Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Things

A year or so ago we decided we wanted to learn how to ski.  As New Hampshire residents and native New Englanders, it is almost a birthright, or rather, birth-obligation.  So, we bought equipment and season's passes to the local hill and snapped ourselves on - we became "skiers" of the "just do it" school.  Now, I have had skis attached to my feet at other times in my life.  When I was 6 or so my older brother caught the bug, and my family supported his interest.  I got to tag along until he grew old enough to continue his passion without parents and a little sibling cramping his style, or until I grew out of the ski boots bought for me in the initial parental expression of enthusiasm.  My brother's son is now an internationally acclaimed and well known snowboarder, and my brother wins "senior" amateur races himself.

I was left behind.  I "matured" without much further experience, but for a time or two on rented skis in another effort towards acheiving skill.  It always just seemed like one of those things one should just be able to do and experience.  A mysterious ability that seems to spring from nothing, like swimming or tennis, but that actually either develops effortlessly in childhood, or more painstakingly in adulthood.  So, when one can not swoop and swoosh as one can clearly see all those other cool people on the slopes do, it gets discouraging, and expensive.  Still, I decided that as long as I live here in the Northern reaches of the country, where snow covers the landscape for 4 months or so a year, I'll be damned if I'm not going to get out there and enjoy it!

Mastering a new physical skill at age 50 is a different experience than it as when I was young.  Not bad.  Just different.  Progress is slow.  It's about keeping at it, and trying not to be afraid of speed, lack of control, or of breaking a leg.  Ha!  But then, suddenly it seems after all, I'm sking down black diamond trails.  It might not be pretty, really not pretty, but there I am, and it seems like the "just do it" school is worth enrolling in.

9 comments:

  1. way to go jennifer! i admire you for getting out and starting up like this. i know what you mean about the fifty plus piece around mastering a new physical skill! i am a serious cyclist - i took up club riding last year - high speed, very close quarters. you make a mistake and a lot of people pay a bitg price!! my first concern was breaking something - mine or somebody else's! but after i got the confidence piece sorted out it was clear sailing. enjoy the journey. steven

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  2. Great attitude, Jennifer! Go girl!

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  3. pizza wedge, pizza wedge, pizza wedge! i took it up 3 years ago and i love it - i take up the whole mountain though because i just can't stop!!!

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  4. Steven, well I admire you for joining the cycling club. That is a heck of a lot harder work than skiing every couple of days. I think it's just nice to know that there are always new horizons.

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  5. Rosaria - thank you. I know I'm not alone in this philosophy (as I read your adventures).

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  6. Kitty, I know what you mean. When the mountain is covered by little kids, especially right in front of the chairllift's off ramp, I think I'm going to run into one one of these days.

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  7. Oh yeah, I've taken out little kids on bunny slopes and at the top of the chairlift more times than I care to admit! That first little jump off the lift kills me every time. I've found it is very helpful to be sure your bindings are secure if you don't want to splay out face first when disembarking!

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