If you know anything about moguls, then you can understand why skier Noah Fournier has no problem with his future being up in the air, and that's just where he wants it to stay for the next decade.
The Auburn native, who attends Carrabassett Valley Academy, believes the sky's the limit when it comes to a promising future on the slopes.
Fournier is a 16-year-old sophomore, but don't let his youth fool you. He's has his sights on the nationals again, the World Cup, and a date with a Winter Olympics.
"Definitely - that's what I am striving for — the Olympics," Fournier said.
But the World Cup and the Olympics are long-term goals for Fournier. Before he can compete in those world-class events, he wants to make the junior nationals at Park City in Utah and then focus on nationals this season.
Like all mogul skiers, he loves the rush of all that hang time he gets in the air during practices and competitions.
"The jumps are a lot of fun," said Fournier, who is also a member of the CVA's mountain bike team. "Being up in the air is awesome. It takes a lot of skills.
"As a mogul skier, my strengths are definitely in the jumps, and air awareness, just figuring out where I am in the air."
Fournier has figured out a lot of things since he has been enrolled as a freshman at CVA.
Last December, Fournier collected his first career victory in a moguls event at Sugarloaf, and he placed third in the Kagan Cup Mogul Competition on Jan. 12 on the same mountain.
"A mogul run consists of skiing moguls, taking a jump, landing, skiing more moguls, taking a second jump, then skiing more moguls to the finish line," CVA mogul head coach Aaron Solomon explained. "The run is judged 50 percent on turns and line. (quality of turns, and not breaking a straight line), 25 percent jumps, degree of difficulty plus quality, (and) 25 percent speed."
Solomon continues to work with Fournier on his strength and conditioning and his form. All of Fournier's training is really paying off in competitions.
Besides competing around the country, Fournier has the privilege of training at Apex Mountain Resort in British Columbia.
"Apex is where some of the top athletes in the country are training," said Solomon, who added that CVA trains at Apex in the preseason.
In the beginning
Skiing is serious business at Carrabassett Valley, and that's why Fournier just couldn't say no when he was approached to enroll in the academy.
The mogul skier was introduced to CVA when he began participating in the CVA's joint ski program with Sugarloaf on weekends at the age of 10.
"Noah grew up skiing in our weekend program," Solomon said.
For the past couple of years, Solomon has watched Fournier evolve into a competitive moguls skier.
"He is a great student in class," Solomon said. "He encompasses all of what anybody can ask from a student athlete. He gets great grades. He is super friendly around the community.
"He is easy to get along with. He pretty much goes with the flow. He is one of those type of kids who is super easygoing and always has a smile on his face."
When CVA came knocking, Fournier knew it was impossible to turn down the offer.
"When I heard about it, I was always definitely interested in going there," Fournier said. "I like the way they managed my schedule. The coaching that they have here is awesome."
But when Fournier left home to make a commitment to CVA, his whole family eventually left Auburn and moved to Carrabassett Valley to be with him.
"(Skiing is) my passion," Fournier said. "When I am skiing, I am not thinking about anything else."
But you can bet the World Cup and Winter Games are always in the back of his mind.