It must be perfect. The snow. The light. The number of skiers on the mountain. Are they on skis or snowboards? Are the blues really blues or are they easy blacks?
Sure, I want to keep skiing at my age, but that was before two back surgeries, a broken wrist done cross-country skiing last season, and a whole season of COVID avoidance.
Now, I’m ready. Mount Cranmore in the morning, at the head of the lift line, when it opens might do it. Or the lesser hills at Bretton Woods. But, despite their allure and familiarity, both of these options give me anxiety now. That is because I know I am not the type of skier who can just cruise or fall down the slopes in graceful, measured arcs. Even before the events of the last two years delayed my development into a semi-intermediate skier, I skied inconsistently. On some days I did a pretty decent job, but on others I only somehow made it down.
Let’s just say I was always a defensive driver. If I heard the slicing of snow that signaled a teenage boy on a snowboard, I headed for the sidelines and waited it out. After watching my daughter get wiped out by a snowboarder — who kept going — when we were skiing in the Canadian Rockies, I saw danger everywhere. A hit-and-run everywhere I looked, knowing full well that a snowboarder fully in control is every bit as safe as a skier fully in control.