Today I decided to take it easy. For real. I was tired of scaring myself half out of my wits. So the first thing I did this morning was take the easy route from the Collins lift to the Sunnyside lift. I spent the next few hours practicing technique on the green runs. I even got my picture taken by one of those photographer dudes (also got some shot from the bottom of the “green” run at Snowbird yesterday).
By 2pm, I felt ready to hit some of the blue runs off the Sugarloaf lift. Eventually, I even braved the black I did three other times this week (admittedly, my harrowing adventures on days 4 and 5 had me a bit shell shocked for even things I’d done earlier in the week–I had lost a lot of the nerve I formerly had). Almost a week without snow, the conditions were getting a little like home (hard-packed in spots).
My last run was the return to the Collins lift via several more difficult blues. I was a little nervous, but the conditions on that side of the mountain were still great. I was able to finish my day–and the entire week–with pride. Not as sterling as I would have liked. But at least I learned a few things. I am now skiing in better form (though I am not yet completely comfortable with said form). I am probably sufficiently warmed up for the season. Everything in New York should look much simpler.
I now have custom molded foot beds for my boots. They came highly recommended due to my high arches and to help have better control of my skis. It was a bad splurge but something I should have done when I first got the boots (two years ago). My feet have never felt so comfortable in my boots!
I also bought real ski socks. For years, I’ve been wearing wool hiking socks, which crammed my feet hard in the boots, also making it hard to control the skis. I thought it never mattered what socks one wore; shame on me! I resisted wearing cycling shorts because I thought it unnecessary. Then I tried them once and learned that they actually made sitting on a bike seat for hours more comfortable–no bunching or chafing from seam lines. (I still don’t do the chamois butter so I guess I’ve still got some growing to do.)
Janet taught me how to wax my skis. She says I should do it at least once during the week when I’m skiing out west and probably frequently during the ski season. Figures. There’s always something with sports equipment. Maybe that’s the real reason I havnet yet bought a motorcycle–just one more expensive thing to maintain. I hate maintenance.
I have also determined that Santa needs to buy me a pair of boot gloves (for warmth as my feet get cold easy) and boot dryers (had to borrow Janet’s the night her boots were being repaired). There’s always something with these hobbies of mine.
Lastly in my ski adventures, I’ve eaten at a vegan restaurant two days in a row (Vertical Diner). I tried tempeh and liked it. I didn’t miss the meat in either meal. I am nowhere near turning vegan; however, I am totally willing to cut down on the amount of meat I eat. I’ve been consciously reducing my meat intake for the last few years (since reading Fast Food Nation). I’m with Paul McCartney; we should vow to not eat meat a few days a week.
But anyway, this week has been an adventure and the consensus is in: Alta rocks. I definitely will come back some time. Mid-winter, though.
I keep forgetting it’s nearly Christmas. It was nice to get away from all that. Makes me think less about what I am missing. And I don’t mean just missing Mike. It’s been a rough year on the relationship front. But things have finally worked out for the better, I think. Heartbreak and all, I’m where I should be. We all are where we should be. That’s life and I’m skiing it. Cycling it. Living it true to the values I hold dear. That’s all any of us can do. I see a great year for me ahead with maybe more focus on those things I’ve let slip–writing, career, activism. I’m going places, baby. For real this time.