Today my daily inspiration is 19-year old Nick Goepper.
Nick became a media darling recently when he became the poster boy for the recently introduced Olympic sport of ski slopestyle. I could just list Nick as an inspiration for just being able to do this sport. IT IS INSANE, google it. The talent all the athletes have is amazing. I could just list Nick as an inspiration for having no fear. Really? To ski backwards off a jump doing a trick and 100 mph? WOW. I could have listed Nick (and almost did) for being my inspiration for doing his homework. This kid grew up with less snow in a season then I received in a day growing up in NH. He is credited for learning how to ski by watching tapes over and over and over and over and over and over (this is when his sister started hating him) and over and over and over and over. I could even… have listed his whole family as my inspiration. I grew up with an athlete and I know how hard the whole family has to work. His mom and dad had many trials and pushed through them.
So why is Nick my inspiration today if for not any of the reasons above?
Nick is my inspiration for “just doing”. He had a childlike (since he actually was a child for most of his life till this point) view of the world. You want something, you just do it. Sigh, that sounds so simple doesn’t it? He had no idea his dream to ski and do the amazing tricks was impossible for him to learn where he lived. He had no idea when he first started that it would be easier to learn on one of the coasts.
He just went ahead and built his own slope in his backyard with scraps from local construction sites. He then sprayed water and liquid soap to get his skis to slide. He never thought “if only” he “just did it”. He figured it out. He did not watch those videos over and over thinking “if only” just got on his trampoline in the backyard and practiced the moves he watched for hours. He was a kid… he knew his dad was out of work for two years. He must have felt the family stress but he never thought “if only”. He worked with his parents who made calls to find him a scholarship. He “just did”.
When his dad started making those phone calls? The people he was calling…. already knew who he was. He was a 12 year old from Indiana with a trampoline and a home built ski slope in his backyard. NO ONE should have known who he was. Why? Because I know hundreds of kids that have built wrestling rings, UFC rings, stages, skate parks, etc in their back yards. What is the difference? What made Nick the star?
He had the talent first. More importantly, he had that internal knowledge he had that talent. He had an amazing family. His family pushed for him and he might possibly not be where he is without them (although I have my doubts and think his internal push would have gotten him there anyways). He has a great attitude. He has no ego, just faith in himself. In article after article I read “Nick is so polite and soft spoken” used to describe him. He loves the sport. I have seen many fail near the top because in the end, they had the talent but not the love. He has the drive and the smarts. In the end…. he “just did it”.
So today, Nick Goepper is my inspiration. Thank you Nick!!!