Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Late bloomers, undergarments and free lift tickets

How's that for a headline? :D

I never skied as a child. I hated the winter. Considering I grew up and went to college right in the snow belt of upstate New York, that’s surprising to many.

After college I moved to Vermont. Go figure. Another cold climate. Anyway, about 5+ years ago I applied for a job at a ski resort. I almost didn’t get the job, not because I wasn’t qualified, but because I wasn’t an “intermediate” skier. Psh. Give me a pair of skis, I WILL learn to ski. Translation: are you challenging me?

I remember my first group lesson, which must have been in the early winter of 04’ – renting skis, buying snowpants for the first time in 15+ years. I think back to that day and remember how intimidated I was. Learning to ski in my 30’s. Was I crazy?

Fast forward 5 seasons, three Women’s Alpine Adventure programs, and about 40-50 days on snow each winter and I am a newfound snow sports enthusiast. I find myself wishing for snow in July#$#?!. How is that for crazy?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still by no means an expert skier. I just love to ski! There is something about the cold crisp air, the inspiring mountain scenery, and good times with friends and family that can wipe the stress away in one short run. And fitness? Man, skiing keeps your legs in some pretty fantastic shape!

I’ll never forget the last day of the 08/09 season. It was a Sunday – I was here chaperoning a school trip with my son and his friends. A group of 9 & 10 year olds are tough to keep up with – especially by this point in the season when they are feeling pretty darn confident in themselves. Anyway, during that last week a tree had managed to accumulate some undergarments down near the base off the mountain. Well, you can imagine those made quite an impression on these young boys. Underwear? Nothing funnier.

The last few rides past that tree found ski poles “fishing” for a catch. We must have made three laps hoping something would bite. Well, they finally managed to jar one of the garments loose, falling to the ground right on the trail below. You can imagine how fast we skied down to see if it was still there.

One of the boys skied to the side of the trail, immediately clicked out of his skis and attempted to climb up the short lip of snow to retrieve the lost garment. As this was happening, people on the chair above us saw what was happening and began hootin’ and hollerin’ for him, urging him onto his goal. It became quite a show as he scooped it up, attached it to the back of his helmet in the google snap, and skied down the rest of the mountain pumping his arms as if he’d won the lottery.

We laughed for the next hour. It made for quite a good story to tell the girls on the bus ride home.

Do you have a favorite story from last season? Share your story by commenting below. If we get 40 comments with stories by Sept 1 I’ll pick two lucky winners for some free lift tickets.