Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!
It’s so hard for me to really believe, but my time in ski school is already over. I’m fairly certain that these last six weeks have been the shortest of my life! Winter is the one season that I’ve never enjoyed and the months of January, February and March just seem to drag on forever. Go figure that when I do finally start to enjoy it, it flies by! I guess that’s the way it goes, right?
I had my very last session of the Eldora Women’s Days program this past Wednesday. You can read my re-caps from each week here:
I’m really glad that I documented my journey of learning how to ski, because it’s been fun for me to go back and read those posts and about what I learned each week. I went into the program with very few expectations and trepidatious optimism. I’ve never had the desire to learn to ski, the thought of it downright terrified me. I gave it a very weak attempt five or six years ago in Maryland and had such a bad experience that I never went back. Skiing and snowboarding are a huge part of Greg’s life and I knew that it would mean the world to him if I at least gave it a fair chance- so I did.
I went into ski school that very first day not knowing a single person, stomach in knots and wanting to be anywhere but there. When my instructor asked me what my objectives were on that first day I think I said “not to die!” Really, I just wanted to learn to ski well and not to be so scared of it. Even after that first day, I kept saying to Greg “it’s okay if it’s not something that I like to do- it can be your thing. There are plenty of other outdoor activities that we can do together!”
Six weeks ago, I never, ever would have thought that skiing would turn into something that I really like doing. And I certainly didn’t think I’d be recommending that we spend my birthday weekend at a ski resort!
My last day of class was bittersweet. From the way that the morning started, it seemed like it was going to be a great day weather-wise and the resort wasn’t crowded at all. The snow was a little bit crunchy and it took about two runs down for me to feel confident, but I was okay after that.
Jane (my instructor) went over a few skills & drills with us and gave me suggestions to improve my form, turns and posture. I’ve been taking super wide turns down the steeper terrain and having to make aggressive, quick turns which make my form totally suck! There’s still a little bit of fear that I have about putting my weight forward down a steep hill, even though I know that it will help me gain more control. Practice, practice, practice!
I spent most of the day over on the big mountain, practicing the runs that I had started doing last week. Greg ended up coming over and being my lift buddy, which was nice.
It was the first day that it was really clear out, which allowed me to see the beautiful scenery at 1,300 feet up from the base!
We took a few runs down and I slowly (but surely) made my way to the bottom. I felt pretty good and confident and kept wanting to go back for more. I have this very strong desire to just keep improving my skills and the only way to do that is to take run after run.
It was nice to have Greg ski with me too. Since it was my birthday and I’m a diva, I wanted to have him be my ski buddy all day long.
It’s also really nice to have Greg ski with me because we can talk about what I did well and what I need to improve upon after we leave the resort.
When it was time to break for lunch, I had gotten five runs in. I was feeling good- but definitely wanted to get at least two more in before the day was over. We had plans to go out for my birthday later that day, so I wasn’t planning to stay until the very end of the session (which ends around 2:30). We ate, listened to some closing remarks and filled out an evaluation of the program:
I gave the program pretty high marks overall, because my experience was a very positive one. I exceeded my own expectations and I think that participating in a unique program like this was the only way I was going to learn how to ski.
After lunch, the weather took a turn for the worse. I could see from inside that the wind had picked up drastically and snow was blowing all over the place! I still planned on doing two more runs before calling it a day, so Greg and I headed back over to the lift. The whole ride up was incredibly windy and cold and not much fun at all! The wind was so crazy at the top, it almost blew me right over! I started to think that this might be my last run. Again, I slowly made my way down the mountain, and despite the wind, had a pretty decent run. A lot of people had gone home by that point, so I pretty much had the mountain to myself!
The particular run that I was doing has a pitch that’s really steep- and it’s intimidating to look down! I still take fairly wide turns and go super slow on terrain like that, but it gets me to the bottom.
Here’s a video (not great quality) right after the long, steep pitch of my last run for the day:
See? S-L-O-W but steady.
After that run, I really didn’t feel like going back up the lift and dealing with the wind again. Greg agreed and we called it quits for the day. If we weren’t already going away to ski for three days in a row the next day, we probably would’ve toughed it out and done one more run- maybe even two.
Regardless, it was a pretty decent ski day overall. Not my best, but certainly not my worst.
I would definitely recommend the Women’s Program to any woman that wants to learn to ski. If it hadn’t been paid for upfront and I had just signed up for one ski lesson, I probably wouldn’t have gone back for a second day. And obviously, I’m so glad that I did. I probably won’t sign up for the program again (it’s for all levels from beginner to expert), because it’s quite expensive and I can get a season pass for the same amount (or less!).
In the Women’s Program, you only get a pass for six weeks (the duration of the program) and can’t use it after the last day. That’s my biggest criticism of the program- I definitely feel like there should be a discount on a pass for the rest of the season for the participants. If I had known that I would actually liked skiing and would want to continue it, I would’ve gotten a season pass months ago… but there was no way of predicting that. For now, I’ll just play the lottery in hopes that I can win some money to be able to afford lift tickets!
I’m so grateful to my husband for pushing me to learn to ski (and agreeing to pay for it!) because it’s something that has brought us closer together. So many of us underestimate what we’re really capable of (myself included!). It’s pretty amazing finding out what you can do when you commit to something and give it a fair shot!
Have a great, LONG weekend!!
What skill have you learned that you’re really proud of?