Learning to Ski – a Memoir

When was the last time you picked up a new skill? Like really worked at something you’d never done before and mastered it? Honestly, I can’t think of too many things, especially in my adult life… except skiing. I learned how to ski a few years ago, when I was 25. I know that is not objectively old, but considering I live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada where EVERYONE skis, it was old. Skiing is almost synonymous to being Canadian; when I travel abroad and tell people I’m Canadian, their two questions are always, “Do you speak French?” (no) and “Do you ski?” (now I do!).

Skiing was something I always wanted to do, but had so many excuses – I’m too old, it’s too expensive, it’s scary to fall, etc. Mostly I was afraid of failing.

But one day, a friend told me about the “Never Ever Days” program being offered at Whistler. If you aren’t familiar, Whistler is a world-class ski resort in BC – people from all around the world come here – and it is generally quite expensive. But this program offered a 4-hour lesson, and free lift and rentals for… drum-roll, please… $25! Unreal promotion. The catch was that it was for people who never skied or snowboarded before – i.e. me.

So, I went. And I LOVED it. I had been preparing myself for the worst, that I might fall a bunch of times, or that it would be scary or boring or whatever. But I really, truly loved it.

So I booked 4 more lessons that season at another local mountain – Grouse.

And then I skied the next year.

(I took a year off the year after… life happened). But this year I went again a few times. And I have to say – I am good. Not double-black-diamond good, but I can ski! I really can. I skied at Grouse and Seymour this year, and even got to go with my sister once. I worked myself up to ski blue-level runs with ease, and finally find the ratio of fun-to-scary much more in favour of fun.

In short, I love it.

It is never to late to try new things. It is never too late to take a risk. You might fail, you might fall (I did, so many times), but it is worth it to try something new. Practice, practice, and practice some more. You might just end up loving it.

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