Even though I’ve lived my whole life in the state of Michigan, I never learned to ski. As a child I loved the snow and playing outside in the lake effect snow we’d get all winter long. But as I got older, besides one (horrible) attempt at cross-country skiing I’ve never considered going north and skiing. Part of it is a dislike for cold, part of it I blamed on my lack of balance.
On our recent trip up to Boyne Mountain Lodge and Spa I was offered skiing lessons. Always willing to give new things a try – I went to my scheduled appointment and strapped on some ski boots. I had two major fears when skiing – I would fall and hurt my ankles (like I did cross country skiing) and riding the lift in general. But with my instructor Jeff by my side all of those fears were quickly put to the back of my mind. The first was fear was quickly put to rest since the ski boots were rigid and made even bending my ankles impossible – no more weak ankle excuse!
After teaching me the basics of skiing, including how to slow down, turn and even stop, Jeff even taught me how to get on the ski lift. I’m pretty sure that fear was more rooted in the height and not having seat belts. But the ride up the slope were easy and actually beautiful with the fresh snow that had fallen the night before.
While the hill I learned to ski on was the bunny slope, where young kids are learning to ski and snow board, there were still a couple steep sections. On the first one I did manage to fall – the only time during my lesson! A few more times down the hill and I’d be cleared to go on the more advanced and bigger hills. But since I’m out of shape, one run down the hill was all I could handle the first time skiing – skiing uses a lot of muscles that never get activated blogging! But after the lesson, I actually felt really confident on skis, and would love to do it again – just need to get my own equipment.
Despite what my boyfriend may tell you about our day to day life, once you put me on skis I’m “coordinated, graceful and take direction well”. If he hadn’t heard it from the instructor, he wouldn’t believe it! Not only did I try something new, but challenged some fears I’ve had for years to do it. If you’ve always waned to learn to ski and are heading up to Boyne, ask for Jeff Vanhove. He’s a great instructor and very patient with new skiers!
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