Meet Your Neighbor: Ruth Selby
Name: Ruth Selby
Occupation: ski instructor
Neighborhood: Squaw Valley
Why did you move to Tahoe?
I lived in New York City for two years and needed a change so I wanted to move here for a winter and what do you know, two years later I’m still here.
What were you doing in New York City?
I went to graduate school at Columbia for International Development.
Where did you do your undergrad?
The University of Virginia.
What do you do for work in Tahoe?
I work at High Sierra Water Ski School and also at Tahoe Park Beach, which are both very relaxing and unstressful jobs. In the winter, I’m a ski instructor at Squaw Kids Ski School.
What are some of your hobbies?
I coach little girl’s soccer, I like trail running, hiking, I like to ride my bicycle, downhill skiing, I’m awful at snowboarding but I’m trying to get better, wakeboarding, water skiing, jumping off piers into the lake, drinking before the sun goes down and one of newest hobbies is skydiving.
How many dives have you done?
I’ve done 70 dives.
What would you say to someone who was afraid to go skydiving?
I would say the second you jump out of the plane you won’t be afraid anymore ” the fun outweighs the fear.
What do you miss the most about the city?
I miss the pace, the speed of life, the variety. Every night there were different places to go and different people to meet.
Have you done any international travel?
Yes I have. Last fall I went to Australia to visit a friend who was a yoga instructor in Sydney, I’ve been to New Zealand and I loved it there, and I’ve been to the Philippines because that is where my family is from. I also went to Afghanistan as an English-language trainer at Kabul University and I studied abroad in Spain, Italy and England.
Do you think you’ll do anything with your graduate degree?
When I got my masters, I think I was a little disillusioned with it because I went straight from undergrad to graduate school. When I moved here, I found a way of life that makes me happy so maybe, maybe not, we’ll see.
What has been the best day of the summer for you?
The best day of the summer here in Tahoe is everyday that I coach little girl’s soccer. Every time I walk away I’m psyched to be playing soccer, to be outside in the sun, to be active and to be a mentor for the girls.
Any thoughts on the upcoming presidential election?
I think the upcoming election is BS on both sides. I was initially taken with one of the candidates, but have since become disenchanted with the political process.
Have you ever had any near-death experiences?
The first winter I was living up here, it was early season conditions and I was skiing with a bunch of my guy friends at Squaw thinking I could keep up. I straight-lined a big rock on Siberia and landed on my face and thought I broke my neck. I was laying there and I couldn’t feel my body. My stuff had gone flying everywhere ” it was the worst garage sale you’ve ever seen. Eventually, I started to get the feeling back and just super snowplowed it down the mountain. To this day, all the guys call that rock ‘Ruthie’s rock’ in honor of my near-death experience.
How long have you been skiing at Squaw?
I’ve been skiing there since I was three or four years old, and this will be my third winter instructing.
What are you looking forward to most about winter?
Putting on my ski boots, living in the valley and being close to all my friends and the mountain.
What is one of your goals for the future?
I want to keep challenging myself whether it be at downhill skiing, running, teaching, coaching, caring, being. I want to keep learning and doing new things and getting better at what I do.
What is something your neighbors don’t know about you?
I’m a big dork. I like jeopardy, I’m kind of a book worm and I’m the queen of random, useless knowledge.
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