Downhill Adventures: Past

When I was a kid, we went skiing as often as we could and we were all taught to ski as soon as possible. For a long time I wasn’t really a big fan of skiing. I felt awkward and stiff on my skis, I hated going to lessons (I liked it better when dad taught us), and my fingers and toes were always cold. Besides, where we often skied those first years there was more ice than snow, and I had some bad experiences. Even to this day whenever I hit a patch of ice I feel irrational panic and fear. I’m always afraid I’ll lose control and end up tumbling down the rest of the slope.

Over the years, my relationship with skiing changed and I found moments of pleasure. There were several things that played a role in that. First of all, we actually skied on real slopes of snow, not hills of ice – it’s amazing the difference proper powdery snow can make. Secondly, we moved to Europe – skiing in the Alps takes the experience to a whole new level. It’s breathtaking in a way too amazing to put in words. Third, and extremely important, the way skis were made changed. Skis used to be long and skinny, and were meant to be your height or taller. That’s a lot of ski to try controlling and maneuvering. When they modified them over time, they were curved, rounded – and meant to be shorter than you – and so much easier to maneuver. They were made to carve the snow, to make those turns in the snow. Ok, it doesn’t mean I was suddenly amazing or in love with skiing, but it certainly helped improve my opinion and experience of skiing.

But then something happened. I experienced a joy and a freedom I had never felt before when skiing. This changed my outlook on skiing forever. I tried snow blades. For those who don’t know what they are, they are simply shorter skis. As in, half the size of regular skis. And to me, they were pure bliss. My dad let my try his, and after one slope I was hooked. There was no going back. Less length to be hassled with, no poles (I hate ski poles – no idea why, I just do); pure freedom on the slopes like I had never felt before. I had so much more control and I was tearing down those slopes. I was confident, something I rarely was when skiing. More importantly and surprisingly, I was blissfully and completely happy.

Here’s the ironic part. We normally went skiing every year for a week, during the ski break in France. I used the snow blades for 1 or 2 years, and then my university schedule didn’t match up with my brother’s school vacation, and I haven’t been skiing in probably 6-7 years. I had finally found the joy in skiing and I hardly got to bask in it. I used to be the least excited about going skiing, and I didn’t really miss it in-between trips, but these past years I’ve definitely had moments when I missed that feeling of pure freedom as you fly down the slopes.

Although that now leads me to finish this post, it also allows me to introduce my next post, where I’ll share my most recent downhill adventure: first time skiing with my husband. Sure, I didn’t have my snow blades and it wasn’t the Alps, but it was a beautiful, fun and invigorating day. We definitely made a lot of wonderful memories – but more on that next time…

2013 is definitely off to a good start.

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10 thoughts on “Downhill Adventures: Past

  1. Love it … and since I know nothing about skiing, it was also an education. Can’t wait for the next post … maybe with photos from that new camera?

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    1. Thanks, Paige! And I’m happy it could be educational too 😉 You must have read my mind – I was planning on including some photos from the new camera next post! 🙂

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        1. I’m sorry to hear that. It’s true that skiing is really tough on the knees – my mom has had to deal with some knee issues while skiing, and I know it’s not fun at all.

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  2. Sounds awesome. Even though I lived in Colorado for years (a good place for skiing) I’ve never been. I hope to remedy this at some point. Always seems I’m nursing an injury of some sort during the winter though.

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    1. I’m sure you’ll get around to it sometime – better late then never, as the saying goes! 🙂 Maybe you’ll try the Alps, since you’re in Europe now? My husband had never been skiing either until we went a couple of weeks ago (unfortunately CT slopes are not like Alps or Colorado slopes, but it was still lots of fun!) – he chose to go right for snowboarding and loved it! We’ve gone one time and he’s just waiting to go again… 🙂

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  3. Skiing has always terrified me. I’ve only been twice (both times with my church’s youth group when I was in high school) but I have never wanted to learn downhill skiing. Cross country skiing and snow shoeing really intrigue me, though. But what a thrill indeed to get to go skiing in the Alps, wow!

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    1. I’d like to try snow shoeing, but I don’t think that cross country skiing would really be for me. For a long time I didn’t particularly love downhill skiing either, but between location and type of ski, I eventually found the real beauty in it! 🙂 And the views in the Alps are incomparable (at least to what I’ve seen of the world so far!), especially on a clear, sunny day.

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