T J Schiller Profile

T J Schiller Profile

This story originally ran in the October 2008 issue of Freeskier (V11.1). Compiled by Shay Williams.

Photo: Erik Seo/PBP

Q. All the ladies want to know: What’s your status?! There’s no way a guy like you has a hard time finding what he wants! Taken? Single and looking? Something serious or just playing the field? Dish, please!
—Heidi Drasche

A. Heidi, funny thing you ask. Next fall I am seeking true love on MTV on my new reality TV show, “TJ In Love.” If you think you got what it takes, please message me on Facebook and I’ll set you up for an interview to try to get on my show.

Q. You hurt your knee last season, and so did I. Working out is a hobby of mine and as an ambitious young skier I want to strengthen the muscle groups most beneficial to skiing. I was wondering if you hit the gym, and if so what muscle groups and exercises you do most? Also what did you do to recover and generally strengthen your knees?
—Chris German

A. Working out is as important to me as skiing. In order to keep skiing, we must stay healthy and active outside of our sport. After tearing my ACL and having hamstring graft surgery, I realized just how important this really is. A skier’s body should be lean, mean and able to take a punch. We need a ridiculously strong core. The core controls the whole body and will save you in times of despair. Core workouts are plentiful and easy to do. The bridge is a great way to test your core strength. Hold your body up with your forearms and toes keep your back fl at and fl ex your gut. See how long you can hold it. Lately, because of my surgery, I have had to focus on my hamstring and quad muscles. Weight machines are great, and key for the beginning of rehab. But I find body weight
and balancing extremely key for what we do. Using Bosu balls for balancing and doing squats is great to get all those little muscles ready to party. The most key exercise for dry-land training is using a bike. It is more or less a gift from God to those with bad knees. Stay away from running and any hard-impact workouts/sports until about five months into rehab.

Q. How hard was it to sit on the sidelines this year due to your knee injury?
—Travis Halverson

A. Dude, Travis. Seriously, man, it made me want to cry. Being injured for my first time re ally made me realize just how in love with skiing I am. It is everything I think about, dream about, talk about… It is my life and I love it so much. It also made me that much more serious about taking care of my body and mind so I can do it for the rest of my life.

Q. Would you say 15 is too old to start learning park and pipe and to hopefully get a sponsorship someday.
—Jean Hurd

A. Absolutely NOT Jean!!! I learned my first 360 when I was 13. Watch every ski movie that comes out this fall and study all the tricks like you would with your homework. Watch it in slow-mo and try and break down the trick and how it’s really done. Maybe get a trampoline and try those tricks on there… You’ll be ahead of the pack and having a blast! Good luck, young Jedi.

Q. What do you do, if anything, to clear your head and fight off the fear before trying something you’ve never tried before? Whether it be a new trick off a jump, or a cliff you’ve never dropped before, is there something you always say to yourself to get your head straight? Basically what makes you go, when others
say no?

—Evan Cannon

A. How to stop the fear… the fear is what drives you man! You need to know not how to over-come it, but use it to amp you up. I try and think positively on everything I do in life. Especially in skiing when my life is on the line. I tell myself I can do it and it’s gonna be super pimp. It may be frightening as shit, but when I stomp it, it’s gonna be redic! Ten seconds before dropping in, I reassure myself and give my whole body a lil’ wake-up call by jumping on the spot to warm the blood or just fl ex as hard as I can to get it going — and then drop. Stomp. Choice.

Q. What was it like going from average park skier to pro in pretty much one night after the US Freeskiing Open?
—Daniel Stoops

A. I was always, and still am, that skier. People just took notice. Dreams come true.

Q. If you could be one pro skier, other than yourself, who would it be?
—Daniel Stoops

A. There’s a lot of things I truly respect from other skiers in the game. I respect people for tricks and technical things they do with our sport. There are also people who are just amazing at life itself and have great balance between skiing and the rest of it. I respect athletes for how their minds work, their dedication to training and staying healthy. I respect athletes for their hunger for the sport and willingness to step it up when they need to. I admire the amateurs for giving it all they got, knowing that if it works the outcome is a goal and a dream made. I would want to be that “next kid coming up” because I think
those kids have everything that I have described. A taste of the professional life is the best ever. It makes you real hungry. Then again, so does not skiing for six months.

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