All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Skiing

Posted by Jill on January 28, 2013

Always look uphill before going down:  When merging into any new endeavor or run per se, looking up, noticing your surroundings, noticing who is sharing the path…in a nutshell: keep your eyes open. 

Talk to your neighbors:  On the chairlift, in the lodge, at the après ski bar, or in ski school.  It is fascinating how much we have in common, the connections we share and that “it’s a small world after all."

Be kind and don't hit people: Enough said!

Know your manners and when to use them: From the skier responsibility code to when to say sorry, excuse me and thank you.

Be accountable for your actions: Europe embodies the concept of accountability, there are suggested boundaries at most areas, each skier is responsible for knowing their limits, and if you happen to remain mid-mountain to finish your dinner and/or drink, you ski down with a flashlight in hand (yes, this is true.) 

Play, play, and play: The definition of play is “to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.”  When we play, we are in the moment, all senses are engaged, our mind is clear and we are filled with passion and joy.  When life gets too serious, get up and play!

Laugh, sing and dance:  Something happens to me when I am skiing, any constraints I may have, they wash away.  Especially on a powder day, I can’t help but giggle, sing and hoot as I ski.  As a culture, we tend to muffle unbridled abandon.  It’s healthy to let go and sing yourself down the slopes or through any type of obstacle. 

Learn how to flow with constant change: Upon arriving at any mountain shifting variables abound: weather, terrain, crowds, upset kids, lost gear, lines, injuries.  Like life, the snow melts, spring comes, flowers bloom and then return to the earth and winter returns…nothing is permanent and each season brings change.

Know when to ask for help:  When we ask for help new discoveries are made.  New paths, techniques, ideas and connections are realized.

When faced with a challenge, take a deep breath, then take one obstacle/turn at a time.

Skiing crosses all cultural divides: We are all connected and when we share a common thread (whether it is in sport, business or any other pursuit) we communicate beyond language.

On powder days - be kind, but be selfish:  Sometimes you need to put your needs before others to be a better person, friend, parent, partner, co-worker, etc.

Appreciate Mother Nature: Don't take her for granted.

A bad ski day is always better than a workday!

Practice, prepare and plan: Pre-season is just as important, if not more, than the actual season.  Take the time to prepare the mind, body and spirit for any endeavor.  Plan ahead, practice and then it is easier to go with the flow of what lies ahead.

Know your limits, but also know how to push them: Know what you are capable of, but don’t pigeon hole yourself into the same routine.  Push the envelope!

Listen to your elders and be inspired by the greats: Always take a moment to listen and learn from anyone your senior.  Know the current athletes or greats in any endeavor and learn from their trials and triumphs.

Stay active: Try to go outside and move your body everyday. 

Get lost in traditions: Whether it is on the slopes or at home, create rituals and traditions.  They feed the soul and strengthen any family, group or business.

Connect with friends, family and colleagues outdoors: It is always easier to tackle issues and/or connect when your mind is clear, your body is engaged and you’re taking in fresh air.

Love and honor solitude:  Learn to love yourself!

Never forget “AWE”: Take in life with open arms, look around and notice the abundance and magic in every turn.


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Comment posted by Kelly B on January 31, 2013 11:05 PM MST

Loved your thoughts, words of wisdom and especially the pictures!!

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Comment posted by Kristen on January 29, 2013 4:58 PM MST

Love love love this post!! Love the pictures even more!!! Awesome!!!

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Comment posted by Trisha on January 28, 2013 6:39 PM MST

Loved reading this as I gear up for a powder day in New Hampshire! Life is gooooooood,when I'm making turns with my snow buddies!

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Comment posted by Amber on January 28, 2013 12:38 PM MST

Seriously, seriously love these. And that picture with Snowglamma Gloria is AWESOME! Words to live by.

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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.