I was REALLY excited to learn how to ski. As a Florida girl, it was always something that I saw friends do and looked like a lot of fun, but never had a chance to do myself. (Since my family never felt like flying to Colorado or Montana or wherever.)

That being said, I was also kind of scared. Even though I’m mesmerized by the winter sports, (And let me tell you, there’s nothing like the feeling of getting to the top of a mountain and seeing the 360 degree view of the other snow-covered peaks.) I’ve also realized that I have an inherent fear of the cold. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the sunshine state or just something that was inside of me all along – but the cold scares me. A part to me is always nervous to dive in freezing water, walk in heaps of snow, or even just to have the feeling of having too many clothes on and not being able to move properly. Even when I’m coming home late at night, there’s always a tiny part of me that is scared of freezing at the bus stop because I was too concerned with looking  cute and didn’t put on enough layers on. I feel like even Kriván would have been easier if I hadn’t been worried about slipping on ice or trying to breath in the icy air. There’s just something about the cold that freezes my muscles and my mind.

Anyway, the point of all of that was that I was super excited to ski, but just as scared.

First Day (Location: Mýto Ski Centrum)

Right after Christmas I went with my host dad and his family to their cottage near a city called Liptovsky Mikulas. I borrowed skis and had all the right clothes – a recipe for success, right? Unfortunately the slope at Myto was not meant for beginners. And even though my host dad was generous enough to get me a lesson and spend most of the day helping me himself it didn’t prepare me for the real deal. I managed to hold it together pretty well, but I almost broke my leg once, almost cried twice (okay – maybe I did cry), and I fell too many times to count. Pretty good first day, right?

Second Day (Location: Ski Tále)

Well, actually, I spent the second day in the sauna. The weather was bad and my host mom wanted to go to a certain aqua park. I wasn’t about to protest.

So the next day (second ski day) we went to a different slope. Tále was probably where I should have learned because they had a beginners slope that was small enough to not seem terrifying, but big enough to actually be able to practice. We started on the little slope and I had another lesson.

It helped that Ashley (the other exchange student from Florida) was there so we could fall and be embarrassed together when the small kids whizzed around us. Even so, it didn’t help that I was still sore from the first day. If getting rid of the weight that I’ve gained so far on exchange isn’t enough motivation to go to work out, getting strong enough to ski more than a few hours definitely helps me get out of bed in the morning. Please note: Remember how I said that Horalky tasted better on Krivan? The same goes for skiing. I guess that’s not going to really help my gym goals… but oh well.


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