A day with women team member Lisa Densmore

March 29th, 2006

1. What does a day of training entail for you?

It really depends on the season. Unless I’m on a long hike, trekking in a remote country, or shooting a television segment in wilderness area, I rarely spend an entire day “training”, but I do train every day.

During the summer, I mostly have fun playing the many sports I enjoy, especially playing tennis, waterskiing, paddling my kayak, and hiking in the mountains. Sometimes I’ll go running, biking or in-line skating. ‘Nothing too structured, but I get a lot of exercise, at least 2 hours per day and usually more.

Once the autumn arrives, I pay more attention to my ski fitness. I still play tennis and hike a lot, but add in more ski-specific exercises. I take several slalom “runs” every day on my Skier’s Edge machine and I do a lot of core strength and leg strength exercises.

During the winter, I am skiing 4-6 days per week. Every day on snow is different. I might be coaching at a women’s ski clinic or a junior racing program. I might be shooting ski tips for a television show or skiing with the media to explain Head’s products. Sometimes I’m at demo days to ski with VIP ski shop owners and buyers or testing skis myself. On Friday mornings, I usually run some gates to stay sharp for the Masters circuit. And once in a great while, I get the whole day just to ski for fun!

In reality, I don’t train so seriously anymore. I spent so many years training for ski racing when I was in my teens and 20s that it doesn’t take much for me to maintain good physical conditioning. Today, physical fitness is simply part of my lifestyle and necessary for my mental sanity.

2. Do you have a strict diet on and off season? What does a meal consist for you?

I don’t follow a particular diet, although at times I’ve been accused of following one based on various flavours of ice cream. In truth, I find it’s too difficult to follow a strict diet with the amount of travel that I do. I believe that it’s okay to eat whatever you want as long as you do it in moderation. In general, I try to stay away from deep fried foods and junk food. I try to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. But I do love my ice cream and I have a weakness for other sweets as well. Good thing I get so much exercise!

3. Does your lifestyle change a lot from on to off season?

Not really, because I am married with a husband and a nine-year-old son. Having a son adds stability and routine to my lifestyle when I am at home. My television work and other work is no longer limited to winter, so my professional life is busy year-round and requires a lot of travel. For me, the biggest difference between the winter and off-season is the amount of luggage that I have to lug around. It’s much less in the off-season, and I don’t have to constantly prep skis.

4. What would you say is the best thing about being a professional skier?

I am the luckiest person in the world to be a professional skier, to make a living doing what I love the most! I have considered myself a pro skier since I joined the Women’s Pro Ski Tour in 1985. (I was on the U.S. Ski Team from 1976-1979, but back then, national teams had “amateur” status.) It has been a long run and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. For me, even the nastiest, coldest day on the hill is better than a day in an office. Skiing has given me many extraordinary things, particularly the chance to travel around the world to many beautiful places and the chance to meet many wonderful, interesting, talented people.

5. Where is the best place you have traveled to, because skiing has brought you to this place?

Tough question, since skiing has brought me many places. The best ever was probably a heli-skiing trip in 1988 near Whistler BC. We were shooting a ski film for Mizuno for release in Japan. I had never been in a helicopter before. We had an entire week of sunshine and virgin powder. It was the closest thing to nirvana that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been to many special places because of my skiing – all over North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Japan… but that heli-ski trip was the first time that everything – the snow conditions, the weather, the location, and the people - was in perfect harmony.

6. Since you are in the public eye and you have the ability to influence people, what would you like to project as a skier?

Foremost, that skiing is fun! Regardless of your age, sex, background, ability level, location, skiing is a terrific way to be outdoors. Second, I try to always set a good example (be a responsible citizen so to speak) while hopefully inspiring other skiers to raise their personal bar. I do this through my actions and what I say, both on-camera and in person. Finally, I hope that people pick up my passion for the sport whether they see me teaching on the groomers, racing down a Super G, or ripping in the back bowls.

7. If you were not a skier, what would you do? What would be another dream “job” for you?

Skiing is not my whole life now. My “day” job is in television, writing, producing and hosting outdoor and adventure programming. I also write for various magazines and book publishers, and I am launching a new business, DensmoreDesigns.com, based on my nature photography. If skiing disappeared from my life today, it would leave a big hole, but I think the hole would fill up quickly. The biggest change would be my attitude. Despite my diverse professional life, I still think of myself as a skier. Everything I do off the slopes is simply filling time until I can ski again, or helping me prepare for my next time on the hill. Losing that focus would be a huge change for me, since I’ve had it my entire life.

8. What is the most touching moment that has happened to you, so far in your life?

There are two equal moments: marriage and child birth.

9. Tell me a funny story that has happened to you while travelling or at home for example?

Here’s a short one: Several years ago, I was competing at the U.S. Alpine Masters Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho. The first event was Super G. I won the race. That evening at the awards ceremony, instead of getting a normal gold medal, the presenter gave me a small white box. I returned to my table where my friends immediately prodded me to open it. I complied, expecting a nice gift commemorating the event. Instead, I found four potatoes wrapped in gold foil. Idaho is the “potato state” and the event organizer wanted to give the champions a “taste” of Idaho. If you placed second, you got potatoes wrapped in silver foil, and if you took third, you got bare potatoes (no foil). I swept the championships in my age group that year, winning not only the Super G, but also the GS, slalom, and combined. I took home many fond memories of the week, but I left behind a bushel of potatoes.

10. Tell me a joke that you would tell your friends?

I’m not much of a joke teller because I can never get the punch line out correctly, but I love to listen to them. Unfortunately, I don’t remember them very well.