Tim's Time at Tahoe XC

Thank you, Tim Hauserman!

Strider Gliders is our signature youth program. It’s a unique offering for local youth to play outside on the snow. Tim Hauserman has been involved with it for the past 22 years. Wow, let’s just say that again…22 years! You can barely say ‘Strider Gliders’ without simultaneously thinking of outrageously fun hats, playful energy, and local stewardship, as this program runs mostly from volunteer coaches and simply cross-country ski passion. Tim has been at the helm as the Strider Gliders Program Director for the past 20 years. As we ‘allow’ Tim to move on this year, it was important for us to gain insight from him through a casual interview of thoughtful and playful questions. Read below to learn how Tim become the Director of Strider Gliders and of the unique learnings and memories that we both will take with us as Tim moves on to new adventures. You will be missed, Tim Hauserman, you, mad hatter, you!

Taking on Strider Gliders

Q: What made you decide to take on Strider Gliders?

Tim: I started out as a coach for the Red Team for Strider Gliders as soon as Tahoe XC started in 2000. I did that for a few years, and then the director position became available. Then TCCSEA Director Valli Murnane and I met and talked about me taking it on. It seemed like a good idea. Sometimes out of the blue I get these overly ambitious ideas into my skull like going to grad school, directing Strider Gliders, writing a guidebook, riding my bike across Iowa, or going on a long hike by myself in Minnesota. For some reason I tell myself “Oh, I could do that.” This of course is followed shortly thereafter by a feeling of “Uh-oh! What did I get myself into!” But in the end it almost always ends up being a good thing. Well, except for that hike in Minnesota. The good news is that fiasco was good fodder for my book coming out this summer, “Going it Alone: Ramblings and Reflections from the trail.”

Tim Hauserman

Q: How did the hat come into play?

Tim: The thought with hats was to be playful, and let the kids know that this Strider Glider thing was not too serious, it was just about having fun (and while you are at it you might just learn how to ski). I had a Cat in the Hat, and a Jester, then over the years my daughters gave me a King hat since my middle name is Rex and then a Elmo hat for Christmas presents. They will have to come up with a new idea for Christmas now. Hint: Chocolate is always good.

Q: What is the funniest memory you have of Strider Gliders?

Tim: This is the toughest question. I don’t have any examples off the top of my head, but what I always thought were fun were the earnest comments from children that remind us how kids look at life differently from adults, but often their logic makes more sense than ours. I remember setting up a little relay race with a class and after lining up the kids I said: “Ok, as soon as I say go, ski as fast as you can!” And most of the kids were on board with this concept, but one girl looked at me very seriously and said, “Why?” Good question.

Mad Hatter Tim

Tim in his King Hat

Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned from time with Strider Gliders?

Tim: I think the generosity, patience and good spirits of the coaches has always been inspiring to me. If I was ever frustrated, watching how they would deal with whatever comes up would calm me down. Same with the kids. I think sometimes we underestimate how resilient and strong our kids are. Seems like the days they had the most fun was when it was dumping snow or rain and it was freezing cold. They understand that it was really just the same thing those of us of a certain age used to call “going out to play.”

Q: What’s the first thing you’ll do next winter when you realize you don’t have to corral coaches and kids?

Tim: Not sure yet. Hopefully a lot of long morning skis, and I’m looking forward to teaching more adult clinics and of course, lots of writing. There is a novel that needs to be finished. But I might also be wandering around the desert or visiting another part of the country to cross-country ski, something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before.

In honor of Tim’s time as Strider Glider Director, we will be holding a “Goodbye to Tim” party on April 28 starting at 4:30pm. You are invited, please RSVP here so we can collect accurate numbers for food and refreshments. We also invite you to sign his e-card.

We are currently hiring for the future Director of Strider Gliders, if you are interested, please visit this page to learn more.