Beauty Colorado Health & Fitness Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Spas Telluride
Phew, these have been the busiest mid-winter weeks of any ski season I’ve experienced. As I wrote in my story, January 2017: One of the Snowiest on Record for Colorado, the snow totals from the past month have been ridiculous! The fluffy white stuff just kept coming down.
And Telluride Ski Resort has remained busy–at least by our standards. But don’t worry, lift lines are still a rarity. There were surely a few records broken during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, characteristically our busiest week of the season. I know that private ski lessons sold out during that period and I was grateful to have been blessed with some lovely clients. It was rewarding to see that I helped them to improve their turns and, of course, we had lots of fun and good chats, too. (Take that as a heads up in case you want to book a private lesson in Telluride during the upcoming busy vacation weeks.)
It looks like the days of a January lull are over. In addition to Americans, more and more international skiers have discovered Telluride. I had a Russian lady and a Brazilian in my class the other day and then offered some assistance to Chinese people looking for directions as I left the mountain. No sir, Telluride is no longer a best-kept secret.
As usual, after the holiday rush, resort workers were falling ill like clumps of snow off the pines on a sunny day, however, I have not been slammed with sickness this year. I have been weakened these past weeks but have fortunately been winning the battle. So instead of keeping up with my writer’s life, I’ve been focused on catching up on my rest and taking care of my body when not on the mountain.
My feet have been my first order of business, especially since I was suffering with sore tootsies throughout the first part of the year. It was hard to find time for bootwork because I was in ski boots day after day for about eight hours a day and then usually rushing off to do an errand like trying to catch the post office or veterinarian before closing. (More on that later.). Finally, after one bitter cold day, I succumbed. Despite my boot heaters and boot gloves, my toes froze and it felt like I was skiing on tree stumps. That night I could barely put my slippers on and through my bleary-eyed examination, I discovered that more than half of my toes were swollen and speckled with ornery blisters. Yes, this is the dark side of a ski instructor’s life.
Thankfully I was able to make an appointment at Bootdoctor’s with Yann Bayon who put in about four hours in an effort to make my boots right. The Zipfits I purchased last year had become packed out, so the sloshing around my feet were doing in my boots lead to my pain and less crisp turns. As I tell my clients, you want a snug fit so that your ski responds to the slightest movement of your foot; something as minuscule as tipping your pinky toe should put your ski on edge. Yann added more cork to these special and widely popular–at least among ski instructors–liners.
The fit felt better but it was far from perfect. I skied a couple of hours to break in my newly fluffed out Zipfits and returned to have Yann set me up with a new pair of footbeds. Yes, they become worn and tired, too. I might have to go back to Yann for a bit more work–maybe a punch out here and a pop out there–but already I can feel my feet thanking him and Bootdoctor’s for a whole new feel. Please note: the most important part of your equipment is your boots. I suggest you own your own pair–even if you don’t ski tons–and make sure you have them outfitted with footbeds. Skis are easier to rent but I say a big eeeeewwww on many fronts to renting boots.
Lately I have tried to keep up with my yoga and stretching. Just like with the boots, I did not practice what I preached with my clients during our busiest weeks with regard to taking care of my over used body. Between preparing healthy meals, picking up the house, dealing with snow removal, tending to four cats, including my old gal Clara who has developed a behavioral problem of peeing outside of her litter box–ugh–and taking care of my guy, I was lucky to cash in on my required eight hours of sleep every night. Shoot, such a busy time.
I have, however, been trying to do a mentastic with almost every client. This is a term my favorite massage therapist, Darren Miller, shared with me this spring. (Think mental + gymnastic, or conscious moving.) He’s a movement specialist and after an extraordinary massage with him, he helped me to develop a move that has become uniquely mine. It’s actually a sort of crazy jiggle that I’ve been doing for years. It’s one I created with my father and, in fact, I did it at the beginning of the eulogy I said for him in March because this was “our thing” and also a good icebreaker on any occasion, even a funeral! “Doing that mentastic is a great way to honor your father,” Darren emphasized to me this past spring.
My mentastic involves a big shaking out of the muscles, a total letting go of sorts, which is an excellent way to diffuse any fears anyone might have about heading out for a day of skiing. (Yes, lots of people have fear issues. It wasn’t until I became a ski instructor thirteen years ago that I stopped having butterflies in my stomach the first chairlift ride of the day. And I started skiing when I was five.)
