My friend, Jenny Block, recently flew all the way from Dallas, TX to Utah to learn to ski on The Greatest Snow on Earth®. For those of you thinking you might be too old to give learning to ski or snowboard a try this season, Jenny proves that there is still plenty of time to start and learning has never been easier. Follow Block's Beginner Blog special guest series to witness her journey and determine if skiing just might be a possiblity for you too!
Oh! And, don't forget to check out great January Learn to Ski and Snwoboard Month lesson deals near you at: skiandsnowboardmonth.com
Contributed by: Jenny Block
I had never been skiing before. In fact, up until five years ago, I had never done anything that was fast or adventurous or daring or even athletic really, barring dancing.
Just over five years ago, I went on my first roller coaster ride. I went because I didn’t want to sit on the mom bench. You know, where all of the moms wait with the strollers and the babies and the leftover cotton candy.
I liked the roller coaster. I didn’t love it. But I liked it. What I really liked was being part of the group that did instead of watched. I liked that a whole lot. And so began the year of yes, where I said yes to any adventure or activity that came my way.
That was more than five years ago, and I’ve been saying yes ever since. So, when my girlfriend asked if I would go skiing with her, something she had done for many years, what else could I say, but yes.
Instead of being nervous, I decided to focus on being ready. I don’t like to be cold and I didn’t want to get hurt. So, I wanted to be sure I filled my suitcase with everything that would keep me as comfortable and safe as possible.
Here’s what I packed:
• Ski jacket – I took two actually, though one was all I needed. When looking for a coat, think special features – a zip out lining, under arm vents, loops to hook your gloves to, a skirt to keep snow out, etc. Convenience = comfort when it comes to the slopes.
• Ski pants –You want your pants to be warm and waterproof. But you also want them to be comfortable. Try them on before you buy. You don’t want to be feeling confined. But you also don’t want to be constantly pulling up your pants or tripping over them.
• Long underwear – Wool or synthetic. That’s what you want. The key is layers, layers, layers when it comes to skiing and the one you put against your skin needs to keep you dry and warm. Wool and synthetics will both wick sweat away from your skin.
• Mid-layers – Fleece or wool. Zip up or pullover. You want things you can add on or strip off. But you don’t want to be screaming, “I can’t put my arms down.” So, thin and warm are key.
• Helmet – You need one. It won’t be any fun to ski if you’re worried about cracking your skull open. And don’t worry, you can still look cool. I got about a million compliments on my turquoise Smith helmet. And when else are you going to get to wear a turquoise helmet and look like a rock star instead of an idiot?
• Goggles - You need them too. And you don’t have to worry about looking silly. I might have looked nuts in my living room in my pink, Smith goggles, but those things looked great on the slopes. More importantly, they stayed in place and kept the glare at bay. I tried goggles by Julbo too and loved those as well. It’s definitely all about preference when it comes to gear.
• Socks – Also wool. I opted for Point 6 because of the comfy padding that protected my shins from the front of my boots, something to look for when you’re sock shopping.
• Neck warmer – Or a scarf is fine too. But choose something. If you’re not warm, it’ll be a lot less fun.
• Gloves – You got it. Warm, comfortable, and waterproof. If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re getting the right picture. Make sure your gloves fit well enough to grasp your poles and are cozy enough to keep your hands from going numb.
• Sunscreen and chapstick – Any reliable, waterproof brands will do. But you will need them, trust me. You do not want to be that guy on the plane home with the red nose and cheeks and chapped lips.
The only other preparation I did was a little yoga and a few Nia classes. Skiing is a sport after all and it seemed like being in shape couldn’t hurt. That didn’t turn out to be much of an issue. Anyone can learn to ski. Anyone. (More on that in blogs to come.) But I was still glad I did it.
I’m not going to lie. I was nervous. I was worried about looking ridiculous or ending up in traction the first day or simply not being able to learn. I mean I was forty-years-old. Who would start skiing at forty? Me it turns out. And more people should.
You see the only thing I was missing by not skiing, was everything. If you’ve always wanted to learn, think about. If you’ve never imagined yourself skiing, think about it. If you don’t want to spend any more time on the bench, think about it. What’s the only thing you’re missing?