I caught the ski bug at 43.
It’s not as if I had never been on the slopes. But, having been deposited atop a mogulled run at Alta by a boyfriend in my 20’s (he whizzed down leaving me to descend by rump), I felt fairly certain that powder was best enjoyed on a doughnut.
Then a girlfriend invited me to Park City. Instead of being coaxed into too-difficult terrain, we took lessons with an affable instructor who kicked my terror to the tree line. We shrieked through extra wide turns, went from back seat bandits to bicycling some bumps and felt supremely accomplished as our face plants became less frequent. The apres ski bubbly, of course, soothed our singed muscles, the 5 p.m. massage even more so. Since then, I’ve become what is known as a powder pig. I count the days until ski season opens, my calendar speckled with three day alpine jaunts, often by myself. The physical challenge is part of the attraction. But truth be told, the mental liberation-being forced to live in the moment- is what hooked me. My drive isn’t to be an expert, I’d be an established AARP member before that transpired. I simply want to hone my mediocre skiing abilities. And, bask in the charms of a glamorous resort. A few years in- thanks to dozens of lessons (critical) and investing in boots with custom footbeds (also critical)- I’ve gotten speed control down, mastered balance, pressure and upper/lower body separation and even started to carve. I still flail my upper body up the mountain when confronted with scary terrain. But, who cares? I just pull myself out of the back seat and whiz on by.
This article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal on January 27th, 2018