Secret Lives

Lynne Huffer

By Maria M. Lameiras

huffer

Kay Hinton

Day Job: Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Secret Life: Expert skier

Lynne Huffer doesn’t remember her first time skiing—she was only about three years old—but her love of the sport has carried throughout her life. Growing up in an energetic, outdoorsy family, Huffer enjoyed camping, hiking, backpacking, and skiing in the many places the family lived. She’s skied slopes around the US—and in Austria when the family lived in the Netherlands for two years—but she especially loves her “home” slopes in Colorado, where she lived from age ten until she left for college. Huffer has tackled the most difficult slopes in downhill skiing—those with a double black diamond rating—and even spent time as a ski instructor. After her freshman year at Wells College, Huffer spent a year teaching in Winter Park, Colorado, the ski resort area where her family spent weekends and vacations. She later taught for another year at Snowshoe Resort in West Virginia. There she gave both group lessons and private instruction, including teaching the family of then–West Virginia Governor John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV, who is now senior US senator from the state. Huffer, who travels back to Denver each year to visit family and to take advantage of prime skiing in Winter Park, hopes to follow her mother’s example when it comes to skiing. At nearly eighty years old, Betsy McConnell still skis regularly and volunteers with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, providing ski lessons for children and adults with disabilities.

Her Words: “I have been committed to my career—like most professors, I am a workaholic—so for a while I wasn’t skiing as much. But, as I have gotten older, I have realized that life doesn’t last forever. Skiing is something I associate with being playful and is a way to be out in nature. If I’m feeling bad, there is nothing like going into a wild area to help me find myself again. It’s very healing for me. Skiing gets me out of my head, for sure. There is nothing like being on a slope. It requires you to be completely in the moment—just you and the rhythm of the turns, the snow, and the cold air on your face. It can be a little bit scary, but I like that. I like to push the edge a little, to challenge myself and do something that is a little hard.”

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