Learning to Ski

BROMLEY - When I first moved to Vermont a few months ago, every person I met asked if I skied. I would politely respond that while I grew up water skiing, I had never snow skied. On one occasion, the gentleman I was talking to told me water skiing wasn't real skiing, so I should just say no.

Well, people of Vermont, rest easier, I, Anna Marie Boarini can now answer that I have gone skiing. A few weeks ago, I got my chance to try out the slopes. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit nervous. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to learn, but I also had this image of myself falling down the side of Bromley, tendons snapping and not being able to walk for 6 weeks. But as usual, my over active imagination got the best of me. I had nothing to worry about.

When I arrived at Bromley that morning, I was told conditions were perfect. I was fitted for skis and boots and met my teacher, Mike Scholz. I was ready to go and then I had to walk in ski boots. Now, I consider myself a fairly coordinated person. I've successfully completed two triathlons - a race where you swim, bike and then run, with no break - and a handful of half marathons without falling on my face. But trying to walk in ski boots? I was a total failure.

I mean, I was able to do it, but not without almost sliding down back into the building on multiple occasions. I successfully learned how to put my skis on, glide with one ski and then both. I learned to ski using the terrain based learning system Bromley has, so after a little bit of gliding, Michael and I headed up the little learning mountain. There, I slid down the sides of the baby half pike and came down the small race course, learning how to turn and keep my skis in the wedge position.

After a few trips on that side, I was able to tackle the other side, that was just straight downhill. Now, this would probably not even be considered a small hill, but it still seemed daunting. As I started to make my way down, I realized I wasn't going to fall. I corrected my stance when I was told and I made it down.

"Anna! You just skied!" an exuberant Mike said when I made it to the bottom. We made the trip up the small hill and kept working on keeping the wedge shape, turning back up the mountain and slowing down. Each time it got a little easier and I got more confident, that I was not actually going to roll down the mountain. Finally, the time came to ride the real ski lift and actually ski down an actual mountain. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous.

I got over any fear of heights I may have had when I went paragliding and had to jump off the side of a mountain in Nepal. What scared me was the coming down. All around me, there were people who already knew what they were doing. There are some very impressive young skiers in the area. I wanted to make it down the mountain too and not look totally incompetent. And I did, multiple times.

There were a few falls, some more interesting than the others, but nothing too tragic. My first fall was more of me awkwardly sitting down. The others involved me going far too fast for my limited skiing ability. But even with the falls, I made it down the mountain.

All in all, I enjoyed my day on the slopes. Skiing definitely makes winter a little less horrible. I'm not going to be downhill racing any day soon, but you will be able to find me slowly working my way down the mountain, trying to keep my skis in that perfect wedge shape.


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