A Lady of a Certain Age Tries Skiing
Ski nut here. WELCOME TO THE MADNESS! Seriously, once learned it's like riding a bike. In Sun Valley we skied amidst a rowdy senior ski club (members from everywhere). Those oldsters hit the slopes, talked trash to each other, and then hit the hot pools martini in hand. They were FUN. Just sayin'.
This is inspiring me to really look into skiing lessons here. I live in a place where people deeply love cross-country skiing and I think I would like it too, but I also picture it like the Olympics where people cross the finish line and then collapse in a jelly fish heap, gasping for breath. I ... don't want *that*, but maybe that's not what it feels like for real people not doing this to represent home and country?
I started skiing five years ago at age 55, and I was so smitten that in the winter of the pandemic shutdown, I was on track for 100 outings when everything closed. Since then I've also returned to horseback riding--and just witnessed skijoring for the first time at my barn yesterday (my two loves combined!). I have two pieces of advice: (1) Invest in your own boots and skis. I was done with rentals after my first outing and my feet are more or less "average"; and (2) Don't become obsessed with both skiing and horseback riding or your literary output in the winter months will suffer ....
Beyond my grade level as a skier and equestrian. But the younger people (i.e., half my age) are preparing for a competition in a couple of weeks. Here's a video of their first go on a game Connemara mare named Thistlebit: https://www.facebook.com/goosepondhorses/videos/512371317691445
Pay for your own boots, with custom liners. You've already fallen in love (yea!) and this will make you wonder how you suffered your first three times! My feet are narrow, flat, and "low volume". A saleswoman at Nordstrom's told me I was too particular about fit and should accept the orthopedic shoes! I was in my 40s, for God's sake. Incidentally, the Italians make fine fitting shoes for narrow feet, although now I have bunions. Win some, lose some.
Despite being Swiss now and thus entitled to many serious opinions about skiing-- I grew up in the midwest and remember “ski club” where all the cool kids would get on the bus to Wisconsin for a ski day out. That was my first attempt. I did not love it. My family did not do sporty holidays in Aspen or Zermatt, but my schoolmates who did promised to teach me everything.
Except they forgot to tell me to pick up my poles when entering the chair lift. So my ski experience started with landing abruptly on my face in the pile of snow just where the lift takes off, then being mowed over by two more full benches of shrieking kids (that’s 16 ski tips) before the lift operator pushed the stop button.
This was immediately followed by the real horror of having to get on and off the lift BY MYSELF to get up the hill to where my embarrassed friends were waiting.
You made the right choice, Rebecca!
Own boots are a good investment (I also have narrow feet) (and have boots from Lange), as are sock liners because they also keep your feet toasty.
Besides: brava to you for trying something new!
The first time I went skiing I did some of those Nicholas Brothers moves except not on purpose and my skis fell off and I got snow in my ear.
Are your feet short enough for kid size shoes? That might help, if they don’t come with short skis! Thanks for writing about skiing. I’ve been considering trying it (also at 44).
I did this too last year for the first time, at 42. My instructor kept yelling at me to “do my pizza” while I terrifyingly picked up speed and slid straight into the fence at the end of the slope. I loved it the first day, hated it the second, skipped it the third.
As a head injury alumna, I especially like the helmet. It will assure future literary output. More imoortant, does the low-res MFA accept AARP members with good scars?