Inspired by the first ski day this season, I’ll try and put into words my feelings about my favourite winter hobby.
First of all, I’ve been skiing since I was two and a half years old, and am pretty good at it, if I may say so in order to perfect my image of a modest person. I loved it so much since the beginning and should my country had a more developed ski tradition, school, and better ski areas, I fear my first sport wouldn’t have been tennis but this, skiing, the sport of sliding over snow.
So, why is it so awesome, and why do I love it this much? It’s the freedom it gives me, the sense of empowerment I feel when I fly over the hills, whether on the perfectly arranged slopes or through the forest. The sense of be capable to do anything, to jump, to go as fast as you can, to make as many curves as you like (my first ski instructor used to call this “knitting”), to ski on one foot or backwards, to cut the ice; the options are limitless.
What is more, there is a very simple mechanism or reward as you progress. The harder the slopes you can ski on, the less people you encounter, and at one point, there’s only you (and maybe another crazy friends or two), in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature. The scenery at the top of the mountain is superb and knowing you just descended 2500 meters without noticing, gives you a most exquisite feeling.
This simple joy you experience is enhanced when you go off-track and though I would never openly encourage anyone to do this (especially not by themselves or without experience) skiing through meter deep snow, on very inclined terrains, has its satisfactions. What is more, on skis, you can always decide what you want to do, and there are no constraints. If one time, you simply want to enjoy powder snow on a beaten slope and have a little fun, there’s no stopping you. If another time, you want to challenge yourself, glide down faster then ever before or trying a very difficult black, with two diamonds marked slope, just to see if you’re able and to feel your muscles sore afterwards, again, it’s you option. If you want to mix it up, whether difficulty-wise or style related, it’s always fun. On skis, you decide on and design your own challenge.
Moreover, skiing, a healthy activity, is the perfect opportunity to have fun, have a reason to go out in the cold weather and even enjoy it, meet crazy people just as yourself, or bond with a group of friends. There are always the apres-ski bars waiting for you and the night life in ski resorts is never boring. Plus, for the fashionistas out there, some ski outfits are simply gorgeous and make you look and feel amazing. There is simply no reason why not to love skiing.
Oh, perhaps there is one argument some can present against the perfection of skiing and that is waiting in long lines at the cables, but this is certainly not the case anymore in developed ski areas or countries such as Italy or Austria. I might make this concession and say that if I had skiing in my home country I would have gotten a little bit frustrated, but here the conception of staying in a line doesn’t even exist, and I am extremely thankful for that.
Skiing makes for great holidays, I simply can’t imagine Christmas holidays without snow, an overview of the slopes and some serious effort in the morning. I plan on enjoying this holiday as well, and if all days are going to be just as this one, I’ll go into the New Year happier then ever. I think I forgot to mention, I am currently in the norther part of Italy or Sudtirol as the Austrians call it, and the infrastructure for practicing this sport here is amazing as I have had the opportunity to notice for many years now. You are never bored, there are always more slopes to discover and with only one ski pass you gain access to the entire “ski-able” Dolomite mountain chain.
All in all, I’m sure those who know how to ski good enough to be able to descend on any slope and not be restricted in any way feel the same as I do, and I hope those who didn’t think of trying this sport, will take it up, since they are missing out on so many great feelings, experiences and emotions. I, for sure, try to convince as many to adopt this addiction of mine and can say I’m successful since half of my class now skies because of me, and none has complained so far. :))
See you on the slopes, or even better, flying through the forest,