Darn. The world didn’t end with the Mayan calendar.
That means, when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll not only have to pay off your credit card and wear off your hangover for realz, you’ll also want to think about resolutions. The endless Self-Improvement journey spins back into gear for the New Year. Here’s a way to make that fun: Resolve this winter to go skiing. With a group of girls.
1. Women make groups smarter. Therefore, a girlpower ski day is less likely to end in mis-adventure. Don’t believe me. Take it from recent research on collective intelligence that has found that groups get smarter as the number of women in the group increases.
2. Women learn differently. Canadian freestyle champ and 2010 silver medalist, Jenn Heil says that her coach, Dom Gauthier, took completely different approaches when coaching her from her team-mate, 2010 gold medalist Alex Bilodeau. “There is a big and new shift taking place right now, understanding how much girls and boys differ when it comes to sport. Their needs are different in terms of training, psychology and physical development… and that realization is such a positive thing. I’ve seen it firsthand in my girls coaching camps. As soon as you create that environment where a girl feels as if she’s supported, she’ll try anything. In one weekend, we can have every single girl in the camp doing her toughest trick.”
3. Women “adventure” differently. Science researchers have updated their understanding of “flight or fight” theory where women are concerned. Because of our absence of testosterone, when women are confronted with stress, a sudden release of oxytocin is more likely to inspire a “tend and befriend” reaction. In challenging situations women will seek out social contact, especially with other women, and will urge each other on – in short, hucking off that cliff is more likely to come with a big cheer from your fan-girl posse and a spike of the love drug if you’re enjoying a Girls Day Out.
4. When you’re skiing with a group of girls, you can talk about your feelings on the chairlift, instead of your equipment. (“So, how do you like those skis? How big are they underfoot? What’s the turn radius?” “Uhhh…”)
5. You can count on more snack and pee breaks.
One of the best ski trips I took last winter was to Revelstoke for a Skier magazine assignment. Ripping around Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the Selkirk Tangiers Heliskiing terrain with an awesome gang of pro-skiing’s leading ladies was, quite simply, a blast. Three of that crew, Izzy Lynch, Tessa Treadway and Leah Evans, coach at the Girls Day Out weekends. If you have the chance to ski with them, jump at it.
- January 19-20, 2013 at Revelstoke Mountain Resort (Sold out. To be placed on the waiting list, email email@example.com)
- January 26-27, 2013 at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
When I was teaching skiing full-time, my favourite gig was coaching the Roxy Women’s Clinics at Whistler Blackcomb. There are 6 weekend camps lined up for the coming winter.
- January 5 – 6, 2013
- January 26 – 27, 2013
- February 9 – 10, 2013
- March 2 – 3, 2013
- March 23 – 24, 2013
- April 6 – 7, 2013
If you don’t have a posse or a clinic available, then take a page from the Get The Girls Out playbook, a project conceived by Jackson Hole-based ripper and founder of SheJumps, Lynsey Dyer. “It’s about making connections,” Dyer told me when we skied together in Revelstoke. “It’s rolled out in over 20 resorts, totally organically, just a bunch of girls of all ages, all around North America going skiing.”
Simply put out an invitation via facebook at your local/favorite hill. Let Tamra (firstname.lastname@example.org) at SheJumps know and she’ll help spread the word.
For a quick primer on How to Ski Like a Man, stop by at LisaRichardsonBylines.com.