Darren’s motto is “Motion is Lotion,” one that I’ve adopted and shared with many people in my life thanks to him. As a practitioner of Milton Trager Massage Therapy (in addition to other techniques), Darren has, in fact, become a movement therapist. In addition to classic massage, he practices this method which is much more subtle yet super effective on your body. It involves surprisingly gentle movements, ones that he refers to as fluffing, rocking or even creating bubbles. Hmmmm, it’s divine and Darren is a true healer.
So now for the head part. No, I don’t have any miracle answers to hat or helmet hair. This is likely why it’s not unusual to see people–women and men–wearing their ski hats inside. It’s a cute look that passes in most Telluride restaurants. Although note that I said most, not all.
Sometimes you do have to style your hair. I was so busy getting the house settled for winter, which included stocking up on a mountain of provisions–and dealing with my sweet but troublesome cat–who flew into Aspen from the east coast just before the big rush–that I neglected my coiff. Wouldn’t you? I knew she was having problems but it wasn’t until I started doing about five loads of laundry a day that I found out the extent of them. Yes, she became a bedwetter, however, my guy and I love her so much that we’ve just been trying to roll with it. Seriously.
So who has time to get their hair done? By Christmas Eve, even my man said he noticed how grey I had become–and he never says such a thing. I threw the box color on as I cleaned my bathroom after coming home from a brutally cold day of teaching on the slopes. For the first time ever, I left it on too long and suddenly I had a jet black crown on my head and brassy ends. Despite the fact that I believe this look is now a trend, it came off as being way too fake for me. Oh well, at least I got rid of the grey.
I have made a mental note to call Rosa Lea at Salon 7. She has never failed me. She always gives me the best cut and color with a good dose of girl talk. She’s a local’s favorite. She’s unflappable and for men, women and children, she gets it right every time.
I’ve also made a pledge to myself to spend more time unwinding at The Peaks Resort & Spa. This is one of my favorite places to rejuvenate in Telluride but I always thought I was too tired (from all the skiing and ski instructing) to go in the winter. I went twice a few weeks ago during Telluride Women’s Week and felt completely restored afterward. A fellow instructor actually said, “Whenever I feel tired, I go work out at The Peaks.” Ah-ha, so this is what you have to do to become really fit. It’s looking like 2017 is shaping up to be my year of morphing into a more relaxed and stronger version of myself after all.
Now that the days are growing longer, all seems to be looking brighter. Thanks to Yann and Bootdoctors, I no longer have sore feet, which makes all the difference in the world. I think of Darren most everyday when I do my mentastic and although I haven’t had time for a massage, I hope to have one soon. My Clairol color has practically all washed out and I’m in need of seeing Rosa Lea more so than ever. But in the meantime, I brush it off, and keep my hat on more.
After having spent close to $700. at the Vet’s (Mom paid for $300. back east and I’ve paid about $400. here in Telluride) in order to rule out any medical problems for Clara, I had to become a cat whisperer of sorts. I’ve spent additional crazy amounts of money on kitty litter herbs, pheromones, Prozac (for Clara, not for me–yet) special carpet cleaners and an array of mattress pads, the latest being one I ordered today from BedwettingStore.com that rang in at $136. Even at that price, I considered it a super purchase, since it’s rare that you find a waterproof pad that’s both organic and king sized.
Yes, I’m learning not to be so stressed out over all these daily ups and downs. Clara is going in her box more albeit not perfectly. It occurred to me today that all this is a vast lesson in patience for my boyfriend and me. He has been wonderfully understanding with her; he even devised a protection system made up of plastic bags, towels and sheets that we religiously put on our bed every morning, something that he wants us to have filmed and put on YouTube in order to help others dealing with similar situations. (Our vet said it is one of the biggest reasons people euthanize cats–we shudder at the very thought of it.)
So within all of this busy-ness, it is important to take care. And I haven’t even touched upon all the political turmoil! (See my story Post Election Healing.)
Yes, take care. Take care mentally, physically and spiritually. And, of course, head to toe.
I wish that for all of you in 2017.
Note that there’s still time to sign up for the February session of Telluride Women’s Week at Telluride Ski Resort that’s taking place February 12-16. I highly recommend this program for women looking to improve their skiing and wellness (mind and body!) while having fun. Mention Bonjour Colorado to receive a discount! Click here to read more of my other stories and listen to an interview about this transformative program of ski instruction and self empowerment through sport.