Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Beginner's Guide to Skiing {Without Dying}.

Last week was spring break in Texas and I spent this time with my friend Meagan and her family in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. It was my first time to Colorado, and especially my first time skiing. However; I survived, and I do believe that makes me an expert on skiing. Therefore, I consider it my civil duty to impart my advanced knowledge to help beginners -- of which I no longer am -- become more confident in their skiing ability. To fulfill this duty, I have compiled a list of my top 10 lessons learned about skiing. You're welcome.

Lesson #1: Before you EVER think about even strapping on a ski (side note: you don't strap on skis, so I'm not sure why that's a saying...or did I just make it up?), SIGN UP FOR A SKI LESSON.

Here's why: I took a ski lesson my first day and I ROCKED it. Seriously, my instructor said he liked my technique and everything. That being said, I got back out there the next day and fell like 8 times in the first hour. I cannot imagine how much worse it would have been if I hadn't taken a lesson. They can be pricey but trust me, you'll greatly lower your chances of dying if you learn the basics first.

Lesson #2: When racing down a slope at 100 mph and your big wedge (used to slow down/stop) fails you, SIT DOWN.

Here's why: Believe me, it is much better to stop by purposely falling than by running into a person or tree. Also, by sitting, you avoid hitting your head and thus possible head traumas. And hey, falling can be kind of fun! (Getting up, on the other hand...NEVER fun.)

Neither my first nor my last fall of the day.

Lesson #3: You are not awesome. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE AWESOME.

Here's why: No matter how awesome you may be during ski school, all of said awesomeness leaves as soon as your instructor does. Wiping out for the umpteenth time may not break your bones, but it will certainly leave your pride and dignity in shatters.

Lesson #4: There are few things in this life worse than rental ski boots.

Here's why: Rental ski boots are the worst. Unfortunately they are also kind of unavoidable if it's your first time skiing. But I do have this tip to offer: When trying on rental boots, if you need the professional assistance of a big strong man who works at the rental store to get the boots on and you STILL feel like all the bones in your foot/ankle are breaking, run. Run as far away from the boots as you can. Or at least demand new ones. I did not, and consequently was stuck with the most impossible boots to get on and off ever.

Lesson #5: It is impossible to look cute in ski gear.

Here's why: The more bulky layers you wear, the fatter you look. There's a good chance your clothes won't match. Those ski goggles cover up the majority of your face. And there is just no hope for your hair. None at all.

Case and point.

Lesson #6: There is no turning back once you have sat on the ski lift.

Here's why: There's only one way down the mountain: skiing. Unless you break your leg in which case I think someone comes to rescue you. But, worst case scenario -- worst case being you have taken the wrong ski lift and ended up at the top of a double black diamond and despite the fact that you have fallen a trillion times attempting to get down you have yet to break a bone -- you must ski. Know EXACTLY what to expect when you get to the top of that mountain because there is nothing you can do about it once you are on that lift.

Well, there is one thing. Which brings me to...

Lesson #7: Walking down a mountain in ski boots is just about as dangerous as skiing down it.

Here's why: Ski boots are hard to walk in on flat, dry ground. Change the flat, dry ground to an inclined, snow-covered mountain, and you're just ASKING for trouble. However, if you feel this is a viable alternative to falling down the mountain (which I did), feel free to pop off your skis and go for a [dangerous, very risky] stroll.

Lesson #8: Falling uses a lot of muscles.

Here's why: When you fall, parts of your body are thrown in directions they were not meant to go. Also, falling requires getting up (usually), and getting up uses a lot of muscles. If you consistently fall while skiing, be prepared to not be able to move the next day.

Lesson #9: There is no greater feeling than making it down a difficult part of the slope without falling.

Here's why: It's basic science. Skiing gives a major adrenaline rush. Crashing and burning kills that rush. The steeper the incline, the greater the rush. Therefore, skiing a steep incline without falling = a feeling of empowerment like none other. Just don't forget -- you are not awesome.

Lesson #10: This shirt is the truest thing I have read in a long time.

Here's why: Skiing is cold, expensive, and dangerous. Get out while you can.

But in all seriousness, skiing is both fun and really difficult. It is definitely one of those things everyone should do at least once in their life. I know it was on my bucket list -- but now I get to cross it off! So save up your money, heed my advice, and get out there!

*To see more pictures from my trip, check out #kaylarado on Instagram. (I know, I know. Best hashtag ever, right? I really love incorporating my name into words, particularly places I'm visiting.)*


  1. That was hilarious. And true. I cherish no fond memories from my one rendezvous with a pair of skis. Good writing.

  2. Tip: If your thigh muscles are in agony from snowploughing down steep slopes and you cannot do stairs.....walking down backwards is much easier if hazardous!