Ariana Koehler: My Coach Since Day One


Every time before I ski, there is something I have a habit of doing. Some people may think they know what this is and say, “You always have to tie your hair back because it gets pulled out after every fall.” Although this statement is true, I do not plan on chopping my hair off any time soon and the habit I am speaking of goes further beyond this tedious task. This habit is something not many people know of and something that no one can physically observe.

No matter where I am, in practice or at a tournament, I always repeat the words of Philippians 4:13 in my head. This Bible verse states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This has been one of my life verses for as long as I can remember and it has been a constant motivator for me as I have continued on with the sport of barefooting. People run to a lot of different things for the strength to move on and accomplish goals that they have put in place. For me, I cling to these words; knowing that with enough drive, motivation, dedication, and passion, I can achieve anything that I set my mind to. It is not alone or with only these qualities that I can defeat the challenges that I face, but with the power of my God who is bigger than any obstacle that stands in my way. I have worked with many different coaches and skied with a number of people throughout my years of barefooting and competing, but there is only one coach who has been there since day one. He has seen every struggle and every success, every frustrating battle and every fear I have ever faced. He has helped me achieve every dream that I once had and He will continue to do so as I continue to press on.

I feel that everyone in this sport can relate to the level of frustration that barefooting brings. There are times when it is hard to keep moving forward and it is in these times when it would be easy to call it quits and give up. It is my God who gives me clarity in these times, and reminds me why I have kept going all of these years. I love the sport of barefooting more than anything and I desire to continue on knowing that all things are possible with faith and trust in the Father. I never want to settle for being “good enough” when I know that I can accomplish so much more. Philippians 4:13 has told me that my God has believed in me from day one, it is now my job to believe in myself and trust in Him.

~Ariana Koehler

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