Seems like I hear a lot about how men skiers are far more competitive than women. But I’m not sure that’s true.

Look at the many terrific women skiers out there: Julia Mancuso, Kit DesLaurier, Wendy Fisher, Kim Reichhelm, Picabo Steet, to name a few. They didn’t get to the top of the heap by not having that competitive drive.

Okay, you say. These women are the exception. Competition is their job.

True. And though I’m not competitive with other skiers, I can’t say I’m not competitive, because I am — with myself. I constantly challenge myself to get better; to improve my technique and do better than I did in the past. I also can’t say I don’t get pleasure from out-skiing someone who talks bigger than he skis (note I say “he,” because in my experience, it’s usually men who are the big talkers).

Where competition gets a bad rap, I think, is when it gets out of control — when you put yourself and your goals ahead of anyone else, no matter what the cost. For example, if someone got hurt on a race course and you were glad because it made you win. I think that’s a good example of competition gone bad.

Still, a little competition is good for you. It forces you to push yourself just a little bit more than you ordinarily would. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There are a number of women who post on who are involved in NASTAR racing. It’s fun for them, and I’m sure it does wonders for their skiing. Who knows — maybe one of these days I’ll give it a try!