I’ll get right to it- skiing is overrated. I know, I know, I live in Utah, home to some of the best snow on earth. How could I say something so ridiculously blasphemous?
Now, I’m not the most experienced skier. However, having grown up 30 minutes away from resorts like Park City and Deer Valley, I’ve heard all about it. My friends are avid skiers and my extended family hit the slopes as much as possible, spending thousands of dollars on gear and passes every year. I’ve heard about how incredible it is, I just don’t understand why.
I went skiing for the first time when I was 15 years old. As fate would have it, I was 15 years old when I went skiing for the last time.
It was a gorgeous day in late January. The sky was a blinding blue and a huge storm had just passed through northern Utah the day before, leaving a mountain of perfect powder. After years of pestering, my friends had finally convinced me to go skiing with them.
While we drove up the mountain, my stomach began to twist. Something didn’t feel quite right. As much as I hate to admit it now, I too often was the “stick in the mud” of the friend group. I stubbornly hid my anxieties from the rest of the group, determined not to let my nerves get to me. I was going skiing with my friends on a beautiful day! What could possibly go wrong?
We bought our passes, grabbed our gear and made our way to the slopes. While my friends gave me a quick lesson while riding the ski lift- the classic pizza and french fries technique. “Seems simple enough,” I thought. But there was only one way to know.
I started at the bottom of that slope, my nerves boiling to the surface. It was much steeper with more turns. I’m sure to an experienced skier, the hill would’ve seemed easy- boring even. But I had only been on skis for a total of an hour so everything was intimidating.
A part of me wanted to get back on the ski lift and ride it back down, but I knew there was no way my friends would ever let me forget that. I took in a deep breath of cold mountain air and started moving down the hill.
Next thing I knew, I was on my back and my friends were all laughing. I had crashed pretty hard. Both skis had fallen off and poles were accounted for. I laughed as best as I could with the wind still knocked out of me. One of my friends offered me his hand and when I went to stand up, I knew something had gone wrong. My knee buckled underneath my weight and an spike of pain shot up my leg.
After a ride down the mountain in the sled of shame and multiple MRI’s and x-rays later, I discovered I had torn my ACL and damaged my meniscus. I was devastated as I realized that my passion for running cross country and track had come to an end.
Looking back, not only did I pay to freeze my pants off and wait in lines for hours, I didn’t even get a good run in.
Now, of course, I’m biased and there are lots of people who would argue about beginner’s luck. It just seems to me that there are cheaper alternatives to spending time outside in the winter, like sledding or ice skating. Why not save money and major injuries by choose a different activity other than skiing.
Story By: Jessica Stagg
Photo By: Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash