On February 17, Mary Ann and I joined Laura, Jim, Johnny, and Michele for a full day of skiing at Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg, PA. This was the first time in about a decade that I skied and only the third time ever. This was quite a retirement experience.
It seemed to be a pretty good day to ski. It was just cold enough. The snow on the slopes were what I expected – machine-made, granular and a bit icy. I guess the snow was appropriate for me. Why waste good snow on my ‘talent’. If I was going to have trouble skiing, I might as well have something to deflect the blame for me falling.
Mary Ann and I stayed on the ‘Green hills’ (for beginners) all day. The way I judge my performance and how much fun it is by how infrequently I fall. In the morning I fell only a few times. I felt pretty good. I still remembered the lessons the last time I skied. However, I still did not feel comfortable handling any of the more difficult hills. Mary Ann, bless her heart, stuck with me the whole day. Funny thing about each run, the most nerve racking part for me was just getting off the ski lift. I was scared each time that I would fall. It is embarrassing to fall before you even start out.
By mid-afternoon we thought we would take lessons to see if we could get better, as they were included in our ticket price. The instructor taught us a new way to turn to slow down and/or stop. It was supposed to be much easier. While it seemed to be a better way to ski, I had trouble doing what I was told. I lacked confidence to do exactly what I was told and I was getting fatigued. I worried that I would not being able to turn while increasing my downhill speed. The faster I skied the harder I found it to turn. The harder I found it to turn, the easier I found it to fall. By the end, I was great at getting up from falling (the instructor taught me that and I had ample opportunity to practice!)
I would chalk this up to a fairly good retirement experience. Next year I hope to ski again and hopefully grasp the concepts better, I will count that better experience as another retirement experience.