My 2016 Post-Election Ski Adventure

"I go to the hills, when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear, what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed, 
With the Sound of Music 
And I'll sing once more."

Waking up this morning, I felt hollow.  My body ached from the heaving tears I had poured as I cried myself to sleep and lips were cracked from dehydration.  Glazed eyes glanced around with no real focus and I felt empty.  Like someone had scooped all my insides out and laid them on the ground somewhere to rot.  My brain was a mush and filled only with an all-encompasing fear for our future.

I honestly could not tell you how I got to the base of the mountain today.  It seemed as if every moment since I had awoken was leading me to the only damn thing I know how to do anyways.  Even if my mind had no idea what was going on, still caught in the traumatic shock of the evenings events.  Yet here I was, in a car packed with 3 different jackets and an extra fleece because I obviously had no decision making skills back at the house.  My ski socks, tucked into my ski boots, are exactly where they were when I removed them the day before.  Mittens & goggles were neatly tucked into my helmet and I realized that besides the skis in the roof box, perhaps maybe I don't need anything else in life.  Skiing, the glide down the mountain will heal my soul and ease my mind.

Numb & tired, I made my way to the gondi, not yet capable of having conversations outside of my grief and still too caught in my own mind.  I kept my head down, avoiding any form of interaction with the well loved lift ops crew, as I tried to hide my tear stained face and ridiculously puffy eyes.  Sighing, it took almost all my effort to lift my skis into the rack and I immediately was grateful for the fact that I wouldn't be having to walk down the walkway at the top.  I was going to need those few easy turns on Great Northern to wake my body the hell up.

A subdued nod was all I could muster for the top shack boys as I descended the stairs and looked out past the ski patrol shack and at ... the gloomiest view I have ever felt.  There wasn't a fog or a haze, just a sad, humid sky that looked like it was trying not to cry.  Thank goodness, I would think later, that it was a quiet, humble day on the mountain.  I don't think I could have handled the awesome party zone that was Tuesday afternoon.  Honestly, yesterday was just an absolutely awesome party at the NRT in the 60 degree bluebird wonderfulness.

Today, however, was different.  The snow was fantastically soft and void of practically anyone save the mountain school groups.  It was wonderful.  Today wasn't going to be about banging out bumps turns or slalom turns or making deep trenches - although the snow was absolutely perfect for all of those.  Nor was it about merely sliding down the mountain completely unaware, caught in only the movements of my body through the turn.  My experience on the hill today was all of those things and nothing.

Today I listened to the mountain.  I took the time to look around and embrace my surroundings.  I saw branches on the side of the trails and collections of leftover snow spotted on the trees.  And most importantly, I felt the mountain through my skis.  Every turn, a connection of the inside tip all the way down to the tail, every inch of the edge touching the trail and I could feel the contours of the snow and the trail.  My skis pressed into every nook and cranny, not missing a bit of the snow below. I was reaching into the ground, extending my roots into the earth as far as they could go...

As my roots extended, I could feel my soul refilling.  Every turn reminded me that the earth would still be there, in varying textures beneath my skis, and the repetition gave me peace.  Over and over, my skis found different paths down the mountain, my ankles and knees sometimes reluctantly along for the ride.  Sometimes the mountain led us into the soft corn bumps reminiscent of Superstar in the Spring, other times the turns widened and we were launched off random mounds of the afternoon conditions.

My Pantsuit complete with Suffragette Purple, of course!
But oddly enough it was on the chairlift where my soul began to refill.  It was as though the lift gave me time to process the energy I had just absorbed on the descent.  My breathe slowly began to regulate away from the hiccupy post- emotional breakdown of the past 12 hours and the fog in my mind began to clear.  I even found myself bopping to only of my dad's little ski songs, usually reserved for only the most balanced of ski times.  It was only after I got in my car at the end of the day, after taking a deep breathe ending with my first real smile of the day, that I finally realized what had happened.

Skiing had replenished my soul.
The glass is refillable.
This is why I ski.

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Female Ski Bum


  1. Awesome read.


  2. You are not just a Female Ski Bum. You are a Ski Poet.
    Thank you.
    K20 Ski Guy

    1. hahahaha - thanks, K20SKiGuy

      P.S. LOVE the name!!!!


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