Monday Morning Motivation: The Podium

Maurice Manificat

This week’s Monday Morning Motivation features French skier Maurice Manificat. In this video from Salomon TV, he shares how he eats, sleeps, and trains in order to win races.

English transcript:

People often ask me what I am thinking on the podium, but I never know what to answer. It’s hard to believe, but I don’t think too much at that moment.

The Podium

Sometimes people see us as superheroes, but in reality, we have a simple life. I wake up, I eat, I train, I rest… I am aware that I miss some important steps in my son’s life, but I really enjoy every moment I spend with him.

Sure, it’s not easy to train every day., but once I put on my skis, I know that I’m lucky. Snow skiing is a game. Alone in the forest, I let go and I forget everything.

When you glide, you feel free. You can go almost anywhere. That’s another reason to love this sport. There is nothing better than to be alone in the woods and to listen to the sound of your skis on the snow.

Competitive spirit is another story.

Davos World Cup, December 2015

On rare days, you can transform. You always do the same movements. You can do them almost with your eyes closed.

You feel at once that here is D-day. There is some bustle. The staff are working in wax cabins.

Together with your technician, you must choose the right pair of skis. It’s all about these small details which make the difference.

Suddenly you find yourself in the start area. Alone against yourself. You’ve trained hard and you will finally know. You put on your race suit, your bib.

Without being superstitious, we love to keep to our routine for reassurance.

When the race starts, you already know if today is one of your good days or not.

You feel the adrenaline. You are in your bubble. Focused on your breath, your coordination, your regularity.

When you cross the line, it’s a blessed deliverance.

You’ve done your best you are on the verge of fainting. You just let yourself fall down on the snow.

It’s a unique moment. Indescribable. It is like a reward.

Here is the reason why you compete – to regain this thrill.

We are doing an individual sport, but it is a true collective adventure because, without these guys, you are nothing. You know how hard you’ve worked for this and it is amazing to see that you did not do it in vain. That you gave happiness to all the team.

French Championships, March 2016

The homecoming with my wife and son is always special.

High-performance sport has a selfish side. Everybody needs to bend over backwards to facilitate your daily life. That’s why I try to be as available as possible for my loved ones.

Every season there is a world tour. It is a far from home period, starting in December and lasting until March.

After 4 months abroad, it is pure happiness to come back to France and race at home.

It is like a victory lap to thank all the people who followed you during the winter.

Then, I still can’t tell you what I am thinking on a podium. But now you know that my name is Maurice Manificat, that I am a cross-country skier, and finally, it doesn’t really matter what I am thinking on the podium as the true pleasure is in all of the rest!


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