Kris Eidinger: Op. Ed.
Way out there, in the middle of nowhere, Idaho lives Kris Eidinger and his snowmobile. Sometime back in 1997 his dad bought him a Ski-Doo 250 to terrorize the back fields with and the rest is history. He’s toiled around the RMSHA circuit, married a fellow hill-climber and transitioned to and from the backcountry. And, evidently, had a lot of time to reflect on where he’s been, where he’s going and what’s going to get him there.
When belonging to an industry such as ours, it is easy to get caught up in the lights and fame that such a small industry allows its athletes to take part of. Short-lived internet and YouTube sensations are quick to the top and quickly fall apart. However, when it comes to my start and my current (small) success in this industry, I only have my close friends and family that have supported me through the success and hardships to thank.
I think most of us can say the same about their start ups and successes, whether it is a dad purchasing the first sled, or a mother who stood by and watched through blood, sweat, and injury, giving support and a shoulder to lean on. I have both my parents to thank for my start in the snowmobile industry. It started in ’97 when my dad bought a Ski-Doo 250 for me to put lap after lap in the backyard. It only progressed from there. My family was always the backbone behind my dream to ride snowmobiles for a living. Through ACL surgeries, rotator cuffs, broken bones and all; my family was always the first to tell me “If you get knocked off, you gotta get back on”.
Along with family members, we all have mentors that have helped us get to where we are now. People who have used their success or knowledge to try and teach you lessons, and pass on that knowledge to you. I have so many of these people; I can’t even begin to name them. But I think it is important for us athletes to realize how much of our success is because of the people who stand behind and support us. I have gained many friendships in this industry because of those people, and I think that is why I love the industry so much. Regardless of your status, your occupation, or your abilities, the friends you make in this industry will always stand behind you and support you through hardships and success alike.
I think one of the biggest faults we have in this industry is not doing enough for our sponsors. To be sponsored by companies in the snowmobile industry is not something like it is in, say, Supercross or Motocross, because the money and exposure isn’t there. So to be a sponsored athlete in this industry is something I feel we need to take more pride in. Companies in this industry are taking a chance in supporting you, and that means something. It’s not just a sticker on the side of your sled, it’s a representation that we need to take pride in. There is nothing more disturbing than when an athlete (no matter how much fame and fortune they have), feels like the sponsor owes it to them to give free product. Sponsors take pride in the products they produce and we as athletes should show the same pride and respect to the companies that believe and want to support us and our dreams. No matter the discount level, give each sponsor the same level of respect.
In conclusion, take a minute and realize where you are now, and where you came from. Your roots are the most influencing thing that made you who you are now. The journey you have taken from the first day you through a leg over the seat of your sled to where you are now has shaped you into the athlete you have become. Your family, your friends, mentors, and sponsors have helped you progress and gain success and attention. Take a minute and thank those around you and hold them close, because without them, you wouldn’t be where you are today. I can’t thank those friends and family of mine enough, without them I wouldn’t have had the opportunities or success that I do now, nor would I have been able to get through all the failures and hardships. So thank you, everyone who has kept me close through the years. Without your support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.