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 Snowboard Month lesson deals near you at: skiandsnowboardmonth.com
The low side of learning
Contributed by: Jenny Block
It’s important to me that you know that my learning to ski experience was not all ribbons and roses… at all. At my fifth lesson, I hit my skiing low. I was doing really well on the bunny slope. Too well, I guess. So my instructor asked if I wanted to take on something a little more challenging.
I asked her if I could handle it and she said, “I wouldn’t take you up there if I didn’t think you could do it.” So up the lift we went. And up and up and up. “Are you sure this is taking us to a green run?” I said, trying to sound like I was just joking. She laughed at my “joke,” and I tried to hide my increasing anxiety.
When we got to the top of the slope, I did the worst thing a beginner skier can do, I lost my confidence. Something about that hill scared me. Maybe it was all of the other skiers and snowboarders. Maybe it was that the lift made it seem so high up. Maybe I was just hungry from missing breakfast. (Side note – Even if you are generally a non-breakfast eater, as I am, you must eat breakfast before skiing.)
Whatever it was I suddenly lost faith in myself, my gear, and my instructor. And, well, as the saying goes, it was all downhill from there. It was the longest run of my life. I was creeping down and falling down and getting more and more stressed out. I just wanted it to be over.
And then, you know what, it was. It was over. Because despite all of my fear and my beyond hideous technique and my falling. I made it to the bottom. Of course, I made it to the bottom. Like my instructor said, she wouldn’t have taken me up if she hadn’t been sure I could get myself down.
I was silent and shaky at lunch. I was mad at myself and disappointed in how I reacted. I even cried a little when no one was looking. Before that day, I thought I was really getting the hang of it. And then, bam, I was ready to turn in my boots and forgot the whole thing.
But here’s the thing about reaching bottom, once you do, you have nowhere to go but up, which is exactly where I went the very next day, up to the top of a brand new hill at a brand new resort, Canyons, with instructor Alex Fleet. And that morning I had what Caitlin Martz, Communications Coordinator at Canyons, called my “breakthrough.”
You’ll have to wait for my next blog post to hear about that day. But I’ll give you a hint – my next ski trip is already on the calendar…