I loved everything about living in New York City, but after a series of circumstances, family time was just what I needed. And lucky for me, my sister had recently moved to Colorado. I visited on a 3-day weekend, which somehow turned into me dropping everything, subletting my room on Craigslist (I remain very grateful to my past roommates for that one), getting a job at a store in town, and living in Aspen, Colorado for the next two years.
One small problem; I didn't know how to ski.
But I love a challenge, and when a new friend invited me to join her one weekend (and I learned that this particular mountain had a bunny slope), I was game.
Getting a handle on all the gear that skiing requires is intimidating enough for a beginner. I vividly remember clicking into my bindings and having no idea how I would manage to make my way to the chairlift. Watching toddlers effortlessly pass me as I struggled to stand upright would be the first of many humbling skiing moments.
While I can't say I conquered that mountain, I did have a lot of fun. Falling on your butt again and again, isn't so bad when you realize that snow is soft and your helmet is hard. Skiing quickly became a new obsession, and I would not rest until I learned how!
Much to my relief, I discovered that I actually wasn't the only adult on the mountain who had zero clue what they were doing. Hence, the reason adult-only group lessons exist. I highly recommend this route to any novice skier as they will equip you with the basic skills and techniques you need to get down the mountain in one piece.
I found that the next best thing to a lesson is to head to the nearest bar and become familiar with the locals. After many nights spent at The Red O and Silver City, I wound up making friends with many different people who worked various jobs on the mountain. In my experience, "ski or snowboard?" was the most common question asked in these environments, and "Uh, I sort of ski" was an uncommon response. But, as someone who suffers major FOMO, I told everyone to go ahead and wait for me at the bottom because I would be joining! They were all phenomenal skiers who had a way of making the sport seem so easy. Plus, everyone looked so happy and so free! And I longed to be too, so I figured this must be the way.
Like anything, the more I did it, the easier it became. It took around ten full days of skiing to become comfortable on blue slopes, and by the end of the season, I was on the blacks. I certainly have a long way to go before I can say I'm crushing moguls, but all in all, trading my subway pass for a ski pass was one of the best decisions I have ever made.