Champagne powder!

I have a confession to make.

I am not brave.

I am not an adrenaline junkie. I don’t like speed. I am risk-averse in most aspects of my life. I used to be a little braver but since having the Dude, my inner safety mechanism has doubled in size. I can do hard things but I cannot do scary things. I find myself frustrated by this lack of courage, I hate it about myself. But that safety switch is deeply embedded in me.


I started skiing when I was 29. I was going out with this amazing guy and I adored him and wanted to marry him. He loved skiing, he loved me…I wanted to ski to make him happy. It became apparent that I was not going to be a great skier, but we got to the point where I loved being in the mountains, I liked skiing most of the time and I was decent enough and confident enough to go down red slopes (advanced intermediate). We were both happy.

me skiing snow

And then…I broke my leg in a ski lesson. Not doing anything dangerous or fancy. Just skiing a red totally within my capability. I planted my pole in the wrong place, my boot slammed into the pole and my shin snapped over it.

Since then, my relationship with skiing has been very much love-hate.

 Things I love about skiing.

  • Being in the mountains!
  • Ski shops and buying ski gear.
  • Eating all the cheese, potatoes and cake.
  • Lazy lunches en piste with mulled wine and carbonara.
  • Chalets. Alpine things. Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles.
  • The sense of achievement when you look back up a slope and think ‘Wow, I skied that’.

Things I hate about skiing.

  • Skiing.

I exaggerate to make you smile but there’s a lot of truth to it. So basically, prior to this trip, I was really nervous about it but wanted to ski, wanted to prove my inner chicken wrong. I also wanted to model courage for my little boy, who would be skiing for the first time.

Warming up with hot chocolate
Warming up with hot chocolate

We stayed in Steamboat Springs, CO which was faultless. AMAZING snow (trademarked as ‘Champagne Powder), blue skies, sunshine and some great slopes. And the long and the short of it? It wasn’t bad at all. I was really nervous at first but found my ski-legs again relatively quickly. I’ll never love skiing but we had a lot of fun and the views were amazing.

IMG_1447 IMG_1453

And best of all, our little man went to ski-school. We wanted him to try skiing but weren’t putting any pressure on him to do any more than one day – if he hated it, he wouldn’t need to go again. But he LOVED it and by the end of the three days, he could ski (slide slowly in snow-plough) round a little slalom course. I honestly thought my heart would burst with pride!

Gliding down the bunny slopes
Gliding down the bunny slopes

We got back from Colorado on Saturday afternoon…time to get Christmas started!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    There’s so much we have in common here, it’s no wonder we’ve become friends — from the ski injuries (2 for me, both leading to surgery!) to the fear of skiing. I didn’t start skiing for real until about 6 years ago, after I moved to CA. At first it was a social thing — all of my friends did it, so I would do it too. My neck and shoulders would get so tense from my anxiety of going down the slopes that I would have major pains for 2 days after. This quote: “The sense of achievement when you look back up a slope and think ‘Wow, I skied that’.” were my sentiments exactly, up until about 2 years ago. I was going down a run and I actually caught myself enjoying it! Somehow I’d crossed that boundary between fearing the speed and loving it, without even knowing it. (Well, relative speed — I’m not very fast, but it seems like it to me!) Since then, I’ve realized that this has applied to other things I’m afraid of — e.g., urban cycling and rock climbing, but I’m hopeful if I just stick with it, maybe I’ll cross that boundary into enjoying those activities too.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yay…fear twins as well as blog twins. I was nodding my head with all your comments. I think frankly I need to do more skiing and get used to it again. I would also find myself enjoying the skiing and then I’d find myself on a steep bit and be literally too scared to do a turn, particularly turning to the left. I’d have to sit on the snow, turn my skis around and ski off again. I wonder though…when do we say ‘actually no, i’m hating this’ and when do we keep going until we conquer the fear? I think it’s something to do with how much we WANT to enjoy it. I can never decide with skiing. But I keep going back.

      1. Jen says:

        Yes! I think one thing that kept me going back was my stubbornness. Another was my academic logic that my fear of skiing could be “solved” if I just did the right combination of things. Thanks to a few good, patient teachers, I really did learn that going down the slope was much easier than turning so much — fighting gravity is exhausting work! Anyway, you really should go out to Tahoe and ski — it’s wonderful!!

  2. Angela says:

    GAH!! Your leg-breaking incident sounds horrifying!! No wonder it’s not your favorite. Glad you can still have some fun with it though. 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      It wasn’t much fun, but I mended!! And the mountains are gorgeous!!

  3. I can see why you are not a fan of skiing after breaking your leg doing it but I’m glad you were able to show your son some bravery. So your son and husband can ski and you can stay in the lodge watching them, taking pics and shopping. Or maybe try snowboarding!? 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      You know, I’ve always fancied snowboarding. What happens if I’m actually God’s gift to snowboarding and I never knew it??

      I did actually talk to the Husband about future ski trips when the Dude is older. They can go off and risk their necks (safely) in the mornings, I’ll go snowshoeing. Then we’ll meet for lunch up a mountain and I might ski some blues and greens with them in the afternoon. I have it all planned out!

      You should probably give me some theraputic wisdom here about how to conquer my skiing demons 🙂

      1. Ooops forgot about the therapy part. You should visualize yourself skiing successfully down the mountain or know that by facing your fears you will be a stronger more empowered woman! Or even better there is nothing like sitting in the beautiful ski chalet drinking some hot chocolate with a little baileys to keep you warm!

      2. Cathryn says:

        Should have spoken to you beforehand!!! Thanks!

  4. Bean says:

    I don’t like skiing that much either. I just feel that it is a very real possibility that I will get too up close and personal with a tree. But I haven’t done it in awhile- may need to find some courage and give it another go. Amazing views!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, the place was amazing. The views in CO were less ‘mountainy’ than Europe but much wider – we could see for miles.

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