February 12, 2009

Skiing Day 1

Twenty three years ago, a group of friends of mine in college decided to go skiing and asked me to go. The lodging was cheap, we all chipped in for groceries and gas, and we drove up to some place in North Carolina for the weekend.

I think with lift tickets, ski rentals, buying ski clothes, doing it all on the super scary cheap, cost me like $150 for three days.

I couldn't afford ski lessons, so I just watched from afar and tried to mimic. By the last day, from watching people move and figuring the physics of the entire process, I'd pushed past snow plowing into the next step.

The next winter I went cross country skiing with TGOO, where I spent all my time pulling myself out of the snow.

So when it came for us to sign up, I put, "No ski experience."

I figured there had to be BIG gaps in my ski knowledge since... I'd taught myself. Besides, that was 23 years ago and its not like riding a bike... in particular when you pretty much sucked.

And so this morning we stood in line and one of the ski instructors looked at me and said, 'Don't lie to me. Have you EVER in your life skiied? Ever. I don't care when. Ever."

I got quiet and said finally, "Over 20 years ago I did for two days, I taught myself."

He replied, "I can tell by how you walk in your boots. Did you get past plowing?"

I said, "Oh yeah. I eventually figured it out. I watched people and through trial and error, figured out how to stop without snow plowing."

He looked at me and said, "You don't belong in this group. You're a level 3."

I balked of course and he continued, "Your body remembers. I promise you. You will be surprised."

I ended up going where he told me to go, instructor after instructor heard my story from the other instructor and each time I said, "I don't mind being with the Level 1's..." but I started to add, "But I'm no longer going to fight this because YOU know what you're doing and I don't. Put me where you think I belong."

Level 3 it was, although to be honest, I was really in between levels. They broke my group up, putting me in the lower end and... Bill, was right.

One's body remembers, even if it was a 23 years ago and the weekend is barely remembered by the brain, although I'm sure alcohol came into play with the memory thing.

I'll be moving up tomorrow, onto what they call blue diamond slopes, although I suspect they'll be light blue as opposed to 'dark blue', the ones closest to black, but what is amazing is how my boys, who have NEVER in their lives had skiis on their feet, will surpass me by tomorrow, last lesson.

They're probably a half a lesson behind me now... that's it.

The bonus of all the endurance training, is other than the discomfort from the boots, I'm not sore at all. We'll see how it is in the morning, but right now, there is not a muscle ache to be found.

After our lessons, 10-3, I was ready to go for a couple more hours.

Unfortunately, my husband has a nasty cold. We feel awful for him and he has been a real trooper, still learning to ski. I've been impressed. We cut the rest of the day short so we could get him home to nap, but the plan for tomorrow is for him to take a decongestant, an Advil, kick back and drink something hot, while the boys and I try to get a couple more hours on the slopes.

If that doesn't work, he may go ahead and take the shuttle back, always an option.

So far we have been hugely impressed with every person we have run across at Steamboat. They are known for their ski school and I will tell you, they are absolutely amazing.

Let's put it this way, my boys had one instructor, my husband had another, and I had yet another. Sometimes another instructor would show up and help out and we all LOVED our instructors. There was not a bad one in the bunch.

That's where we are.

Oh, and Teresa was right. Skiing, you're hot as hell. Just like when I would go running in 30-40 degree weather, after 20 minutes I'd want to run naked, it is the same thing here... after an hour, I was ready to ski naked. I kept trying to think of ways to get rid of something... cool down.

Its all learning... trying to figure out what works and what does not.

What a great place.

It is 9:30 and everyone in the condo is sleeping. My boys crashed at 9... absolutely unheard of.

I'm off as well, but... I still feel like I'm skiing. That sensation is still there and when I walk, I walk hard, feeling like I'm still wearing ski boots.

Very odd...

Posted by Boudicca at February 12, 2009 11:23 PM

Its good that I hear no mention of altitude sickness. Those headaches can really be a bummer.

Gah, only on the slopes for 5 hours and you still feel like you are walking in your ski boots? Of course you do. You've been crouching for 5 hours. All your leg muscles are complaining. No great surprise.

I am (of course) jealous. I haven't had my skis out for a couple years. Part of that had to do with the shoulder pain (which I got fixed with the rotator cuff surgery this last October) and part of it had to do with my right knee joint (which has started to complain about being dislocated back in 1970).

It sounds like you are having fun. Keep at it.

Posted by: The Thomas at February 13, 2009 12:12 AM

I love skiing.

We used to ski in shorts and t-shirts.

Kids pick it up like it's nothing.

when I was a kid, school was M-Th, and Friday was for ski trips. That was when I lived in Denver.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at February 13, 2009 10:02 AM

LOL - glad you're having so much fun. Sounds wonderful. I knew your boys would take to it instantly... it's like they have these things embedded in their systems and all you have to do is put skis in front of their face and - bam - they can just do it. (what I wouldn't give to have learned that kind of stuff back when I was a kid...)

And yeah, when you do strenuous exercise at home - there is no soreness when you go ski. Way back when my daughter was dancing ballet (like 6 days a week) her class did a ski trip for a day. She was the only one in class who wasn't the least bit sore. Some kids were so sore, they didn't even go to school the next day. She didn't even have a twinge of sore muscles. LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at February 13, 2009 10:25 AM

I have never been skiing....water or snow. I would love to...although you don't usually see an elephant on skiis for a reason. :)

I'm glad you guys are having such a ball....and sorry to hear hubby is not up to par.

Posted by: Rave at February 13, 2009 10:34 AM

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

Posted by: PeggyU at February 13, 2009 01:32 PM

Too hot? Take off a layer. Remember I told you I only use three layers. I'm impressed with your skiing. It took me three years to get off a green in a monoski, but then, I'm not much of an athlete. BOEC at Breckenridge (where I went the first three years) is super cautious. It wasn't until I started going to Challenge Aspen at Snowmass that I got good. BOEC didn't push me. Challenge Aspen did. Sounds like you'll be on blacks by the end of your trip. I'm sure the boys will. They have no fear.

Posted by: Denny at February 13, 2009 01:52 PM