Am I a “skier” or do I just ski?

March 9, 2010 at 4:06 am (Uncategorized) ()

It’s been a tough year for the skier in me.  Lackluster snow, a busy “real” life, and disharmony in the time available-good predicted weather conditions equation. That just won’t do for a person (me) that is self-labeled “a skier.”  Coming into the sport late in life (I was 14 when the Man Unit taught me) and having had lots of breaks where the last thing I thought about in winter was the price of a season lift ticket, puts me squarely on the side of the person who skis as opposed to the skier.  After all, I’ve never spent a season working a ski town bar just for the thrill of being able to make first runs everyday.  I’ve never skied a double black diamond.  Never downhill skied in the trees. Does this make me a poser?  At 11 AM this morning I decided, once-and-for-all, I am a person who likes to ski.  I am not a skier.  It was cold and wet, conditions were OK but not great, and I hung it up.  The girl that zoomed down a run at Squaw Valley, hit a bump doing 60 MPH and busted a ski, she’s older now. The girl that skied with her Dad and sister at Breckenridge back in the day, she has more sense now than to jump on a black diamond run in pursuit of bragging rights.  I can remember chasing (always chasing) the Man Unit and his equally awesome ski pals, scared out of my mind and trying to hide it, and feeling that oh-so-fricking-wrong feeling in my knee and knowing the only way down was on a toboggan. I’m ready to admit I love to ski, but a skier I’m not-so-much.  I love the easy runs on a blue sky day.  I fear the black runs on an icy day.  I dig the thrill of going fast.  I hate being out of control.  Bump runs-only by accident.  Trudging up an unmarked trail to make my “own” ski run on the side of a mountain, are you crazy?  Great equipment has made me able to stay on the mountain longer and for that I’m grateful.  Careful pre-season conditioning has kept me from getting hurt and getting the most out of each ski day.  But I’m not a “100+” skier (a person that skis a minimum of 100 days per season), I’m a “I-ski-enough-to-make-buying-a-season-pass-economical” kind of person that skis.  I do miss some of the elements of being a skier. The beers after a long day on the slopes, the full week of eating pancakes and pizza, and the bragging rights associated with taking on a new mountain. But when I think of the best days I’ve ever had skiing, they have nothing to do with any of these things.  The best days I have ever had skiing were not on the slopes of the Rockies, but on the flat trails of a midwestern forest preserve on cross country skis with my man and my girls when we were all much younger,  a thermos of cocoa and a brown bag filled with peanut butter crackers making the outing complete. I hope I can keep downhill skiing for decades to come, but nothing will every measure up to those precious few winters when we were all much younger and the thrills were of a more memorable and sublime nature.

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1 Comment

  1. meggllo said,

    I remember cross-country skiing too. It was so much fun! I also remember stopping by this little restaurant and getting apple cider.. love you Momma 🙂

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