Blame the kids. Before they came along you were a fantastic skier. You had great equipment, and could handle bumps, glades, steeps and looked pretty damn good après ski.
But after a few years of schlepping babies on one hip, chasing toddlers and dragging preschoolers to lessons, you have lost touch with the ski babe you once were. Yes, you keep crazy active catering to the clan but from Day 1 with that kid on your hip, you shifted your posture, weight and priorities. It’s time to get you back to the slopes – for you.
First, be honest with yourself. Having babies and tending to toddlers can set back your fitness level a bit. Your core might be soft, your joints might still be loose and yes, there may be some extra padding in your caboose. But don’t let that be your excuse to put it off. Just plan accordingly.
If you are heading back to the slopes after a few weeks of delivering a baby, you’re a rock star. But you are in the post-partum phase where that hormone called relaxing might still be causing your ligaments to still be soft. Do some strength-training exercises and see if your body is wobbly. You’d rather find that out at home than on the slopes.
Tone up and tune up
If you think you’re out of shape – likely you are. Before hitting the slopes start with an exercise program that will tone your tummy and strengthen your legs. Going to the gym is a great way for “me-time” but you can do amazing strength training with stuff you have at home. YouTube is full of exercise and yoga programs. Brisk – and I mean really brisk walks – with the dog or by yourself is great for getting your cardio up. If that’s too slow, ramp it up with hills and running intervals.
If it’s been a few years since the gear has left the basement, get it tuned up or consider renting fresh equipment. The skis and boots, or board you had may be a little outdated in technology. It’s amazing how the new gear can improve your skills.
First day on the slopes will feel like you just broke out of jail. The sun and the wind feel great on your cheeks and you just want to pop over to the powder. But, hold on. Make sure you warm up before stepping into the skis. Maybe you should check out the groomers for a few runs to test the equipment and your capabilities. Skiing and snowboarding is like riding a bike, you never forget but both get rusty.
Knock the rust off with lessons or with “ladies only” programs offered at almost every ski resort. Many programs have unique angles like wine and cheese après ski but most offer the most important thing – comraderie and fun. There’s nothing better than improving your fitness and skiing than doing it with like-minded people who will laugh with you.
Ask ski coach Maureen Mosteller. She runs clinics to get your game back on. Her No. 1 purpose is to help people rebuild their confidence to get on the slopes.
“Fear is usually there and we need to build inner confidence to get out on the slopes. We do this by starting slow and showing the person that they are capable of doing each step and building that inner confidence first,” says Mosteller.
“If they have gained weight – get comfortable with being outdoors and athletic again, getting the body moving and making sure they feel good about themselves now, but also have a good game plan to make positive change – energy foods (not diet but smart eating),” says Mosteller.
Don’t forget almost every ski resort offers babysitting services. Or, line up your own lessons at the same time as the kids.
They’re sure to be pretty proud of their mom because you won’t be the mom who stands in the lodge windows watching them as they ski. You’ll be the mom waving from the chairlift.
7 ski hacks for moms and families to get back on the slopes on the cheap
- You’re no doubt packing the kids’ lunches every day anyway, so why not brown bag it on your ski days, too? Your home-made lunch is probably slightly healthier than the nachos and cheese you’d likely end up ordering in the day lodge. You’ll also have more time for skiing because you won’t be standing in a long lineup to get your food.
- Third-party websites such as Groupon often offer ski deals at 30 per cent off and more on a regular basis. Sign up to get alerts right into your inbox.
- While you’re picking up the jumbo box of cookies for the kids’ school lunches at Costco, be sure to check the ski package deals. They’re generally on offer all winter long and include ski resorts in Alberta and even Montana.
- Beg, borrow or swap. Use Facebook to reach out to friends to see if anyone has gear you can borrow for the day for you or the kids. Chances are someone will be happy to let you use their stuff. Also be sure to check websites like Kijiji where people are always casting off their used goods. And, pretty much every October you can count on a ski swap event in your city. This is a great chance to buy some super cheap ski gear – everything from snowboards to boots and poles for the whole family.
- Then there’s always the good old season’s passes, which most resorts in the Canadian Rockies – big and small offer. You can save on either free ski days or some decent discounts on a daily passes.
- To ease the pain on the lift tickets, use the grades 2, 4 and 5 passes offered by resorts and Ski Canada. The Grade 4 and 5 snowpass offered by SkiiCanada.org is $29.95. They can ski at participating ski areas 3 times each season.
- In Alberta, kids in Grade 2 can ski the season for $20 at Nakiska or at Lake Louise.
Thinking about trying out skiing for the first time? Or want to get back on the hill after a few years? Learn to ski & board here.
Need some amazing tips while out on the slopes? Check out GoSki Alberta’s awesome guide.
Interested in getting back into skiing? Share this story with like-minded friends!
Story by Joanne Elves