Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Time Skier

Generally, my blogs are about what is going on in my current life. Well, I've decided to write a little bit of my history in preparation for an exciting future event! In early March, Luke and I will be joining a group of 11 others in the French/Swiss Alps for a week long ski trip. We are super duper excited!
Let's go back in time quite a bit... years in fact... When Luke was young, he went skiing practically every year. He learned when he was itty-bitty and would fly down the mountain. I have been told that he would point his skis straight with no fear in mind. According to him, if he did get nervous, he would just fall with no injury because he was so close to the ground. His last ski adventure was at 7 years old.
Let's move forward in time quite a bit... years in fact... Luke and I got the chance to go on a ski trip in 2011 with a group of friends to Winter Park, Colorado. I had never skied before, and my sister pretty much hated it when she tried it, so I was nervous to spend so much money. Plus, everyone else in our group had skied multiple times previously. I was worried I would be left alone. Luke was excited because he had positive memories of skiing as a child.
On my first day of skiing, our group insisted that I did not need ski lessons. A few of them stayed with Luke and I to show us what to do. Like riding a bike, Luke got back into the groove very quickly. I, on the other hand, was moving like a turtle. Why is it that getting on and off the lifts is the hardest task and must be completed before the easier tasks? Anyway, they stayed with me for a couple of runs down the easiest green we found, and then Luke and I were left alone.
The most exhausting part about skiing is falling. It happens when you learn. You cant fight it. It just happens. And so after falling and getting back up over and over again, my legs were getting exhausted. I remember my thighs burning with pain... to the point where I couldn't pull myself back up one time. And since I was new, I "pizza"-ed my way down the slope. I was scared to let loose and go anywhere near 10mph 1mph. So the pizza-ing is also exhausting on the legs. By mid-day, Luke was bored and somehow convinced me to try other green runs on the mountain. I was getting the hang of it, but still learning. That evening, I was sore! Sore! Sore! My thighs burned, my outer thighs burned, my triceps burned, my shoulders burned. No amount of hot tub or alcohol was going to make me feel better.
The second day of skiing went pretty well. New powder covered the slopes, and for those of you who have skied before know that new powder is heavenly! I started the day with my easy greens, but by mid-day, I upgraded to blues! I joined the rest of our group which were primarily snowboarders. Unfortunately, I was still really sore, and I was still very much new to the game. While they flew down the mountain, I was taking my nervous time catching up with them. By the time I caught with them at their waiting point, they had been resting for a minute or two and were ready to go. This left me with ZERO rest - I was beat! I managed to make it through the day, but again, sore, sore, sore.

I had taken the third day off to rest my legs and get a massage with the girls. We enjoyed sleeping in, sipping hot chocolate, and chatting at the lodge. The guys used that day to try out some black runs, do some jumps, and make their own paths through the trees. Luke was in heaven and reverting back to his childhood days.
(see middle picture... Luke is about to go through the trees.)

Day four of our trip was back to skiing. It was my third and final day to ski, and it was not the greatest. The beautiful powder became icy and chunky which is not a great ski surface. The group and I went back to our blue runs we did on day two. Things were not going the same as my second day. I remember not liking the surface, my boots were digging into my shins, and I could barely feel my feet. After doing those runs multiple times, I remembered (for the most part) what was coming up on the slope. I had learned that if a flat green was coming, I had to "french fry" as much as possible to gain speed for the flat. Toward the end of the day, I misjudged a slope and "french fried" way too early. I ended up going way too fast and was bouncing around on chunks. I was not comfortable, so I did what Luke told me and went down to the ground to stop. My right arm caught somewhere on the ground and my shoulder was in pretty rough pain. Like all other times, I was left behind with the rest of the group in front of my waiting. So I had to suck it up and keep going. As I went, I realized that I completely misjudged the slope because I had another downhill before that flat part. If I hadn't of stopped, I would have been in a major bind. I met up with Luke, told him what happened, and was done!

At that point, I believed that I would never ski again. I wasn't comfortable, and I didn't think I would ever get  the hang of it. I was letting the pain of my boots (which was pretty severe) get the worst of me. When I arrived back home after the trip, my mind had changed. I started to get the itch of "you can do it". I wanted to conquer that challenge, and get it right. I was still nervous about it, but I didn't think that was the end of my journey.

Stay tuned for the rest of my story which is much shorter than this story...

RANDOM FACT: (you may call this an opinion, but it is definitely a fact!)
Little kids skiing is the cutest thing in the world!



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