I spent last week in Mammoth which has become what feels like the Vail, Colorado of California. Posh hotels with mountain access, upscale “cabins” with astounding views of the mountains and lakes, and the clear marker you’ve arrived in yuppy snow-dom–docents at the top of runs with pointers and big maps-and bright yellow vests which, consequently, did not keep me from getting lost.
My first skiing trip in about twelve years, I wondered how it would all go with my knee that is missing an ACL (former ski injury), my reconstructed ankle (former basketball injury), and my general aversion to the cold.
Several things stood out. For one, nearly 95% of the skiers and snowboarders wore helmets. I’ve been skiing since I was 13 and I’d never worn a helmet. My husband and I had more than one discussion about how he never wore a helmet in his life and how he really didn’t need one. As it turns out, he did, and I would likely be writing a eulogy if he hadn’t worn one. (The helmet has a nice dent from a big rock, and a little trip to the Mammoth ER proved necessary for his shoulder that was not wearing a helmet. Perhaps his broken rib wouldn’t hurt as much.)
Another thing was how much easier it is to ski when I am not carrying a ton of extra weight. Not only was the pressure less on my joints throughout the day, but I could bend over and buckle my boots!
Being in shape made the whole experience more enjoyable. Skiing involves a lot of parts–walking around with elephants strapped to your feet up and down lodge stairs is my personal favorite. Where I really noticed my weight training class pay off is when I hadn’t come into a lift fast enough and had to cross-country it over to a chair. You know, the little things.
One of my favorite parts of the ski experience is the beauty of being up on top of the mountain with people I love. The lakes, the surrounding mountain ranges, the evergreens covered in sparkly snow, the blue sky, the cool on my face.
Sometimes our weight keeps us from enjoying certain activities we love. I’m thankful, in this case, it’s not doing that anymore.