This week we embarked on our first trip in my retirement – Breckenridge Colorado for snow skiing.
While I learned to ski in my late 20’s, we later got busy with raising a family, kids sports, etc. and we didn’t ski again for over 20 years. Thankfully my husband and I were able to pick it up again a few years ago and we haven’t missed a season since.
Now that I’m of that retirement age, I asked myself if this is a sport I should give up? Thankfully, I learned absolutely not! Accordingly to the experts, You can ski at any age as long as you are fit and healthy enough for regular exercise.
Skiing is fantastic for older adults as it helps maintain balance which does tend to decrease with age. It also increases core strength and coordination. It increases cardiovascular endurance and burns a ton of calories. Although exhausting, all that fresh air and sunshine and the exhilaration of gliding down a mountain just puts you in a happy mood. Most resorts even offer discounts for senior citizens and some even offer free lift tickets for those over 70!
Where do I start?
Of course, with any new exercise routine, you’ll want to check with your doctor first.
Once you get the green light, know that it’s going to be cold so make sure you have warm layered snow clothing, ski pants, jacket, and gloves. Because of our slower metabolism we tend to get colder than the younger folks. Ski goggles are a must to protect your eyes from the elements and a helmet is a no-brainer if you want to protect yours. I prefer to ski on sunny days rather than snowy ones, whenever possible just because it’s warmer and I don’t like the snow hitting me in the face.
If you’ve never been before or it’s been a while, I highly recommend ski school. The first time I went skiing I wasted half a day, losing my balance, falling and struggling to get up again and again. After just one hour of ski school, I had the fundamentals down and had learned how to balance without falling, slow myself down, stop, and the proper way to get up when I did fall.
The instructors are always wonderful and patient. They want you to succeed and it’s definitely worth the money! You can find and book the perfect lesson for you on the resort website, like http://breckenridge.com
I’ll admit getting on and off the chair lift the first few times can be a little intimidating, but just let the attendants there know it’s your first time and they will be glad to give you proper instructions. And if you fall getting off, so what…. It happens all the time. You won’t be the first and you definitely won’t be the last.
Many people think they need to start with smaller more local ski resorts and then work their way up to the bigger places like Colorado, but I found the opposite true. The snow in Colorado is less icy giving you more control and the slopes are wider allowing you room to take it slower down the mountain when necessary, but you may want to try out the more local slopes before you spend the money to travel very far.
There are three categories of slopes, green being the easiest, blue and then black diamond being the steepest. For safety sake you’ll definitely want to start with the green and then work your way up as your skill increases. For me I’m perfectly happy breezing down the greens all day long. They are challenging enough for this lady.
If you’ve never been to Colorado before and you get a headache, become light-headed and nauseous, you probably don’t have the flu, it just altitude sickness. It takes our bodies a while to adjust to the lower oxygen levels. Drinking lots of water really helps with this.
Breckenridge is a beautiful quaint town. Even if you don’t ski, it’s a lovely place to visit. Everything is pretty compact and We were able to get a condo near the chairlift we wanted to use.
We used http://epicmountainexpress.com transportation to the condo which was much cheaper for us than renting a car since we really didn’t need one anyway. The shuttle service was very organized and friendly and they communicated well our pick up instructions at the airport. They dropped us off right at the door of our condo. Also, the 2 hour drive to the mountains from the Denver airport can be a little hazardous if it’s snowing which it was on our trip so it’s nice to sit back and let the experts handle it.
We’d go out and ski during the day and then go back to the condo and get cleaned up and walk to dinner that night. The streets are lit with white and colorful lights throughout. We even went back to the condo for lunch a couple of days. The restaurants on the slopes are fabulous but a little pricy so we choose to eat in during lunch and splurge on dinner that night. If you’re too tired to go out after a day on the slopes, kicking back with a pizza and a fire in the fireplace is always a lovely option.
There is also a free shuttle bus that runs throughout the city. Check http://breckfreeride.com for the schedule. It will take you for free almost anywhere in town.
Admittedly, skiing is hard work. It’s cold, the mountain air is thin making breathing more difficult and you have to put on all those clothes and heavy boots that are hard to walk in and then carry your skies and poles over to the lift. But there is something magical that happens when you get off that chair lift on top of that mountain You take a deep breath of fresh air and head down the slopes. It’s exhilarating! And once you’re at the bottom and catch your breath, you’re ready to go again.
You’ll see everyone from the tiny toddlers to the aged on the slopes. It’s definitely a sport for anyone up for a challenge, so give it a try!
Finally, do yourself a favor and don’t miss the opportunity to experience the majesty of God while in the mountains. Listen closely and you will sense His presence there in a very unique way.
In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. Psalm 95:4