine hours in bed each night. Engerbretson also uses lavender oil for relaxation and has recently been getting into dream analysis. You can find tutorials and books online and she has found it to be helpful.

Engerbretson has also been using her new free time to check off her to-do list. This includes a Marie Kondo-type house cleaning takeover and picking up a few new hobbies. She recently picked up the guitar and taught herself “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. The former college dancer also has been teaching ballet over Facetime to give her friends with kids a break.

“It’s nice to rediscover the joys of being home and the simple life. These are the things I miss on the road, so I am trying to soak it up,” says Engerbretson.

Amie’s Favorite Quarantine Workout: Spinning

Even with a regular spin bike you can use the Peloton app that has great workouts, whether you are looking for full body, yoga, or targeting a specific muscle group. To stay motivated Engerbretson designates a time each day to workout. “You can get a really good workout in your living room, you just have to stay motivated.”

Ted Ligety

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Ski Magazine

Ted’s Self-Isolation Tips:

  • Get outside as much as possible
  • Practice being present
  • Work out with resistance bands

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and founder of SHRED has been staying busy in quarantine entertaining his 2-year-old son, while balancing his business and health.

“I have a two-and-a-half year-old, so entertaining a toddler all day long without being able to see friends definitely presents its own challenges, so we try to get outside and run around, “ he says.

To maintain his mental health, Ligety credits his toddler. “With a toddler it’s a challenge, but also a unique time in a way to dive more into his world and being present for that is not always easy to do when you’re traveling all the time.”

For skiers stuck at home? “Try to stay active,” Ligety says. “If you’re out skinning, it’s important to be really chill and take the burden off the healthcare system. For an adrenaline junky that’s not easy to do because we want to keep pushing hard and testing the limits, but now’s not the time to do that.”

Ted’s Favorite Quarantine Workout: Resistance Bands and Foundation Training

On top of running or biking, “I do a bunch of different band workouts and I do a lot of foundation training, a lot of asymmetric stuff and try to keep the core strong and my body moving,” says Ligety.

Caroline Gleich

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Ski Magazine

Caroline’s Self-Isolation Tips:

  • Connect with friends and family virtually
  • Paint
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Take virtual yoga and workout classes

This professional ski mountaineer is no stranger to forced downtime. On her many expeditions, she can expect more than a few days of waiting around for weather and snow conditions to clear.

“At home there are so many things you can play with, I haven’t been bored at all,” she says.

To keep busy, Gleich has been painting and playing her ukulele as well as using Facetime to connect with friends and family. Her new vegetable and herb garden has also been keeping her busy. She recently started a podcast titled The Caroline Gleich Show, where she talks about adventure and activism. Most recently she has been interviewing epidemiologists and doctors about COVID-19.

For mental health, keeping things in perspective and thinking about how it could be worse has helped her stay positive attitude.

“I definitely struggle with anxiety and depression, so some of the things that help me are keeping a gratitude journal where I write down 10 things every day that I am grateful or excited for,” Gleich says.

Caroline’s Favorite Quarantine Workout: Virtual Workout and Yoga Classes

While Gleich usually prefers running, a recent ACL tear has been keeping her off the trails. She has also been taking virtual workout and yoga classes. Her two favorites are ALPS MVMNT and Rock Steady Body Works.

Jim Ryan

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Ski Magazine

Jim’s Self-Isolation Tips:

  • Give back to the community
  • Set and work towards a fitness goal
  • Write and read more 
  • Limit screen time 

Until a few days ago, the Völkl athlete and Jackson Hole local was backcountry skiing at Grand Teton National Park. With the recent closure of the park, he has managed to keep busy giving back to the community.

Ryan has been working with Hole Food Rescue, going to restaurants and picking up any extra food to be cooked for students who usually get meals at school. With all the food being donated he has been bringing home the leftovers and learning to cook as well. “I do a lot of cooking over the sink so this is a little different, I just learned how to make roasted beets,” says Ryan.

He and his roommate have also recently picked up a new hobby: “We found this old picture of legendary ski racer Hermann Maier and he’s juggling shot put balls and looking ultra buff and we decided that is our quarantine goal.”

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Ski Magazine

Jim’s Favorite Quarantine Workout: Running

To kill two birds with one stone—getting outside to breathe some fresh air while also working on fitness—Ryan’s been focusing on running. He’s also been keeping up with his friend’s yoga classes on YouTube, Lelikelen Yoga.

For his mental health, Ryan has been reading and writing more and limiting his screen time. Keeping up with friends and family has also been important to his mental health as isolation continues.

“My goal is to maintain my mental status and health and improve and grow in both of those areas as well.”

Drew Tabke

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Ski Magazine

Drew’s Self-Isolation Tips:

  • Try new recipes in the kitchen
  • Get creative with your workouts 

For this FWT champion, self-isolation so far hasn’t been a big deal, aside from how awkward it now feels to pass people on the sidewalk or grocery store. But Tabke’s home state of Washington recently imposed a shelter in place policy. “These next month(s) will be the real test. I’m lucky to have a great partner with my wife, and some space in the backyard to chill.“

With all the extra time, Tabke has been experimenting in the kitchen. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but I’ve been trying to make stuff from places I’ve traveled lately. Tonkatsu Pork Ramen the other night was a success. I’m going to try making South American-style alfajores, those chocolate dipped, caramel filled sandwich cookies. Also, as cliche as it may be, more yoga. And since I normally do zero, doing more than that should be easy. “

As for his favorite quarantine meal? Tabke opts for salad niçoise. “There are lots of versions, but we put potatoes, green beans, olives, tuna, boiled eggs, anchovies, and tomatoes. Also, you didn’t ask about drinking, but a Mezcal Negroni with Punt e Mes for the vermouth is out of this world.”

Favorite Quarantine Workout: Mixing It Up

For Tabke to stay motivated, working out has to be fun. He rarely does gym-style training, instead he opts to ski as much as he can nine months out of year, while adding skateboarding in the city. With both off the table right now, he’s gotten more creative.

“This week we removed a couple huge thickets of blackberry bushes from the backyard to clear up some space for playing,” says Tabke. “I’ve been out there juggling the soccer ball for hours lately, waiting for quarantine to lift so we can get a good three-on-three tournament and BBQ going with friends. Next project: some plywood skateboard ramps I’ve been envisioning on the bank by my driveway.”

These athletes prove that being stuck at home can not only be doable but also beneficial for our mental and physical health during these times.

Written by Emy Reznik for Ski Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Ski Magazine

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