Editor’s note: Join Teewee Gal, Cecilie as she chronicles her journey learning to ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. She started on Teewinot and has already progressed to Après Vous. We can’t wait to see where she ends up.
My first weekend at the resort was a success.The amount of times I surprised myself with parallel turns and being able to finally control my speed, I felt this big boost of confidence in my athletic abilities. I spent everyday at work daydreaming of that soft snow and that proud feeling I got when accomplishing a hockey stop. I just had the urge to go out and ski…who was I?! One week was spent terrified and the next strong…seems great right? Let’s just say things escalated quickly during week two.
My day off finally arrived and I woke up that morning excited to put on my shin traps, or what some like to call “ski boots”. I had another lesson scheduled with Gaen and was ready to take on the mountain like a true shredder and have some fun. Even though I was on such a ski high, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t rush the process and take my time learning this difficult sport. Afterall, my “lessons before boyfriends” motto was still in full swing, so I had to take advantage of it. The weather that day? Heavy..wet..snow. Not only was the snow super packed, it was also making it more difficult for me to stop–I’m sure you can imagine what that does to your comfort level. We did two runs on Teewinot trails to practice my turns and so he could see if I was ready for more. Sure enough, he started to head near the Apres Vous lift our third time up and it was at that moment I knew what my fate was: intermediate trails. I knew I could do it, but I didn’t want to admit it. I was completely comfortable on the beginner trails, so why keep moving up?
As I sat on the lift and rode up to what I thought would be my own personal hell, I felt a mix of negative emotions. The higher we went, the colder it got and the shittier the visibility was. I was nervous and also curious if my legs were going to make it with these unknown steep trails. When we got to the top, I could barely see anything. I buckled my boots on tightly, told my fears to leave me alone, and started my new adventure. Each trail we approached, I had the same thoughts go through my head: “traverse, pivot, chin up, bend your legs damn it!” We spent almost two hours going down trails on AV and Casper that morning, leaving me sore, cold, and terrified of all the bumps that formed from the wet snow and speedy riders.
Each fall off those bumps came with a new frustration. Why was it so hard to get up? Why won’t my body allow me to turn gracefully? Impatient Cecilie made an appearance that day, and with that my new ski ritual was created: the lunch scaries. The hour break I get to relax, eat, drink, and be merry with friends…yeah right. My go-to’s? Talking my boyfriend’s ear off about my mistakes and doubts in my progression, as well as letting my fears wander into my mind. For a moment I thought to myself about the focus and frustration during the steep trails and wondered when it would turn fun for me.
After lunch, Gaen and I met at the AV lift again. Riding up that time, I didn’t feel like I was entering hell, but instead feeling ready to kick some butt. Approaching the drop, I took a deep breath, put my eyes on my focus point, and went for it. Remember that magic I talked about last week? Well it came back and in the best ways possible. I started to feel my legs finally bending the way I needed them to, my body standing tall, and my traversing starting to get shorter and becoming the “1-2-3” rhythmic turns I’d been craving all day. This was it. This was the fun part..the part when everything finally comes together.
Still taking my sweet time down, I soon realized our lesson was ending after only two runs. Gaen could tell that my lunch scaries also came with what he likes to call the “after lunch legs”. Feeling happy and grateful for no injuries, we called it a day and I made my way to meet some friends. To their surprise, I spoke of my accomplishments and excitement towards my progress, with a beer in hand of course. I was feeling absolutely amazing–even with all my falls, all my doubts, all my fears..I still can’t believe the progress that was made physically and mentally. I can’t wait to tackle the blues again, and I’m eager to see when the Gondi and I will finally meet.
Teewee gal, out.