Ski Tips & Wise Cracks: Casseroles, Hair Flips and Mustaches —The Unorthodox Training of WME Athletes

Skiers are weird. And how they get in shape for ski season is even weirder.

DISCLAIMER: The following story is a complete and utter work of fiction. No actual, real reporting was done here. I made it all up. But in my head it’s real, so yeah, it’s pretty real then. You should take it very seriously, especially the absurd, ridiculous stuff. #FictionalFacts

Paddy O’Connell takes on the perplexities of summertime livin’ as a ski bum.

In order to ski act, stack that footy, and make the audience ew-n-aw, Warren Miller Entertainment athletes have to be in peak physical fitness. Many WME skiers seek out traditional training regimens, like classic weight lifting, running, jazzercise, and break dance fighting. However, recently it has come to light that many WME athletes have sought out unconventional but highly effective new methods.

Upper Lip Curls—Marcus Caston

Marcus Caston is one of the hardest charging, prettiest turning skiers out on them hills today. No breaking news here. But, what people don’t know about Caston is that he is in fact as tall as a fire hydrant, but like, a really buff and (upsettingly) handsome fire hydrant. To aid in his pow skiing flotation, deep snow partibility, and rugged mountain-man aesthetic, Caston’s upper lip is home to a magnificent mustache every winter. 

However, his lip sweater first began as a paltry patch of mouth real estate. “It was gross,” Caston admits. “I mean, no one wants to talk to a guy whose mouth is adorned with stringy tree moss.” Caston held steady during the awkward stages of his mouth brow, massaging it daily, combing a mixture of Vaseline and Miracle-Gro into it, and sleeping beneath a heat lamp at night. Within a few months, his fruit mold stache transformed into a fully-fledged push broom. To keep his facial hair mouth bicep in tip top shape, Caston squashes dumbbell face curls and carries his ski bag with his mustache. 

“I can’t ski without my stache,” Caston says. “It flutters like eagle wings and pops me out of the snow, and it acts like a counterweight. It’s like a cheetah’s tail, only it’s on my face. Yeah, it’s like a face tail, but aren’t cheetahs neat?”

Kaylin Richardson and Marcus Caston discuss casseroles and mustache curls.

Casserole Crushin’— Kaylin Richardson

Former US Ski Team member and Olympian Kaylin Richardson is a boss. Her turns have more angles than a protractor. She can drop a hip and carve up a mountain like it’s a Thanksgiving turkey. Few may know that, along with her natural ability, years of training in the gym and on the hill, what is truly behind Richardson’s ski success is a Minnesota secret: the casserole, aka hotdish.

Growing up in the Twin Cities means a few things: you’re going to pronounce your O’s and U’s in a long breathy fashion through your right nostril and you're going to eat a lot of casserole. “It’s the only thing we ate when I was a kid,” Richardson says. “I didn’t know what a sandwich was until my twenties.”

To grunt out extensive approaches in the backcountry, Richardson stuffs her pockets with steaming hotdish. “Granola bars and energy chews just don’t cut it,” Richardson explains.

As a young ski racer, Richardson carved up the 200-foot frozen ski hills around St. Paul and Minneapolis, and scooped up countless plates of hotdish for unwavering, delicious energy. Following long training runs, she doesn’t reach for a sports drink or glass of water, rather a hot cup of casserole. To grunt out extensive approaches in the backcountry, Richardson stuffs her pockets with steaming hotdish. “Granola bars and energy chews just don’t cut it,” Richardson explains. “You want to make mountain crumbling slashes? Well then, you need starch, ground beef, frozen veggies, and some canned soup melted together in a pyrex square. Hotdish is Minnesota Gatorade for your skiing soul, only it has tater tots on top.”

Hair flipping keeps McKenna Peterson, Amie Engerbretson and Lexi duPont in top-notch ski shape.

Slo-Mo Hair Flips—Lexi duPont, McKenna Peterson, Amie Engerbretson

To get ready for ski season, Amie Engerbretson practices yoga-thletics. McKenna Peterson hunts fish like a rabid mermaid in the waters of Alaska. And Lexi duPont participates in the US Truck Stop Arm Wrastlin’ circuit. She is currently ranked in the top ten. But these three big-mountain slashers say that nothing better prepares them for skiing big lines than slow motion hair flips.

“People think they’re easy, but they are not easy,” the trio explains in perfect Dixie Chicks three-part harmony. “Do you know how difficult it is to move your entire body in slow motion? It’s frickin’ hard, bro. Plus, you’ve got to engage every muscle, from your big toe all the way to the tiny abs in your hair. You ever done side-ponytail crunches? They are supes tough.”

The shred queen trio says to get into an athletic position, feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and eyes staring into the camera with a serious but mildly aloof look, like your trying to do long division in your head. Then, flex your entire body like the skiing version of a boa constrictor (a bro-a constrictor?), scoop-n-swoop that hair, slowly stand tall, and snap your locks back with gentle ferocity. Finish by looking deep into the camera like a person who has just enjoyed a donut. Repeat every off-season seven to a million times.

Working out can be a pain. But workin’ it ain’t no thang.