Melanie Jeanne

Breckenridge, CO

Adventure is out there…. The latest and greatest adventure in my life’s memory book was Breckenridge, CO. It was gorgeous. Stunning. Breathtaking. And full of hippie zeal. I wanted to stay forever, well really four days was perfect. Four days was enough to tempt my wanderlust, allow me to fall in love with the quaint town, learn how to ski and find magic in the everyday.
Breckenridge was booked as a ski adventure. An adventure to learn how to ski for me. I had this image in my head about snow, mountains, ski lifts and becoming a ski bunny. It mostly was accurate. Mostly. The snow bunny part… That will take time. More time than four days. But the adventure, oh the adventure…

City view
Room with a view

It was love at first sight. The winter wonderland. The crispy snow under my feet. The cold air filling my lungs. The picturesque views right outside the bedroom window. The ski lifts in motion. The clothes, the gear, the magic. I was in awe from the moment of arrival. In awe of that which I had only ever imagined in my head.  Day one was filled with travel, exploration and testing my ski legs. After picking up the equipment, I got a to test run the base of the slopes all on my own, feel how the boots, the skis and my legs would all work together. Amped… Simply amped to get out there and get the skiing on. That is how I felt after my test run on my ski legs… I wanted to get to the next morning quickly, it was time, time for me to expand my athletic horizons and learn more, do more, become a skier. Before the ski-pert in me could appear, I enjoyed a night of exploration. Eating. Shopping. Drinking. Shopping. Eating. Drinking. Shopping.

Burgers & Beer
Testing my ski legs
The most adorable Starbucks on earth

And then day one of skiing was upon me, upon us. There were lessons to be had and learnings to be taught and skills to be gained, but it was time. I road the lift for the first time with butterflies in my tummy and a slight fear of falling. The lift made it to the top of my first green successfully and I made it off the lift successfully. So far, so good. Then I started, with a courage and excitement far beyond my experience and quickly I was flying down the slope, fast, so fast I thought my limbs may actually fly off. I got to the base of the mountain and in tears I felt alive, exhilarated and terrified to attempt the slopes again. Up we went. To the greens we traveled. With a swig of bourbon and a quick coaching moment and I was at it again. This time watching the coach, my teacher, and trying to mimic moves foreign to me. Fall. Fall. Fall. Fall. Fall. It was rough. Exhausting for me, but the falls turned into snow plows and the snow plows turned into skiing. After 4 or 5 successful runs down the green we traveled to blues.

My first time on a lift



The blues… Oh, the blues… They got the best of me. I was on my bum every couple feet, then every couple hundred feet, over and over again. But, oh how fun they were too, when I was actually skiing. Day 1 I was the mountains beotch. I was on my bum, face planting and careening down the slopes. I was tipping over and crashing into snow banks. A montage of the falls I made and the crashes I caused… that would be epic. At the same time, I was skiing. I was becoming a skier and there were moments of complete beauty and peaceful skiing. My body quickly became exhausted and each fall became more challenging to pick myself up from, but then there was this moment. At the top of the blues, I started and I was skiing with ease, I was gliding over the snow and I was feeling the wind in my face, seeing the beauty of the mountain around me. Then we arrived at a drop off I had yet to experience and the mental mind game tripped me up… I initially started snow plowing down the slope, then i was skidding on the side of my skies, finally I took my skies off and started walking, once exhaustion set it I literally sat down and skidded down the mountain. That was it for day 1, my body beaten, my mind tripped up, my spirits down, but not out. We headed back to the lodge. There was relaxing, napping & working. Then it was off to dinner and I was surprised by Avery Joe’s Pilsner on the menu… A bit of home, I took it.



Soaking it all in


Avery Joe’s

Day 2 started slowly for me. An extended stay in bed. Delicious breakfast. Bridesmaids on TV. Then it was time to hit the slopes. Saturday was an intimidating day to return, with shaky legs and the expert skiers out, I was a nervous wreck. Legs shaking, shortness of breath, nervous laugh; that kind of wreck. I rode the lift and started the adventure. The first run down; slow, steady, shaky and complete. I DID IT! I made it down the slopes, in one piece, standing the entire time. Confidence back. Then the real fun began. There was this fun old rickety lift, the lead to this magical run and I owned it. All. Day. Long. I owned it. And I loved it. Shots of bourbon, success on the slopes and laughter. It was amazing. After lunch I was ready. Time to hit the blues one more time. And guess what, I was alright. Only struggle I had was getting going too quickly and struggling to stop. Stopping mid ski tends to result in a fall for me. One small fall and otherwise a complete run down a blue. HAPPY. Next time, a slick ice patch and I met, I got going too fast, straight down the slope. It was the crash of all crashes. Flopping about, losing skies and poles and a small bit of pride. I came to halt after skidding for about 20 feet. The snow patrol was there, asking if I was ok and if I could handle skiing. Pride dinged just a bit more. And that was it, tripped up, I struggled down the blues and headed back to green to close the day out successfully. A shadow got in my way, fall. Skiers talking tripped me up, fall. Fear of going fast overtook me, fall. Then the final run was in my sights and I succeeded. I made it down in one piece, successfully. I became a skier. In two days I learned a new sport, I did alright, I loved the sport and I crave hitting the mountains again.

Favorite lift
Piles of snowboards

Breckenridge, CO is stunning. My company, my favorite human. My experience, the best adventure. I didn’t just explore, I learned. I am not an easy athlete to teach. I get emotional, I get frustrated, I get sassy, but I am so glad I was taught and so proud to have learned. The quaint little town, the delicious food, the incredible experience. The cozy nights and the days spent sporting about. It was magical. My heart is full. The wanderlust in me is fulfilled. I am happy & proud.





1 Comment

  1. Wendy Hylton

    January 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Sounds (and looks) awesome! I have never been to breckenridge but I love skiing!

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