Raindrops dodged my wipers in slalom shapes, her peak jutted through pea soup fog. Rainy weather did not deter instructors for a clinic week to polish skills, while discussing the seasons buzz words and gear.
Simply booting up in the locker room brings excitement as I look at gear, inhale hot wax and feel hidden energy. Some instructors wore unisuits from the 80’s with lift tickets still attached, as we discussed old school techniques and how they apply to contemporary skiing. On demo day, I clicked into a pair of Blizzard Black Pearls and some hottie Kastle MX83’s.
Withstanding all types of weather slope-side listening intently to every aspect of the sport, occasionally my focus strayed. A smile lit my face in reflection of how in depth we discuss details down to our little toes role throughout a turn. Eyes gazed upon stunning rural scenery as my mind dreamt of Hotronic boot heaters. I hoped feeling would soon return to my toes, so I know where the lil’ guys are during my carves. Varied weather reminded me I should market a kiosk renting goggle lenses at the top of the lift, like summer sunglass stands, at rest stops on the Jersey Turnpike.
Our class fizzled one afternoon. Psyched to have a private session I questioned the clinician what her favorite base layer was, her response; “polyurethane” caused two women of different paths, but mutual love an extreme case of the giggles. We raced to get in last chair, in flat light. I loved her energy, the clinician who may be twice my age.
A trail map made a home in my boot cuff to alter my canting because a friend had stripped my turn key. The clementine in my pocket became orange juice after racing a boy too closely on the heels of his rockered fatties, rooster tails blinding me, as powder spun into my face.
I skied moguls with a celebrity and practiced pole plant timing. We skied edges of trails maintaining consistent speed through varied terrain, as we noticed different fall lines. We practiced single ski drills, while keeping consistency through the bumps. A dark mole against the white snow scurried beneath the lift, as snow guns were repositioned and high school rippers flew around corners. Video analysis was taken of our skiing and critiqued in detail.
A gentleman of fragile build and an ageless twinkle in his eye showed up daily for sessions. During dinner at the country club he was honored as a four time cancer survivor. This gentleman, 74 showed up each morning with a sparkle emitting from his soul, and a desire to learn. What an inspiration.
My heart fills catching up with ski friends over warm chili, cold beers, après events at local venues and an abundance of ski stories causing contagious belly laughs. I cherish ski moments like the older man recapping, in local accent, his experience of being so chilled the only thing that de thawed his buttocks in the shower was to pour liquor down his cheeks.
The ski environment is one of my favorite places to be, I never want those days to end. Some of the happiest moments in my life have been on skis, it makes my soul shine…