I finally made it onto the slopes. On a perfect blue-sky day—the sort that makes you feel smug about living in Colorado—I disembarked from the Colorado SuperChair at Breckenridge with my husband and brother-in-law and took my first ski run of the year. I knew what to expect. On my first day out each winter, I invariably feel like I’ve forgotten how to ski. What are these strange awkward planks on my feet? How do I turn? Why are my legs shaking? I wasn’t going to let these things get me down, though. I was just going to take it slow in the sunshine.
And then something strange happened. I pointed my skis downhill, and it was as if I’d been at it all season. My knees bent just the right amount each turn; I was completely in control. I cruised to the bottom of the run, boarded the chairlift again, waited for the throbbing knees or burning quads, and felt…nothing. Nothing but the sun on my face.
I felt great all day—as we toured through the pines on soft snow, navigated steep chutes with some icy patches, and clocked a few hairy seconds avoiding hard-to-spot rocks that stuck through thin cover. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. But my muscles barely ached. And the next morning, I was amazed to find that not a single body part hurt. (The only pain was of the psychological kind, caused by returning to my office.) I’d planned to give myself a day to rest before returning to CrossFit. But instead I was fired up for the workout.
So I’ve answered two of my own questions: Will CrossFit help my skiing? And how fit is fit enough? To the first, the answer is an unequivocal yes! Even though we haven’t done jumping lunges in about a month, I’m stronger and fitter than ever before—and that makes me a better, more confident skier. Next up this season, learning to ski moguls. As for the second question, for the moment I care much less about where I land on the list each day at Boulder CrossFit. Ask me again in a week, but right now I only have to work hard enough to feel good about my own effort. And remember to take a snow day again soon.