It had been a few weeks since I skied since I went home for the holidays, and was a little worried I’d have to start over to find my groove again. When I got back to town, I had decided that the upcoming weekend would be the first time with out a lesson. I had spent the first month relying on a guide, and was told to finally let go of the reins and have some fun on my own. Nervous to show up to the resort alone, I did the unthinkable: I asked my boyfriend to ski with me. When asking him, I couldn’t even finish my sentence because he had already pulled out the map and was so excited to get me a little more out of my comfort zone out on the mountain. I was relieved he was looking forward to seeing my progress, and I too was looking forward to showing off some of my new shredder-skills.
It was a chilly day on the slopes, and it had been days since we received fresh snow. I still felt confident in my edges, but could see the glistening ice on the trails as we went up the lifts. I started to think about how difficult it was going to be to slow down, but was ready for the challenge rather than allowing my fears get to me. My boyfriend came prepared, memorizing what I had been learning and making sure my poles were in front of me and my chin was up. My old practice runs used to be Teewinot and had now transitioned to AV and I was on top of the world as I linked my turns down the steep trails. At the end of our warm up, he suggested we try a new lift that would take us higher: Teton lift. Feeling good, I agreed it was a good idea and so we headed towards a new unknown.
I was on a ski high feeling so proud of myself and enjoying taking in all the compliments that were given to me all morning long. As we approached the lift, I saw one of my friends from work who was surprised to see me already doing Teton runs–my confidence was at an all time high. When we reached the top, the view was absolutely stunning. It was a super clear day, and I could see for miles and miles ahead, looking at at all the frosted mountain tops…this was the real deal. We decided this run would be a good time to get some footage of my skiing so my friends and family back at home could see how fast I was learning; they like to follow the “no photo no proof” motto, so I had to show them what I was made of. With my boyfriend behind me, camera in hand, I started to go down to get a head start. The beginning was very mellow and eventually flat before the next section began. I could hear “Cec, turn around and say hi to the camera!” from behind me, but it was too late…I was too focused on what I saw ahead of me. I immediately completed a hockey stop and looked down to what was to come for me. When I say looked down, I truly mean it–I was looking straight down. This was by far the steepest trail I had seen yet, and I was starting to get off my ski high and aboard the fear train.
Surprised by my lack of confidence, my boyfriend asked me if everything was alright and assured me I could do it. “You’re overthinking it” he kept saying. I don’t know what happened to my head during that run, but I immediately went to a dark place, already assuming I would get hurt. As I started down, I was basically horizontal the whole way, traversing and then spending a few minutes to plan out my turns. I’m usually confident with my turns, but when it’s so steep it’s hard to complete them with out having your skis face completely straight forward. That was scary, intimidating, and super uncomfortable for me. At one point, I even got moody halfway down because I couldn’t believe I was taken to this trail. Little did I know, the lesson I would have taken would have brought me down on it, so I can’t blame the boyfriend on this one.
After about 15 minutes, I finally made it down. My boyfriend, who had been super patient with me, was happy and relieved I made it down successfully. He was pretty convinced I was going to break up with him–I was “close”. Even after all the drama I stirred up going down, I felt pretty good once at the bottom looking up in awe of what I had just skied. One thing I have to keep reminding myself is that in order to progress, you need to try new trails to get there. No matter the discomfort, you won’t advance with out giving it a shot. After that run, I was convinced I’d never do it again. Fast forward to a few days later and with fresh snow, you could have seen me riding the Teton lift multiple times, linking my turns and going the fastest I’ve ever gone.
Stay tuned for when I attempt my first ride up the Gondola, and of course the inevitable lunch scaries.
Teewee gal, out.