Like I said, It’s been more than five years since I’ve skied.
Riding the lift to the top of Mt. Standish at Sunshine Village, my feet cemented into a pair of boots and skis, I felt pretty anxious. Did I actually know how to ski or did I just make that all up?
Everyone tells me that skiing is like riding a bike. Once you’ve learned how to do it, you never really forget, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true. Falling off a bike hurts less than falling off a mountain.
As I thought about it, I realized that skiing is really just falling down a mountain in a controlled way. All I had to do was keep slowing down — on my way down.
And so I attacked my first green run, sliding and swooping downhill, remembering that when skiing, I needed to turn now and again, especially if there was a tree in front of me. With every turn, I recalled some long-lost skill: when to wedge your feet, when to move your weight forward. Even better, I rediscovered the terrific rush that comes from skiing: the excitement, the heart-pumping adrenalin, and the windburned glory of flying down a powdery slope.
Gazing up at the glistening peaks of Banff National Park made my ski reawakening even better. I could not have picked a better place to regain my snow legs.
Yes, I took a couple of swan dives into the snowbank, but by lunch I had tackled my first black run and felt a lot more comfortable. I knew that, while I will never be a pro, I could at least get down the mountain . . . safely.
I have to say, it feels great to be back on skis again. Almost addictive.