Yesterday was my second day of the Eldora Women’s Days Program, or what I like to call ski school. The program meets every Wednesday starting with breakfast, followed two hours of skiing, lunch, and two more hours of skiing. In case you missed it, check out how I did on my first day of the program just over one week ago.
I’ll be honest- after the first day I felt a bit defeated. I’m generally a quick learner and get really impatient and frustrated when I can’t pick something up right away. Skiing hasn’t been something on the top of my list to of skills to learn, but I went in with a good attitude and decided that I would really try to like it. I had really hoped to feel better about my skiing on the first day- not to be good or anything- but just to feel confident and in control. Our instructor (Jane) had told me that I would learn to ski and love it- and I definitely wasn’t believing her. The fact that I was never able to really feel like I was in control on that first day bummed me out- and I wasn’t really excited to go back.
My stomach was in knots the entire drive up to Eldora yesterday morning. Luckily, Greg is still able to get off work on Wednesdays so that we can both go up (and he can go off and do his crazy double black diamonds while I hang out on the bunny slope!). I had read over this website that my instructor Jane had emailed me, which helped me understand the physics of skiing a little better. Greg gave me a pep talk on the drive up, and I was trying to be hopeful that Day Two would be a lot better.
When we arrived at Eldora, it was cold, cloudy and super windy- the complete opposite of the perfect conditions that we had been graced with on Day One. Great, I thought. As if skiing weren’t already challenging enough, add some 45 mph wind gusts to the mix! And the cold…. I never got cold on the first day, but my feet were already freezing the moment I walked outside! Despite all of this, I still tried to remain optimistic.
We started out the same way that we did on the first day: side-stepping far enough up the hill to maneuver a few turns. It took me a few times to remember what I had learned the week before I was able to successfully go down the tiny portion of the hill, turn and turn again. And then it was time to take the magic carpet ride…
When I got up to the top, my mind just kind of went blank. My first down run was really slow and I definitely didn’t feel in control (and for some reason, had so much trouble turning to the left!). We all went back up to the top where another woman (Rosemary) joined our group. She had been in the group one level above us and had some trouble keeping up, so she wanted to go back and review the basics.
Jane talked with Rosemary at the top of the hill for a bit, and this is where things started to change for me. My skiing partner in crime, Jenn, said “let’s just go!”… and we did. During that run, I just tried to focus on shifting my weight, putting my weight in the front of my boots and looking ahead. I went pretty fast- and a few seconds later, I was at the bottom of the run (and able to stop with grace!). I felt great!
That one run helped me gain a lot of confidence- and it was all I needed to be able to push forward. We went down one or two more runs… and then were thrown a little curve-ball. The magic carpet needed to be shut down for maintenance, which meant that in order to reach the to of the hill we had to use the ski lift!
Even though I knew that I would have to move on the ski lift soon I thought that I’d at least be able to wait until after lunch. Nope- it was now or never. The ski lift took us twice as far up the hill as the magic carpet and the top portion of the hill was quite steep. I’ve had a major fear of getting off the lift because it was something that I was not good at during my one ski lesson back in 2008.
Jane went on the lift with me and told me exactly where to stand up and slide forward, which I was able to do just fine. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what to expect at the top of the hill and ended up going downhill faster than I was prepared for and fell right over! Luckily I was right at the top, so I was easily able to stand right back up on my skis and successfully make my way down. My first run down wasn’t so great and I was afraid that I had lost my confidence. The wind gusts also made it much more difficult (which you can kind of see in this photo)!
When I reached the bottom, Jane went up with lift with Jenn (who is also afraid of it for the same reasons I am!). I decided to side-step up the hill and practice a few turns. I did this four times- and my turns were perfect! Just doing that helped my confidence a bit and I went back up the lift again (with Jane!). That second run was much better. I started out fast and felt a little out of control for a minute but just went back to my easy mantra of “right, left, straight, right, left…” It was time to stop for lunch after that, and we were all ready for a break (and to thaw out our feet!).
Lunch was served and it was delicious (I’ll share details on next week’s WIAW!). At the end of lunch a few items are raffled off- one of which I had my eye on (a really cute hat). Just as I was thinking “call my name!” they did! I won this sweet hat from Outdoor Divas.
Skiing in the wind all morning definitely left me feeling a little wiped out, and I was afraid that (even though I felt good on my last few runs) I had lost my motivation for the day. But, we all headed right back out, in the wind, and got on the lift.
When we got to the top I asked Jane if I could just “go for it” and try to make my way down without stopping. She told me to go right ahead- and I did. And you know what? I did great- and I felt great! Things just kind of “clicked” and the lightbulb went off. All of the sudden I was able to turn to the right and left with no problem and glide down the mountain. Greg had finished up his runs for the day, so he came over to watch us and be my lift buddy.
I was really excited for Greg to see how much I had progressed – and so was he! My next run down was fast and perfect and I felt like I was in total control. After that we just went on run after run and it kept getting better. Some were fast, some were slow and controlled- but every single one left me smiling and feeling confident! Here’s a super slow run (you can’t really tell who I am until about 30 seconds into the video):
Of course, that happened to be by far my slowest run of the day- but it is what it is! You can also see the crazy wind-blown snow behind me!
I felt so great gliding down the mountain, just me and the snow. I finally started to see why people like skiing.
Jenn also did a great job, and we both felt much better about our skiing than the first day (even though she did a pretty great job on day one too!).
After several trips up and down the mountain, it was time to call it quits for the day. I was so happy and smiley and even admitted to having a great time- and so proud of our group!
What a drastic difference to day one. If I hadn’t been part of the 6-week program and only paid for one skiing lesson, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. It would’ve been much easier to just throw in the towel after that first day and just give up on skiing. The best choice I made was to go back and try again! Even though I still have a lot of learning, improving and growing to do I now know that I can do this. Next week I’ll actually be excited for Wednesday and not just a big ball of nerves. Here’s to moving forward!
Have a fantastic Thursday!
Have you ever almost given up on something- only to discover that you like it?