Going through life, we’re always told that once you learn how to do something, you never forget it, like the old adage of riding a bike, for example. Well I recently tested that out over the Christmas holiday. I grew up in Colorado, and before you ask the question, yes, I was a skier. I skied from the time I was 5 years old with my family. About 24 years ago I moved to Upstate New York. Shortly after moving, I met my husband, who, knowing I was a skier, took me skiing at a local ski area in central NY. It wasn’t a large ski area and it wasn’t a big mountain. Actually, I was shocked by the tiny size of the mountain (hill). After all, when you ski in the Rocky Mountains, you can’t see the top of the mountain (and I mean mountain). I took two runs and announced to my husband that I was finished skiing, and we went home. Three minutes up the lift, two minutes down the hill; I simply couldn’t see the point. Consequently, that was the last time I skied.
That is until this past Christmas. Over the holidays, my husband announced, “Hey honey, you should take the kids skiing!” Mind you, I have three grown children who have never skied, and I haven’t skied in more than 20 years!
But, the kids were game for it, and my husband really wanted me to take them, so I agreed to go. However, I will admit, I was somewhat nervous to do so. After all, 20 years is a long time to be off skis, and I’m not 25 or 30 anymore. I really didn’t think I could do it; I didn’t think it would come back to me like riding a bike. I could just see myself toppling down the mountain like a yard sale praying I didn’t break anything.
When the day came, we gathered our “ski” clothes, because no one actually had any, and headed out. When we got to the resort, we first had to rent equipment which has definitely changed since I had my own equipment. I really was starting over. The boots were different, the skis were different, the recommendations were different. But I had to believe that in 20 years, improvements had come to the ski industry that would enhance my delayed attempts at scaling a snow-covered peak.
The kids took lessons first that day so they could establish the correct technique before hitting the slopes. That gave me time to regroup alone and see if I could still ski. And to my complete amazement, it did come right back to me! It really was like riding a bike. I was so happy! Now, I wasn’t ready for black diamonds, but at least I could get up and down in a fairly technical fashion, and I was at ease – even comfortable. So I continued going up and down the small hill and watching the kids while they were taking their lessons. They did a great job for their first time. After their lessons concluded, we all went up and down the hill together until we were ready to leave. It was a fun time and I was very proud of everyone. And best of all, I stayed upright the entire day. Not sure why we never skied when the kids were young, but at least we did it today. Now the kids can potentially begin their own ski career, and I proved to myself that I can still ski. I guess the old adage is true – you never forget how to ride a bike.
Article Written by: Kim Shattell