Growing up, I used to dance ballet, play tennis, go horseback riding and play the piano, all privileged and pleasurable activities. But never did I learn to ski. My family was not the type to take winter holidays to the mountains, rather we would go to Europe to visit with family in the summer months. I never thought I was missing much until as an adult I began to hear stories about the high of the mountains, feeling the crisp air while admiring the panoramic views. What was this feeling exactly? While still living in NYC I ventured up to Hunter mountain to find out. Though it wasn’t until this past week that I experienced the true bliss that can only be felt soaring down the slopes on a pair of skis, slowly and cautiously in my case. And needless to say, terrified. But determined.
We arrived to Alpe di Siusi, high up in the Dolomites, on a chilly evening, and woke up to the same view from our hiking adventure in August. Only this time the mountain hues were whites and blues, seeming to change by the hour.
On overcast afternoons, the snow, mountains and sky would melt together into a blanket of white.
It was upon these slopes, the less intimidating ones, that I put on my skis, as awkward as it felt, ignored the knots in my stomach, listened attentively to my ski instructor and became a skier.
The first two days I did my best, counting the hours until it was time for our evening sauna.
On the third day, having fallen a few times and mastering the smallest slopes, with the support of a friend I made my way down from our hotel at the very top of the hill. I was still in snow plow position but able to turn, rather gracefully I might add. I smiled as my body began to feel in control.
Finally, I understood. I felt that high that is unique to gliding down a snow covered mountain.
On our last day the sun shone brightly and it was hard to say goodbye. Until next time…