Back on the Ski Slopes.

Back on the Ski Slopes.

It’s been years, sixteen to be exact, since the last time I set my feet into boots and those boots into skis to head down the snowy ski slopes of a mountain. Between then and now, I snowboarded for about four years, but in the twelve years since then, I have not once set foot anywhere near a ski resort.

I am not sure why I left the slopes for good, but I guess life just got in the way, and honestly, I never actually saw myself getting back out there. But with the Year of No Limits in full swing, I decided it was time; so, with a few friends, I headed up to Windham Mountain this past Sunday.

Only two and a half hours away from New York City, Windham Mountain is the perfect escape for the day. We left early that morning and were back home by 7pm, with plenty of time on the mountain. Not once did we feel rushed, or that the drive was too much.

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But, convenience was not the only reason I chose to head up to Windham to get reacquainted with skiing. Growing up, my grandparents lived about twenty minutes away, and so it was on these slopes that I first learned how to ski and snowboard. It is a place I hold near and dear to my heart, and it only made sense that it would here that I would begin my journey again.

Windham made easing back into skiing as painless as possible with well-marked stations set up to get all my gear. The first step was to head to the computers to register, then get fitted for boots, rent a bin for all of my belongings, and get my skis. Not only was everyone who worked there helpful, but they were also so nice and encouraging when I told them it had been years since I had skied.

While I’ll admit I was a bit nervous once my skis were actually on, I tried my best to think positive, and my friends talked me through my nerves. The entire time I waited for the ski lift, I had a pit in my stomach; that feeling of leaving my comfort zone was there, there’s no doubt about it.

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Anxiously, I loaded on the ski lift and hoped for the best; I kept positive until it was time to get off and I came to the realization that I remembered nothing about skiing. I panicked a bit, but my friend, Erin, gave me a few pointers. These were enough to at least get me down the mountain and built my confidence back up. But, honestly, I should have probably taken a lesson, especially because skiing has changed quite a bit since I was last out there.

I went down a few times on the green trails, the easy ones, with plenty of children flying by me. All I could think about was the fact that I used to be one of those fearless children, and now here I was, so worried about falling that it took me a while to enjoy myself. Though, I did think I looked pretty good in my new ski gear, so at least there was something.

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Just before lunch, I finally got the hang of it, and felt like my old skills were coming back, so when my friends asked me to try the intermediate trail, I was all about it.

While the view from the top of the mountain was absolutely beautiful, the ride down was pure torture and I spent much of the time sliding down on my butt. This even prompted a boy, around the age of eight, to ask me if I was okay, which I thought was sweet, but it added to my humiliation. Years ago, that would have been me asking someone older if they were okay, not understanding why they were having so many issues.

However, this was also an aspect of Windham that I loved. It’s a place that is centered around family and the people who ski and snowboard there, along with the staff, just tend to be friendly in general.

After I finally dragged myself down the mountain, I decided to call it quits for the day and park it by the fire pit with a large cup of hot chocolate. As the snow began to gently fall, I sat around people watching. Some were headed home, others heading back up the mountain, but no matter what they were doing, everyone was happy. The area was filled with smiles, laughter, and the chatter of voices and excitement from a day spent with loved ones. It was hard to see what was not to like about spending a day out skiing and snowboarding; this was the life.

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Even though I struggled with my time on the slopes, I will definitely not be waiting another sixteen years to get back out there. Ideally, I would love to attempt skiing again this year, and try snowboarding again as well. Either way, I need to make sure I am taking advantage of the cold weather and enjoying each and every moment that the winter brings. It’s much more fun than sitting home and complaining; this weekend was proof of that.

A special thanks to Windham Mountain for taking special care of me. They may have given me my lift ticket, rentals, and bin to hold my belongings, but the experience and opinions, as always, are all my own.

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Comments (15)

  1. Pola (@jettingaround)

    Congratulations on getting back on the slope, even if you had those little ones going past you! 🙂 I haven’t had skis on since I was six and twisted my ankles… And by the way, I love your skiing outfit – you look great!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Pola! The skiing outfit was really the motivation to get back there. 😉 I’m going to have to keep doing it until I get better, since it was such a lovely way to spend my day. Do you think you’ll ever do it again?

  2. Tawny of Captain and Clark

    Good for you! I haven’t been on the slopes for about 8 years and I’m so nervous about jumping back into it. I’m hoping that it’s like riding a bike!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It’s a bit like riding a bike, though I’m sure you’ll do better than I did since it’s only been 8 years! 🙂

  3. Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter)

    It’s like riding a bicycle – it all comes back! I remember my first times skiing – lots of trepidation on how to get off the lift – and lots of embarrassing falls. The worst are when they have to stop the lift while you get the heck outta the way!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Haha, so true! That didn’t happen to me…this time at least. 🙂

  4. the lazy travelers

    congrats!! the romantic goes about once a season every year and still little kids pass her on the slopes, so don’t feel bad.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Okay, that does make me feel a bit better. 😉

  5. Leah Travels

    It took me 18 years to get back on the slopes after growing up skiing and I did it with style in Switzerland. Now I’m hooked and heading to Colorado in a few weeks. I’m glad you’re back at it.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I’m hooked too! It’s so great to get back into something. 🙂

  6. D.J. - The World of Deej

    This Florida boy would like to spend more time on the slopes…I’ve only been skiing twice and loved it both times. Well, except when I face planted getting off the lift…

    1. The World Wanderer

      Haha, I can totally understand that. I was terrified of face planting. Those lifts are no joke.

  7. Traveling Ted

    I first learned downhill a couple of years ago in Utah and then skied a few times last year, but I am going to skip Alpine this year. Too busy cross-country skiing. I enjoyed learning downhill, but it pales in comparison to Nordic in my opinion.

  8. lola

    the best part about skiing is that it really does come back quickly – thankfully. it took me a lot longer to get the hang of it the first time and no time at all after years of not skiing.

  9. Top Thirteen Moments of 2013: Photo Essay. | The World Wanderer

    […] Getting Back on My Skis After sixteen years off the slopes, I got back on my skis. While it wasn’t “just like riding a bicycle,” I enjoyed my time on the mountain and hope to get back out there this season, as well. […]

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