All winter, I've been saying that this would be the year I would learn how to ski. And all winter long, I've kept putting it off, thinking I had more time, or it really wasn't important, or that actually I'd never learn how to ski anyway, so why bother trying?
But then it occurred to me that with Coco being a total shredder (that's an actual word) and Theo turning three in August and getting on skis himself next winter, if I didn't learn now, very soon I would no longer be part of my family in a very real way. It was time.
So Sunday was the day. My mom took the kids and J and I headed up to the mountain...
The drive up with no kids and good music and strong coffee was so awesome. We talked in complete sentences with no interruptions! Once we arrived, our first stop was the rental shop. I was so nervous and intimidated, but looking back, that was so silly because they had the sweetest teenagers working in there and the first thing they asked was if it was my first day on skis. When I said yes, they did a little "Woo-hoo!" and said how much fun I was going to have. They were completely prepared and understanding of my being completely oblivious to all things skis and put my boots on for me and did up all the buckles and made sure that I got some nice short skis that would make learning easy. Hooray! Thanks, Mt. Spokane.
Next, my wonderful teacher (none other than J himself) took me to the bunny hill. Well, not quite. He actually took me to the really flat area by the ski patrol lodge at the base of the bunny hill! I was scared to even put my skis on and was so relieved when we started with just one ski at a time. First we went in a little circle on one ski and then on the other. After that, he had me practice proper posture: knees bent, tail out, hold your arms out front like you're holding two cups of hot chocolate! Then we side-stepped up the little slope and I looked at him and slid down and practiced stopping in a wedge. Wheeee!
Let's just take a moment to acknowledge how ridiculous it is that I'm married to a PSIA certified ski instructor and only got on skis for the first time three days ago! Let's also take a moment to acknowledge that it makes perfect sense! Because being 37 and getting on skis for the first time is painful. Truly painful. The ski boots force your ankles and calves into a really unnatural position and all I wanted to do was straighten my calves and point my toes ballerina style! The unnatural position combined with side-stepping up the little slope made my hips tense up. It was actual hell. At one point, I didn't think I could do it. But then I realized, the only thing to do was give in and quit resisting the weird posture. And that helped, but even though it seemed like I graduated to the chair lift rather quickly (after just two slides down the little slope) I was happy to get on the lift. It was such a relief to sit down! Mental note: Need to get way more exercise ASAP or risk becoming very frail and weak in no time.
The snow was a bit slushy and heavy, but it was worth it for the sunny, clear conditions. I loved riding on the chair lift even though I'm horribly afraid of heights. It was exhilarating and thrilling. Two thumbs up! Much to my surprise, skiing on the bunny hill was pretty intuitive. It takes a bit of trust to put all of your weight on your outer ski to make a turn, but once you get it, it works like a charm! I was making turns and skiing all the way down almost right away. It was so fantastic! J thought I was doing so well, he took me up a different chair to a longer run. But that completely freaked me out and felt like too much, so once we were down, we took a break for lunch.
We ordered fish and chips and a cheeseburger to go halvsies on and also shared a pitcher of Kokanee. Being so close to Canada, we regularly get Alberta news on the radio because it really is part of the greater region despite the border and radically different attitudes toward healthcare. ;) And another thing we get is their beer. Kokanee is a super refreshing, light beer brewed in Creston, BC. It sounded so good after all of that hard work!
We sat out on the deck in the sun and it was so relaxing and rejuvenating. Another uninterrupted conversation took place and we were totally enjoying our day together. Two pints of beer later, J said that I would be more relaxed and not think about it so much and we got back to the bunny hill.
By the end of the day, we got the last chair up to the run that had scared me before lunch and I totally killed it. I fell a fair bit and got scared a couple times, but overall, I had the biggest, most ridiculous grin on my face the entire time and felt like a champ. It was so exciting to learn something new and make progress and feel like a kid again! If you're in the area, I cannot say enough wonderful things about Mt. Spokane. Their instructors are so well-trained and professional and it's so cozy and has a wonderful family atmosphere. I am definitely going to get up there a few more times before the snow is all gone. And next winter, it is so on.
Do you ski? How did you learn? If not, have you considered learning as an adult? I definitely say go for it! What's holding you back?