I realize I don't talk about skiing enough on this blog. Its just a given. I go skiing. Pretty often. Not as often as I like or as I should, but pretty often. I went this weekend and this week. I go downhill skiing, park skiing, cross country skiing. I take friends who are newer to the sport and help them get better, or hang out with my guy friends and make jokes on the lift. Sometimes I go by myself and just feel good in my skin. Sometimes I go and end up helping someone who has fallen on a run. Sometimes I meet high schoolers or old schoolers on the lift. My guy friends tell me things on lifts they might not have mentioned if we were face to face. In mixed company. There's something about having a helmet and goggles on and being with someone you'd trust your life to that just opens things up differently. I love the relationships. I love my relationship with the mountain. Its ever changing states. The winds and views and different snow conditions.
A gal I know wrote recently about thinking that people who are parents and do extreme sports should reconsider when they become parents. I'm not sure I agree. Maybe to a point. But it would be like asking an artist to give up her palette for me to stop skiing steeps. To not take a chance here and there. Maybe its something you just can't understand if its not what you love. What you live and breathe.
I love the feel of skis beneath my feet. I mean, love. The feel of skis beneath my feet. I step into my skis and instantly become me. I love pushing against the ground and feeling my muscles making their presence known in my fun. Its exercise and cool and strong and confident. I don't have to pick out my outfit. I don't put makeup on. I just go. And fast. I love floating on a powder day. How you feel your skis lift up and down to turn instead of leaning side to side.
I love sharing it with others. I love to teach them and watch them grow in the sport. I like thinking about how to explain what you do with your body in simple terms that help someone get better. Help them access an ability they didn't have a moment ago. I love when they used to be afraid but they're not anymore: they're excited. I love that people feel confident they'll get better when I'm around and want to ski with me. I even slightly enjoy when men get over-confident thinking "well, if she can do it." Its resulted in more than a few broken bones and humbled egos.
I like that its a slight counter culture. A break from the rat race. Its cool and easy and full of slang. Sick, yo. That outfit's steezy. Did you see him throw that switch 9? Sicky, illy, powpow!
I love being outside. I love the quiet of the snow and the woods.
I love looking down the mountain and thinking creatively about my line. I love to think of the way water would flow and follow it. I love sticking my line and feeling like water. Strong and indestructible and smooth and beautiful. Its calming and exhilarating all at once. It is yin and yang. It is nearly a religion for me. A form of prayer and communing with others and with nature.