Yesterday I went downhill skiing for the first time in over 22 years. I turn 44 in a few weeks, so that's literally half my lifetime. The last time was in 1991, when I was a first year veterinary student. A group of us spent a weekend at Lutsen.
It was a fun enough weekend, but what I remember most is taking a lift to a second, not very developed, peak that, on the trail maps, had a blue (intermediate) main slope. On the ground, that trail turned to black diamond (advanced) about halfway down with no warning and no alternative way out. For someone who'd only been skiing two or three times as a kid, it was a bit intense. The following summer I messed up my knee, so I didn't feel particularly compelled to try again.
This season, though, David, who also hadn't skied in about 20 years, decided he wanted to try again. So last week, he went with friends of ours while I was at work. This week, my Wednesday was free for the first time in 6 months, as I've been temporarily laid off from job #2 due to the economy (a first for me). David found a midweek deal at a resort within driving distance, so we got up early and headed out.
The deal included a 2-hour lesson, equipment rentals, and a limited lift ticket, which meant we could only use one lift to a fairly short trail. Seeing as it had been so long, it was a pretty good way to get my feet metaphorically wet again. I realized pretty quickly, though, that I was better than I remembered, most likely because I wasn't struggling with a slope way beyond my skill level. I expect all the years of yoga and taiji and learning to pay attention to what my body's doing helped, too. Whatever it is, it looks like we're going to have a new winter pastime.