January 23, 2011

Just believe in yourself

Friday night was insane – in a good way, though. We started at Jax for the meet-and-greet with the pros, and I was amazed to find someone I knew. A guy who lived on my dorm floor my sophomore year of college, Matty, is apparently now living in Colorado and working as an agent for a bunch of the pro boarders. So neat to see him!

However, what contributed to the wild night was not seeing Matty, but it was the amount of free alcohol we were drinking. In addition to the (non-alcoholic) energy drink company that was comping our drinks, another friend was a rep for Jagermeister, so she was getting rounds of shots and Jager bombs for everyone. Brought me back to my old study abroad days in Copenhagen, when Jager was the only cheap drink we can find… so we would order shots of it by the dozen. Ah, memories…

We stayed out late again, but this time I bailed and headed home early at 1am, was in bed by 1:30am, and despite the rest of the group coming home around 2:30am and raising a ruckus until about 4am, I managed to get a good night’s sleep and be up by 8am for another day of skiing. Woo!

This time, I didn’t have rentals to get (I kept them overnight), but my brothers were going to meet up with their stepdad for breakfast, so we all went over to the mountain separately. Since my bros are a zillion times better than I am, and my sister-in-law was still back at the condo waiting for two of her friends to arrive, I went off on my own for the morning. The awesome part of this? I got to go in the “singles line” for the lifts, which meant almost no waiting at all. Score!

On the way up, I chatted with my lift buddy, an older guy from Colorado. I told him about what a bad day I had on Friday, and how frustrated I was with my skiing for the last year, and he reminded me that in skiing, so much of it is about confidence. You just have to believe in yourself and trust that you can handle a tough trail, and you’ll be able to do it. Despite being convinced that something was actually wrong with my skiing, I knew he was right that I needed to be a bit more bold. So when I got to the top, I headed for a familiar trail (it’s the main way down the mountain for beginners) that I knew was fairly easy and totally manageable… and I rocked it. Instead of pausing at the tops of steep slopes to try to figure out a good route down, I just went for it, and lo and behold, the less I thought about it and the more I just trusted that my body would know how to ski down it, the easier it got! I ended up even voluntarily taking a few intermediate blue trails on my way down instead of sticking to the super easy route I had chosen.

I did one more run, this time taking even more blues, before heading into the lodge to try to meet up with my brothers and sister-in-law. Unfortunately, with the Dew Tour in full swing, cell phone reception at the mountain was absolutely terrible, and try as I might, I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I wasted an hour at the lodge playing Angry Birds (so I’m a bit late to the party, but I just discovered it. SO ADDICTING!) before giving up and just heading out, this time over to Bear Mountain where the competition was.

It was crazy packed over there, but had the advantage of lots of sponsor tents giving away freebies. I put the Powerbar tent to good use, eating enough samples of their two new flavors (S’mores and Chocolate Toffee Almond, both delicious) to equal a meal. Healthier than chicken fingers and fries at the lodge, at least! After that little energy boost, I hit the slopes again, this time challenging myself with some more difficult trails. I didn’t venture into black diamond territory, but I had a pretty solid performance on a ton of blue intermediates, including one with moguls (I don’t ski moguls properly, but at least I made it down without incident).

I think the “have confidence about yourself” lesson applies to a lot of different things, not least of all marathoning. In skiing, it’s definitely more evident a lesson because going slowly is the surest way to wipe out, but it’s really something to remember across all areas. I was just so pleased to get my ski skills (mostly) back!

By the end of the day, I was tired, but so happy. I eventually met up with my fam at the main lodge bar, and we headed back to the condo to shower and rest up for another big night out.

Hitting up the Pickle Barrel, I rocked out to Lifespeed (they were playing “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” when I walked in – amazing!) before again calling it an early night… but not before meeting a couple NHL hockey players on the Boston Bruins, with whom I exchanged contact info and we’ve been chatting ever since. Hoping I can parlay that into some tickets to a game when I go to Boston next month? I’m a huge college hockey fan (go Cornell Big Red!), and it’d be neat to check out a pro game too. But for now, I was calling it quits early again – to bed by 1am. (Admittedly not that early, but compared to everyone else, I was a grandma.)

Overall, a fantastic weekend, and now I can’t wait to go skiing again. Which, by the by, may be happening in a few weeks as I take a Valentine’s weekend trip to Geneva, Switzerland, and Chamonix/Mont Blanc, France. Yup, you heard that right… making some good progress on my “visit 4 new countries in 2011” goal! More details to follow 🙂


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