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Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's All Downhill From Here!

At the age of forty I was living in Salt Lake City, Utah.  If you are familiar with that lovely city, you know there are several ski resorts within a 20 minute drive and even more an hour away in Park City.  I was content to just admire the snow on the Wasatch Mountains, but my friends had other plans. 

When I first moved there I looked in the Yellow Pages for hot air ballooning and found a community of balloonists who flew in Park City regularly.  I was happy to become a member of the chase crews and soon a couple of the pilots were giving me flying lessons. Eventually I even passed my exam and got my pilot license!  It was exhilarating to say the least.  As long as the wind was calm, it was good ballooning weather.  We left basket prints in the snow, did touch and go’s over the golf course lake and soared over the mountaintops on one occasion.

So, you say, what does this have to do with skiing?  A lot, actually.  On non-ballooning weekends, skiing was the sport of choice.  I was coaxed to join the crowd, so I rented skis and held my breath all the way up the chair lift (after a few bunny runs, of course!).  Getting off was scary, but I managed.  No one bothered to tell me that I would be at the top of a large hill and that I’d have to either ski down or slide down on my backside!  I made it, but not without several “good falls.”  I had never realized there were such things, but since nothing was broken, I was in agreement with the “good” part.

Once was quite enough I told my friends, but they insisted I try again the following day.  I did, and it was much better.  In fact, I loved skiing after a few tries.  Since I was older than the rest of them I was naturally more cautious lest I injure something important.  I didn’t have a bucket list back then, but if I had, hot air ballooning and skiing would have been on it.

What have you done after forty that you considered an adventure?  Please post a comment and share your experience.

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