Faces: Erik Anderson

By Beacon Staff

Erik Anderson seems to have been born with an innate sense of determination.

Following in his older sister’s ski boots, Anderson clipped into his first cross-country skis and tackled his first race – a one-kilometer loop around the Whitefish Golf Course – while still in diapers.

“I tried to bite people because they told me to quit,” he said. “I was taking so long to finish. It took me an hour to complete what now takes me 3 minutes.”

Now 18, the senior at Whitefish High School is still fiercely competitive.

“If I read a statistic on the Internet or in the paper that one of my buddies has done well, I immediately drop down and do 50 sit-ups,” he said. “So I know I’m doing something.”

“(Cross-country skiers are) definitely a different breed,” said Anderson. “We think of ourselves as the Batman, Robin and Jason Bournes of the sport.”

Like any endurance sport, you have to have the mental ability to push through the pain when “every muscle in your body is telling you to stop,” said Anderson.

In the off-season, Anderson spends time running, roller-skating and swimming competitively – anything that builds endurance.

In the end, “it is a battle with you and what you’re skiing,” Anderson said.