So you’re back on the hill after a 10 year hiatus.
When you left the resort all those years ago, your skills were top notch. There was no run you couldn’t tackle and you could ski from open to close. Then life happened and all the sudden you couldn’t return to the mountains for a full decade. Yes, you love to ski, but you’re concerned that something might happen to you–and if you try to ski like you used it, something probably will. So what do you do? Here’s a few tips that should get you pointed in the right direction and prevent having to make repeated trips to the ice machine for your bum leg.
1. Use the first day as your acclimation day
There’s no doubt you’re going to be excited to be back out. Don’t let your excitement prevent you from skiing the rest of your days of vacation. Take some laps, but also take lots of rest. Even if you don’t feel sore and tired while skiing, you’ll feel it tomorrow. Chances are also high that after a few laps, you’ll feel the burn in your legs. Getting your ski legs takes time, but if you have a light first day and gradually increase the intensity, you should have a great vacation.
2. Consider a lesson
Even the best of the best skiers can benefit from a lesson. All it takes is one little nugget of information from your instructor to completely change how you ski and make skiing a whole heck of a lot easier. You also have a buffer–instead of being surrounded by friends or family that may have more stamina that you, you’re with an instructor who is clued into your ability and energy levels. Shirk the peer pressure and sign up for a lesson–you won’t regret it.
3. Do some exercises before you arrive
Most of us don’t move regularly enough to be ready to ski at the drop of a hat, so before you take off, get moving in some way. Go on a 10 minute jog or squeeze in a couple lunges on your break. Even going on a few walks can have a major impact on your ski stamina. The key point is to get your body used to moving, especially if you work a job that doesn’t require much movement. You’re going to use muscles you didn’t know existed when you start skiing again and you will be sore, but by getting your body ready beforehand you can reduce the pain and suffering of the day after skiing.
4. Never have “one more run”
Everyone knows that injuries result from the last of anything. Playing basketball? “I’ll just take one more shot.” Boom–sprained ankle. Eating cookies? “One more can’t hurt, can it?” Boom–you’re so full you can’t move. In skiing, the same rules apply. To avoid such a fate there’s a common saying that says, “Two more, skip the last.” It’s a way of never saying the poisonous words last run. Saying such a thing is a death wish for your ACL, MCL, and meniscus. So, at the end of the day you have one of two options.
- When you’re at the bottom considering taking another lap, pack it up and head home. Go out while you’re ahead.
- If you’re dead set on having another lap, opt for the mantra mentioned above, “Two more, skip the last.”
5. Don’t do anything stupid
Finally, you’re ten years older now. Unless you’re Tom Brady, chances are things are going to hurt a bit more than they used to. Do yourself a favor and don’t huck that cliff–just live vicariously through the youth who make it look easy. Now get out there a do some easy breezy skiing!