Life’s Lessons from the Slopes

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Can you believe we’re already wrapping up the first month of the New Year? If my January is any indication of what the rest of the year has in store, I’ll take it! This month I introduced a couple of new (and might I say, very well received) In Her Shoes series, secured a new PR client, survived the Northeast Snowpocalypse, made an escape to sunny southern California and more importantly, kicked off the new decade truly facing my fears. How so, you ask? Your girl went skiing for the first time EVER on New Year’s Day!

The entire experience was magical. After a painful stretch of snow and blistery temps in the Northeast, New Years Day was a balmy 50+ degrees on the Hunter Mountain slopes. It was so warm that I found myself sweating trying to figure out how to stay off the ground in my snow bunny gear. In a very organic manner, my first ski trip was a learning and growing experience that allowed me to step into the new year tackling a few of my 2011 affirmations.

Officially over it…

First up, I will strive to increase my level of patience. In a world of (seemingly) instant gratification, 24/7 news feeds and non-stop communication (FB, Twitter, BBM) my lack of patience seems to be reaching an all time low. I’m guilty of beating myself up for not “getting”/understanding something fast enough, completing a task quick enough or reaching a goal in record time.  For any of you impatient readers out there considering skiing for the first time, let me be the first to tell you that there’s NO room for the “not now, right now” attitude on the slopes. No, m’am!

If you’ve never been skiing, just accept that you’re going to spend at least the first 30 minutes simply fighting to maintain your balance. The next hour may be spent paying attention to a ski instructor who (like mine), may not only want to teach you the fundamentals, but also share some of the sport’s history and his personal skiing experiences. Insert yawn here.

I wanted to bypass the crash course in skiing and just wing it but I was advised not to by the amazing person in my life who gifted me this opportunity. My lack of patience almost prohibited me from learning how to ski the “right” way vs. “my” way.

Slip, slide and bam!

The other invaluable lesson I learned on the slopes was two fold: the power of resilience and the irrelevancy of pride while in student mode (which should technically be every day of our lives). Again, if you’ve never rocked a pair of skis, chances are you’re going to get up close and personal with the powdery substance down below on more than one occasion. As cute as you might think you’re looking on the slopes, it really doesn’t matter when you’re clumsily struggling to get back on your feet, only to keep hitting the ground during your unsuccessful attempts. Get the lesson here?

Life’s experiences may cause us to fall face forward but to stay in the game, we’ve got to dust ourselves off and forge ahead fearlessly!

In addition to providing me with beautiful reminders of life’s lessons, skiing was a great physical experience as well. Spending hours coming down the bunny slope and simply getting from point A to Z with what feels like bricks on your feet was truly exhilarating, humbling and…hilarious! The next day I woke up feeling slightly tender yet surprisingly rejuvenated. The soreness reminded me of yet another personal affirmation for the year which is I will dedicate more time to exercising. It does the body good!

At this point in my life, I can’t think of a better way to have kicked off this fabulous New Year and new decade! So, how ‘bout you? Is “twenty-eleven” giving you everything, too? Are you living your best life mentally, spiritually and physically? We’ve got 339 days remaining in the year. Let’s live each day with the same energy, passion and vigor of January 1st!


As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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