Editors Note: Andie is overseas studying in Sheffield, England and learned a few things while taking on the SnoDome in mom jeans and rental gear.
Words: Andie Creel
I really wanted to look cool. Like… I tried really hard. I pulled on my ski socks over my tights and offset the height to make sure it looked like I didn’t care. I put on my black and white flannel over a loose grey shirt to make sure I looked casual. I donned my black beanie and then did my hair while it was under a freaking hat to make sure my ‘slut-strands’ were sticking out. I wore my worn out, orange-turned-brown shoes to make sure people knew I didn’t care about what I looked like. And with my Kid Cudi filled ski playlist playing I strolled up to Bar One to meet the Sheffield ski team (I’m wearing headphones! No one can even hear that playlist I’m so proud of). So, like I said, I tried really freaking hard to look the part of skier babe from Montana.
But in my head, I had already resolved that I was not going to try to slide a box, I was not going to try a 360, I was not going to try a new trick. Because what if I couldn’t do it, looked stupid while trying, and my whole facade of skier chic was ruined?
However, as soon as we got to the indoor “SnoDome” the entire look I had worked so hard on was thoroughly covered up. I had to put on a lime green rental helmet with no goggles that even slut-stands could not make look cool. My dirty ripped red jacket with a GoPro bulge in the left pocket did not complement the lime green perfectly. My rental boots had a flex less than 70 and my skis were the stereotypical no rocker, no camber rentals that I hadn’t seen since my fourth-grade ski trip. I didn’t even have matching gloves. And to top it all off, I wore my mom jeans.
Luckily, nothing will rip your head out of your ass like skiing in mom jeans.
My friend and I joked about about how it felt like we were back on our elementary school ski field trip. But I think that this fourth-grade themed first day of the season may have just saved my entire year.
The first time I ever went skiing I was at the age where I had deduced that I would get boobs at some point but didn’t know if I would grow them in a garden or if a stork would drop them off. I was young and innocent and didn’t know the rental skis I wouldn’t see again until yesterday were supposed to be embarrassing. When the instructor of my fourth grade ski trip asked us to ski down the bunny hill in order to split us up in groups I didn’t even know how to pizza. So of course, I got put in the ‘green level’ group while all my friends, who had been going to Bridger Bowl from the time they were baby bumps, went off with the ‘double black level’ instructor.
I wanted to be with them so bad! So, I tried during my two hour lesson. My little fourth-grade self had no reservations about looking like a potato with legs while going off jumps. And by the end of the day I was ready to try Hully Gully with my friends. Did I rip it? No, not even close. I yard saled half way down and pizza-ed the only way a child can down the second half.
But the point is I was trying. At some point in the decade of skiing I’ve had since then, I became afraid to try. It’s a plague that spreads through too many girls on the mountain. At some point, my male counterparts started to progress their skiing, making ridiculous ski edits, signing up for competitions, and teaching one another new tricks. I don’t even know when it happened, but I went from leading jumps lines half the time, to always following, and eventually solely skied the groomer next to the park.
Yesterday, I was planning on doing just that. Sticking to the side lines to ensure that I didn’t make a fool of myself. Then, of all things, mom jeans and rental skis gave me the biggest slap in the face and re-opened my eyes to skiing. I didn’t have to worry about maintaining my cool skier chick look because I already looked like Mrs. Jerry. The facade of skier chic was long gone. My jacket, goggles, and skis couldn’t prove I’m a skier. I had to actually ski. And with park being the only option in a SnoDome, I had to try some new things.
I’m not saying I did something crazy. I didn’t try my first backflip or slide my first rail. I’m still freaking terrified in the park, but I slid a box, and tried a weird rail thing that I don’t even know what to call. I skied switch a lot, and tried to go for a three (which resulted in me catching an edge and probably getting a concussion).
Did I look cool while doing all this? No. I still looked like a potato with legs, just like I did in fourth grade. But it was fun! I skied the same 100m long run for 3 hours and didn’t get bored because I was willing to look like a fool. I went from not being willing to leave the ground, to barely leaving the ground. (It’s all about the little things right?)
Let’s note here that I’m not a bad skier. I was lucky enough to have a crew of ripping ladies by my side all of last season, who pushed me to a new level of big mountain skiing that I had never come close to before. But yesterday was a classic reminder of how much room I have to improve, and how many mental barriers I still have to knock down.
Constantly pushing yourself in this sport is not something everyone wants to do. That being said, I’m positive everyone who reads this can think of a time they skied the familiar run over the one they’ve been scoping from the lift, went around a cliff/jump, or didn’t commit to a trick because they were worried about what they might look like if they didn’t nail it first try. Honestly, you probably will not look cool the first time you try something new. But since we’re being honest, no one cares what you look like. The people who see you eat it from the lift might laugh for a second, but their thoughts will return to beer, cheese or empty bank account just as fast as you hit the ground.
Am I saying that everyone should throw out their twin tips and start skiing in jeans? Hell no. I’m not trying to start a revolution here. I’m still going to wear my jacket that matches the zippers on my snow pants. I’m going to have slut-stands poking out of my goggles until that trend dies, and then a year longer. My new skis (which are twin tips) will be mounted as soon as possible. And I will be trying to make mom jeans look a little more acceptable this fall at the SnoDome.
But this season I’m also going to say fuck it to playing it safe, and backing out of something for fear that I’m not going to nail it first try. I’m going to look like a potato just as often as I eat a potato. I’m going to try really freaking hard. And I’ve got mom jeans and rental skis to thank for that.
So what do you ladies say? Try with me?