How WBC Changed My Life

There are many ways the World Barefoot Center changed my life. The first time I went to WBC in December 2009, I just came as a simple skier.  2009 was my first year competiting in the Open Men division. There, I met the two bests skiers  in the world and the best coach I ever had (Swampy). When I arrived in Florida, it was my first clinic out of Europe and also the first time I had to train in such great conditions for December month compare to the French winter.

In 2009, I already had couple Europeans titles in Junior and Open, so throught that my progression was close to the maximum. But when training really started with Swampy, I realized that I was far from the skiing I could expect for myself! At that point, I just felt like a beginner instead of practicing barefooting for over ten years, and that feeling is “digusting”! By pushing me so hard in trainings and making me fall on basics, Swampy just broke all the self confidence I had in my skiing. (And he almost made me cry.)

After that, my goals in this sport totally changed and I wanted to learn– and learn as much as possible in the short time I was spending in WBC. So Swampy started to build a totally different skier and a new person in myself! In a short leap of time, I transformed into a coachable skier.  I had new goals to reach and new steps to overcome to be the skier that they expected me to be: “a world class skier” like the poeple I met at the WBC.

A couple weeks later back home, I received an email from WBC and they wanted me to be a part of the team! I could not refuse the offer, so it has been a great pleasure to accept it! Accepting it was the first commitment I was doing in the sport, and it motivated me more to be a good skier  with everything that engage… so I choose to go back there to spend a bit of summer time at WBC!

At the WBC, I became involved in the sport like I never did before and trained the hardest that I could do every day. Spending a full month training in Florida made me more mature in my way of training for events and preparing myself to reach the goals that I set. Life is a challenge that you train yourself everyday to succeed in!

Shortly after leaving WBC, I faced new steps to overcome: the end ofsummer time means studies are coming back, so I had to deal with my main two activities that are barefooting and studying. The easy way  would be to stop one of those, but I could not do it! So I choose to apply the way of thinking I learnt in WBC and decided to overcome the difficulties that face me. Now my success in both just depends of the work that I  give in each.  The hardest thing has been sharing my time between my passion and my studies. My desire of being a champion is the same of being the best student that I can!

So whatever happens to you, just work the hardest you can to reach it and overcome it, never turn back!

Clement Maillard

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