By Emily McLaughlin
Learning to stand…
Yesterday, I went skiing for the very first time… ever! Well, I had tried snowboarding on two different occasions but never went on a regular basis. Leading up to this ski-day, I had massive amounts of anxiety. I would try to visualized myself skiing, taking all of these pointers I had collected from friends into consideration, but every visualization ended in tragedy. I would be going down the mountain and then… BANG! I’d lose control and hit a tree. I pictured myself doing the pizza move and then… CRASH! My skis would cross and I’d tumble down and have a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” kind of moment. I even visualized my skis getting stuck in the snow toe-first, something that I now realize is near impossible.
Then there were other anxiety-inducing aspects of the trip like:
1. What to wear.
2. How to get on the chair lift.
3. How to get off the chair lift.
4. How to avoid other skiers.
5. What if I break a bone.
Ask anyone, I was FREAKING out.
Pizza pizza pizza
My report… skiing isn’t all the bad. In fact, I really liked it — I might like it better than snowboarding (although, I haven’t tried that in a while) — plus, it’s a GREAT workout. On my first run down the bunny hill, I fell twice — mostly because it was my first instinct when I started gaining speed. On my second run down, I realized how simple the pizza pie thing is. Finally, after my third run down, I was ready for bigger and better things. We did two runs down half of the mountain and then probably almost ten runs down the whole mountain before the clock struck 4pm and the misty rain rolled in.
The big shocker, I didn’t fall again for the rest of the day! Granted I stayed on the easy green trails and had a few close calls, but no wipeouts! I would definitely go again and make a hobby out of it. I’ll admit, maybe my dramatics were a slight overreaction. Also, I probably didn’t need to Google search article after article about skiing for newbies on the way up to NH.
Regardless, fear of the unknown is pretty legitimate, I’d say. No matter how many times my friends told me that I would be a great skier, I couldn’t believe it until I saw it for myself. Moral of the story? Put yourself out there and try something new, you might just find a new love.
Here are my tips for newbies:
1. Get rid of those negative thoughts. The things you’re visualizing happening, are probably unrealistic and will only lead to increased anxiety. Be positive. You are going to have a good time if you go in with a good attitude.
2. Dress appropriately to stay dry and warm. Being cold and wet will ruin your day, I promise. If you don’t have a helmet or goggles, rent them for safety purposes.
3. If you are anywhere near remotely active, you will be able to ski. If you’re not very active, you’re still going to be able to do this — just with a few more runs down the bunny hill.
4. If you don’t have gear, rent it! You’re friends or relatives might have some old gear for you to borrow, but you might be better off renting from the mountain resort. That way the equipment is newer and safer. If you are on a budget, and your friends promise the equipment is great, go ahead and borrow.
5. Take a lesson. You’ll meet people like you, new skiers of ALL ages. You also won’t feel bad that you’re holding your friends back — you can always catch up with them later. *I didn’t take a lesson because I have some wonderful friends who were really confident in my ability, but an official lesson couldn’t have hurt.
6. Don’t get frustrated. Remember, you are NEW to this just like a lot of other people on the mountain. Just because that little four-year-old is skiing past you, doesn’t mean you’re bad. They’ve been skiing since the came out of the womb anyways. Psh.
7. Pizza pie saves lives. Learn to stop and slow down before you learn anything else. It will make you feel better, I promise.
8. Bring snacks to refuel. Skiing is a sport, a tiring one at that. Bring snacks along to keep you going. A hungry new skier, is not a happy new skier.
9. Be proud of your accomplishments!
Happy skiing, everyone! Side note: Ryo also took a couple videos, one of my first run down the bunny hill (I could kill him) and one of my second run down the bunny hill (much improved). Maybe I’ll show y’all some time. ;)