When you turn into the gates of The Lakes of Cypress Hill, many thoughts cross your mind about this beautiful ski paradise. One of them has to be that if I lived at a place like this, even I could run 38off! Even I could qualify for Nationals! That’s what Jeff Greathouse was thinking in 1996 when he and his wife, Ernestine, bought a lot in NW Houston and moved into their house a year later.
Jeff’s skiing background and goals were really no different from most tournament skiers. He skied his first tourney in 1989 at age 30, with a “ridiculous” desire to someday qualify for Regionals. He never even dreamed about going to Nationals as his practice sessions were becoming quite frustrating, skiing on public water.
When a few of his friends moved to private lakes, he knew that was the ticket. He acknowledges that the combination of skiing with Chad Scott, a new technology in skis, speed control for boats, and protected waters got him to his first Nationals in 2000. And that Fall, he ran 38off for the first time in a tournament.
Jeff continued to ski well for several years and lived the good life with Ernestine in their beautiful residence and ski site. But complacency set in and life changed in many ways after 2005. New changes at his job, less time on the water, blowing off exercise, after age 40 change of metabolism, and neglect of diet: all these contributed to his looking in the mirror one January day in 2008 at a near 240 lb., out of shape lump. He promised himself right then and there he was losing weight, and set a goal to run 38off again in a tournament. He had not done so in over 3 years.
He lost more than fifty pounds over the next few months with a new diet, started incorporating a personal trainer with his off the water exercise, and ran 38off during the 2010 season at a local tournament in Houston. Though ranked only in the top 50 in Men’s 4, one would have a hard time finding a happier slalom skier in the nation. Determination and willpower can go a long way toward changing what we can change. Just ask Jeff Greathouse.
Insurance Executive with Chubb Insurance
Lived at Cypress since 1997
First tourney: 1989
First Regional: 1990
First Nationals: 2000
Height & Weight: 6’ 1, 194
Peak weight: 238 in 2008, got down to 185 and would like to return to that for 2011
Runs 2 to 3 sets per week in Summer
Rarely runs down the rope; starts at 28off, 32off, runs 35off, then he repeats that pass several times
Usually skis on Tuesday and Thursday, no ski on MWF
Has incorporated running 35MPH in one of his sets
Very rarely free skis
Works out with weights on non-ski days, multiple reps, rarely to failure in the Summer
Cardio every day M-F on a stationary bike or stair climber
Rarely skis in the Winter but continues exercise regimen
Trains with local legend (and all-around good guy) Mike Munn
Has trained with some pros when they come to Houston
Started gaining weight after 2005 season and peaked at 238 in 2008
Started counting calories with no more than 2500 per day
Reduced fat foods from 50% of diet to 20%
Avoids caffeine and alcohol, drinks lots of water
Pre-tourney day has a big protein meal in the evening
On tourney day has a light breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, and corn tortilla
Skis, then snacks on yogurt, or power bar, or fruit
Skis, then lunches on a protein shake and/or power bar
Water only all day long (well, a celebratory margarita, perhaps, at day’s end)
Goode WideRide, 64 in.