“Maybe there won’t be a ski season” I texted to my friend Kate.
Six years ago on a lark, I became a ski instructor. I never planned to teach skiing. But one day in the fall of 2015, I got an email from Winter Park Resort.
“Ski Instructors Needed, No Experience Necessary.”
With a claim that I would only have to work 15 days, and would get a full refund on the pass I had already purchased, I was hooked.
The first day of orientation, I met Kate. Her sense of humor lured me in, and we became locker mates and part of my ski instructor posse.
It’s good to be part of a posse, or a community of like-minded individuals. I was reminded of this at a retreat many years ago.
“For a healthy, meaningful life, you need to have a community that you’re part of. Where you belong.”
These days, there’s a few groups that I share a sense of community with. But my ski instructor posse keeps me grounded during the winter and provides moments of laughter and joy. We do clinics and chatter away about our classes on the chairlift.
“One time, I had this little girl who kept clacking her skis on the lift, even thought I told her not to. Then all of the sudden, not only did her skis come off, but her boots too! There we were, riding the lift with nothing but her socks on!”
“I remember that group of teenagers I had and just as we were getting ready to board the lift, they decided they needed to sit next to their BFF and they all ended up in the snow!”
Each year in the fall, I look forward to the beginning of ski season. My husband calls Winter Park my “happy place.” After such a downer year of being cooped up, the thought of at least experiencing the thrill of skiing buoyed my spirits.
But now I’m wondering what a ski season during a pandemic will look like.
It’s not the skiing that worries me. After all, skiing is actually a pretty socially distanced sport. By its very nature of the safety code, you ski at least 10 feet away from other people.
But what about riding the lifts, eating in the lodges, apres ski? What happens when I need to take kids to the bathroom? What about the locker rooms?
In preparation for a very different ski season, I recently purchased a set of four fleece face masks. While it’s true people wear balaclavas, the doctor I know say they are almost next to useless.
And at the rate Covid is spreading right now, I’m beginning to wonder if there will even be a ski season.
But a season without skiing would be a soulless winter.