I have lived in a world class ski town for 18 years and since 1999 I have successfully avoided strapping on a pair of downhill skis. I don't like the cold, the only athletic activity I have willingly participated in was bowling team, I find the idea of falling down a mountain absolutely terrifying, etc, etc, etc.
But the universe did not accept my excuses and last fall I got engaged to a boy who has been skiing since he has been walking. And for Christmas, I got ski lessons. So whether I wanted to or not, I HAD to learn to ski. Here is what I learned....
1. Everyone is a beginner at some point, and its OKAY I honestly thought that I was the ONLY adult in Bend, Oregon who did not know how to ski or snowboard, so I was overjoyed when my classmates were my age or older, and not a bunch of 6 year old kids like I'd expected. I was not the only one who barely knew how to put on skis, or get on the lift, or who didn't understand why ski poles even exist.
2. Just suck it up There have been tears, one mini-panic attack, at least one pre-ride shot of whiskey BUT, by the end of (almost) every day, a huge smile. It sucks to do something that you are afraid of. You can do all of the preparation in the world to make it easier but at some point you just gotta do it.
3. Practice makes you better I was going to say practice makes perfect, but I doubt I will ever achieve perfection. You can only get better by trying it over and over and over again.
4. Falling sucks .... and the only way to avoid it is to get really good at NOT FALLING. I don't have any technical advice (I am still learning myself) but in skiing, as in life, you just have to figure out what works for you and learn from your mistakes. BUT, don't forget to....
5. Appreciate how far you have come. Since I have graduated ski school I have been totally intimidated by how much better my friends are at skiing than I am. I constantly remind myself that they have been doing it for DECADES longer than I have. Everyone starts as a beginner, right now it is my turn and I have done SO much more over the past couple of months than I thought I could!
6. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else!! You literally cannot ski down the hill if you are focusing on someone else the whole time. Worry about yourself and your own journey.
7. Learn to focus The great thing about skiing is once you kind of get the hang of it all you have to do is focus on what's ahead of you. If you imagine where you want to go, your body will naturally follow. The more you can relax and just go with it, the better. I think this applies to most goals, big or small.
8. Some days are good and some days are bad Some classes I was one of the better skiers and on at least one occasion I was the person holding everyone else back. Guess what? I lived. I was better by the end of class. I learned to laugh it off. I was humbled. There are god things about every day, even the bad ones.
9. It's really good for you to get uncomfortable sometimes This is how you grow, this is how you eventually get comfortable. Try new things, you might actually like them. For example, I found out that....
10. Skiing is actually kind of fun.. You should try it.
I completed the Ski Or Ride In 5 program at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon and I cannot recommend it enough. I started from scratch and watched myself and my classmates gain a TON of experience and confidence in themselves over the course of just 5 lessons!
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