We have winter in Tahoe after a long, long dry spell. The options for snow sports activities are dizzying. I spent the last bluebird morning in decision paralysis because my body needed a rest day but I felt obligated to “enjoy” some downhill powder skiing. I went for a massage, instead – lucky me!
This brings me to a few habits (mine and others) that have been nagging at me this winter. And I pledge to change on my part.
1.) I will not insult your chosen winter activity. We are lucky to have so many choices. Many of us moved to Tahoe to downhill ski more. Some of us have migrated to other variations of skiing or even (gasp) resorting to light devices that don’t slide at all, called running snowshoes. Heck, my own daughter prefers to swim. Indoors. We are very lucky to have so many options, but everyone chooses their own way to play in the mountains based on many factors, including gear, timing, cost, safety/risk profile, and just plain personal preference.
2.) I will not compliment your strength and then insult your lack of ski technique. I have been guilty of this with a few friends this winter and sincerely apologize. I was on the receiving end of that sentiment today as I was smashed in a skate ski race by a woman two decades my senior. She attempted to compliment my power, but so droned on about my hideous ski skills, that it was quite hurtful, especially since I have been working on it all season. She must be getting senile, because she says the same to me after every race.
3.) I will not give unsolicited ski technique tips. For all I lack in ski handling skills, I am still a generally proficient skate skier. I learned several years ago that noone on the trail (neither random strangers nor your friends) appreciates unsolicited ski tips. This year I have had occasion to help a few runner friends get started with skate skiing, but that is a different situation. Similarly, my husband is my official downhill ski instructor, and I alway appreciate his help. Unless someone asks for help, even the most innocuous hint can make them feel bad.
So, ski down a hill; ski up a hill; run on the road; slide on a sled; ice skate; swim; use a treadmill… do what works for you. There is no wrong answer.