Facing My Fears: Skiing at Lutsen Mountains
I can’t remember the last time my entire body was this sore. My quads, calves, triceps, biceps, back. Sore. Getting out of bed this morning was a chore.
But it was so worth it. This weekend Dana and I headed up north to Lutsen, MN with our friends Adam and Stacy.
To those of you who aren’t from Minnesota, Lutsen is a popular ski area in Northern Minnesota. It is absolutely gorgeous. Adam and Stacy got married at the top of one of their mountains!
We made the five-hour trek up on Friday afternoon and on Saturday we hit the slopes.
I haven’t skied in ten years. To say that I was terrified would be an understatement. I was afraid of falling, of getting stuck on the chair lift, of not being able to stop at the bottom of the hill, of going too fast and running into someone on the hill. I’m a big ol’ worrier if you haven’t noticed.
To those who told me it’ll come back to me and it’s like riding a bike…it’s not. First, I don’t know if I ever had proper lessons when I skied when I was younger. Second, I was much more fearless when I was younger. Intermediate hils? Sure. I didn’t care. I was closer to the ground and more resilient then, so it wouldn’t hurt as bad if and when I fell. Plus, I had to keep up with my skier friends. 😉
But now, I’m wiser and a much bigger baby.
Luckily, I was skiing with two very seasoned skiers (Dana and Stacy), who walked me through the basics to insure I didn’t crash into anybody at the bottom of the hill, break my legs, or get stuck on the chair lift.
We started on the bunny hills. I did a whole lot of pizza’ing (“wedging”) the skis. Slow and steady wins the race. Once I felt a bit more confident, we headed to the real hills.
I was taught to use the entire hill; doing large zig-zags all the way down and to wedge my skis when I felt I was going too fast. I got real nervous when other snowboarders and skiers were heading my way. This is when I would panic and surrender and usually fall on my rear or faceplant. But I was lucky to have remembered the practice I had with wakeboards.
I felt pretty good though as I skied down the green hills; they were slow and involved some cross country skiing.
I even did okay on a couple of the blue hills but some of the blue ones gave me terrible anxiety. Standing at the top of the hill and looking down and seeing a steep slope gave me the heebee-jeebees. Going down the hill was the only option though if I ever wanted to get back to the lodge. I wasn’t really into the idea of camping out on the hill for the rest of the weekend being as it was absolutely freezing on Saturday and I didn’t have any food or drink. 😉
My support group guided me down the hill and I made it to the bottom after a few tears of doubt. Seriously when did I turn into such a big baby?
Come 3:30 pm, I was completely spent. The emotional and physical demands of the day had finally gotten the best of me. I cozied myself in the chalet as the rest of the group finished out their last runs before the hills closed.
We stayed in a lodge that was located right in the middle of all of the hills; a ski-in, ski-out lodge. This was SO nice because we could take breaks throughout the day as needed to warm up and thaw out. Chili and a fireplace at lunch time was a lifesaver!
After our day of skiing, we relaxed in our warm lodge, fire blazin’, showered, and grabbed some grub. Then we made our way over to Papa Charlie’s Grill for some live music. Has anyone heard of The Honeydogs? Their band started in St. Paul and they are a lot of fun! The only song I recognized was called “I Miss You.” Stace- thanks for forcing me out on the dance floor. I should have said yes a lot earlier because I had a blast dancing!
I was ready to crash by about 9:30 pm but managed to stay up and enjoy the band for a couple more hours before heading to bed.
Sunday morning we packed up our stuff, admired the fluffy fresh snow that was coming down, and headed home.
I’m thinking that I probably need to start skiing more often than once every ten years. I think that with confidence, I could really enjoy skiing. Confidence and warmer weather. This negative fahrenheit business is getting kind of old.
Thanks to my support group for the ski lessons and helping me out this weekend (that includes you too, Adam). Without you I would have been down in the chalet all day! The only way to get better is to practice.
Fun fact: I learned about the spelling suffix of the word “ski.” I was skiing in the mountain. I skied this weekend. Confusing, but I guess it makes sense if you think about it.
Happy day my friends! xoxo
Have you ever skied? If so, did you like it?