A New First
As an equestrian major, it’s so easy to get caught up at the barn with work, horses and friends. However, I decided to make my time here at Findlay mean more than just horses, so when some friends asked me if I wanted to go skiing with them, I said yes! I had never skied before, so it was quite the experience.
Mad River Mountain is only an hour’s drive south from Findlay. It’s known as Ohio’s largest ski and snowboard resort. Friday nights are ‘College Fridays’, so the slopes were full of college students who were taking advantage of the discounted rates. The lift ticket was $20 after showing my college ID, and equipment rentals were an extra $15. Even as someone who had never skied before, I know that that’s a pretty good deal!
After I finished strapping my feet into the ski boots, and had got my skis and poles, I was ready to hit the slopes! Erin was nice enough to go through the motions of skiing with me, and showed me how to avoid falling face first in the snow (easier said than done!). We started on the bunny hill – I wasn’t the only adult there! – and went down that a few times to get used to the skis. After doing that a few times, we attempted a green circle trail. It took me a few tries to master the trail – luckily my friend was an excellent teacher and I only fell a few times.
As the night went on, my confidence in my abilities went up. So we decided we’d try one of the trails that didn’t look too bad from the ski lift. It started smoothly and I managed to weave back and forth across the hill. Then, all of a sudden, I heard my friends yelling at me. I quickly realized that I was headed straight for a large jump, and managed to come to a stop right before the drop. Turns out, I missed the part of the trail that went around the jumps. There’s no other way but down, so I mustered up all my courage and went down. The first turn was a little fast, but I stayed steady. The second turn got faster and I picked up more speed. And all of a sudden, I felt my skis and poles all go in different directions. I came to a sliding stop, and just lay there – accepting my spectacular wipeout and defeat. I picked myself back up again, and continued down the rest of the slope (I’ll admit, I made sure to go a little slower than before).
If it weren’t for my friends that I met here in Findlay, I don’t think I would’ve ever tried skiing, let alone even considered it. We laughed about the fact that as a European, you would think that I would be a professional at the sport, considering how close I lived to some of the popular ski destination. But no, I was the European who had never skied (until now). I’m sure we’ll go again, and who knows, maybe with some more practice I’ll have the courage to try a black diamond sometime.