Well my friends, I know I said that I would write about strategies to improve hip mobility and spine stability in order to buffer against the deadly effects of low back pain.
However, I would like to switch gears a little bit just because I’ve had a pretty incredible weekend and wanted to share it with you.
The old dog in the title of the post is me. And boy did I learn some new tricks this weekend!
Here’s the background story:
I’ve never been a big winter sports kinda guy. For most of my life, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen, and many who didn’t want to listen, that I’m allergic to the cold. It’s more than likely that this is the reason that I have only skied once in my life, on a school ski trip about 16 years ago.
Now fast forward to this past weekend:
It all changed!
I hit the slopes as an adult beginner trying to learn a sport that has at its foundation some of the things I most detest: ice, snow, cold.
Would I be willing to deal with those frigid elements to learn how to balance precariously on a two, incredibly thin, parabolic boards strapped to my feet, while hurtling down the side of a mountain in the name of fun?
My weekend at Mont Tremblant started with a beginner skiing lesson with a very patient, and understanding gentleman by the name of Jean Landry, on a hill that at best had a max altitude of 40 feet with a kind and forgiving slope. He started with the basics: how to balance, how to stop, how to turn, and most importantly, how to get up when you fall.
And that was probably the most important lesson.
Because in life, there will be falls.
There will be tumbles.
Some worse than others. Some a little softer.
Some, like the ones I experienced at Mont Tremblant, which gently kicked up clouds of fluffy white snow. Some, like the ones that my body aches remind me of, which had enough force to smack my helmeted noggin into the icy hillside.
But after every fall, I learned to awkwardly shuffle, twist, turn and twitch until I was standing again. I would stumble robotically towards my skis which were designed to liberate themselves well before the point where my ankles snapped. I would clip them back on to my feet, and then dust off the snow that had made its way through my four or five clothing layers.
And before I would start down the hill again, I would take a quick, wide-eyed peek up the busy ski hill and see the other skiers coming down towards me with the control akin to a rally car that missed a turn and at speeds that I’m sure the human body is not designed to experience outside of rocket-ship travel. When the coast was clear, I would point my skis back to the bottom of the abyss and start my journey over again.
And that’s when something amazing happened.
I learned to ski.
This old dog, learned a new trick.
Yours in movement.