Sunday, January 17, 2016

Falling from the Ski Lift

Were it not for photo evidence and memories, I might wonder if someone kidnapped me, tied me by the arms to the back of a moving truck, and forced me to run along behind it for the entire day.

Why do we do this to ourselves willingly? Hmmm...

For the experience, I suppose. And an experience it was!


Not sure who first thought that binding giant slippery plastic french fries to one's feet was a good idea, but whoever they were, they were likely at least a little insane. I can proudly say, however, that I broke no bones on my first ski trip!

Over all, it was a good experience. Completely terrifying, sometimes a tad frustrating, but in the end, it was also a ton of fun and a sport that I would attempt again if I get asked to do so by the right person (especially if it's that good looking guy in the above photo ;) ).


Out of the whole ski experience, you would think the run down the hill would be the scariest part, right?
NOPE.

I've managed to gain somewhat of a fear of dismounting the ski lift. Three out of the four times we went up it, I landed on either my face, my rear, and/or manage to get run over by the lift bench. That thing had it out for me, I tell you! The one time that I got off it without hurting myself was among the day's greatest victories.



The other great victory for me was a near-perfect run down the hill. Oh, but not that hill. No black diamonds for me- we took the green circle (that means the adult's easy hill- a notch or two up from the bunny hill, which is the shortest and easiest run). It is a lovely 2.5 mile zigzag through the forest. Some great slopes, a few short flat spots, and a lot of switchbacks.

After getting my footing on the bunny hill, my first run down the green circle ended up a mess. 


Lots of wipe-outs. There were many moments where I couldn't get up because my skis got so entangled with my legs that I couldn't change position (glad Zach was there to pull my skis off during those times... I got really stuck once or twice). I didn't know how to steer and regulate my speed well, so I frequently freaked out and stopped the only sure-fire way I knew how: plowing into the snow drifts.



Once you get the feel for it, skiing is a pretty amazing sport. My third run down was nearly flawless- the ski lift didn't try to kill me, and I only fell once- on purpose, because I overshot a turn and nearly ended up on the blue square (intermediate level) hill.

Skiing gives an intense sense of awareness.


Never have I felt so focused and in the moment. Seeing the scenery blurring in my peripheral vision, feeling the snow pelting and pricking my face, the wind blowing all around me as I zip down the hill. My eyes constantly scanning for any obstacle, and the giant slippery french fries suddenly feel like part of my body as I navigate the terrain. I'm terrified, exhilarated, and having the time of my life all at once.

Just don't look at your feet. Focus on what's in front of you. Full speed ahead, and don't lean backwards, no matter what

You've got this.


                               

Sarah Iddings loves to spend time outdoors, 
even if it means doing face-plants in the snow.
She also enjoys writing and social media-
Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @Adventureofsair,
and check out her photography blog, Captured Yet Fleeting.
She can be contacted at sarah@adventureofsair.com
Happy trails!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Learning to Ski in My House

Welcome to the epitome of awkward: preparing for your first ski trip.






Take the biggest clown shoes you can possibly imagine wearing and multiply their length by 5. Then, make them weigh about 4lbs each. Top it off with a couple of sharp-ended trekking poles and you have the ensemble pretty well described. Now, walk in them. In your house. Because it's good to get used to stepping on your own heels on solid ground before trying them out in slippery snow.

Before we go all out with the skis, however, you should probably get used to wearing the boots. They feel a little bit like roller blades or hockey skates, but with a precarious forward-leaning stance and they weigh about twice as much. Navigate your entire house in them. Wobble on the staircases, cautiously clunk across your hard flooring, and walk with the strangest posture you've experienced over your carpets. Yup, you're doing it right.


Now, for the fun part- attach your boots to your skis. In all seriousness, this actually is kind of cool. Never in my life have I felt more secure leaning my body so far past my feet! Play around with that. It's fascinating how well you can stay upright (I hope it works this good in the snow). Then... oh... then you might want to move in them. That could be important to get the feel for.

CLUNK.
CLUNK.

CLUNK.

Congrats. You have now worn and moved about in skis for the first time in your life- do try to keep yourself in one piece when you hit the slopes in the morning.

Best wishes to you.










Sarah Iddings loves to spend time outdoors, 
even if it means attaching precarious beams
the size of her own body to her feet.
She also enjoys writing and social media-
Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @Adventureofsair,
and check out her photography blog, Captured Yet Fleeting.
She can be contacted at sarah@adventureofsair.com
Happy trails!




Monday, January 11, 2016

3 Great Reasons to Get Outside



If you are a fellow working-class individual, I am sure you are well acquainted with the mental and physical exhaustion that day-to-day life throws at you. I hold two jobs and when I am not at either of those, you can often find me taking online classes and working toward my entrepreneurial goals; it is easy to get bogged down in to-do lists and lose the energy it takes to keep up. Today, I am going to share with you three reasons why squeezing some outdoor time into your schedule can keep you going.


According to an article published in the Huffington Post by Abigail Wise, spending frequent time out in nature can increase your brain function and concentration. It can also improve your mood, relieve stress, and promote creative thinking. Not only is it great for us mentally, it is helpful to us physically as well; within her article Wise linked to a study in which older participants who spent time outdoors regularly reported less physical decline than their indoor-dwelling counterparts. Another benefit of time spent outdoors is the increase in our Vitamin D intake, which improves bone growth, cell growth, inflammation reduction and neuromuscular and immune function.


On a related note, Harvard Medical School posted in their 2010 edition of the Harvard Health Letter that people who spend more time outside are more likely to spend that time exercising. Another finding is that people who were exposed to natural sunlight during medical recovery showed fewer signs of pain, stress, and took fewer pain medications. Could it be that spending time outdoors can cause faster healing? Unfortunately, according to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of their life indoors.

So, remind me again why I should spend time outside?

1.) It is mentally rejuvenating – You will think clearer and your brain will kick into high gear; who needs coffee?!

2.) It can make you less susceptible illness and depression – The smells of flowers and forests are proven to make us less stressed. Plus, sunlight helps you reap the many benefits of Vitamin D.

3.)  It promotes fitness – Those who spend time outdoors are far more likely to be exercising than those who hide away inside.


 


Sarah Iddings is an enthusiastic hiker and nature photographer.
She also enjoys writing and social media...
Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @Adventureofsair,
and check out her photography blog, Captured Yet Fleeting.
She can be contacted at 
sarah@adventureofsair.com
Happy trails!