What I Learned Skiing Michigan As a Child

by Sierra Thomas | September 19, 2023

What Growing Up Skiing in Michigan Taught Me

As I sit back and reminisce about my childhood winters in Michigan, the first image that always comes to mind is the snow-covered landscape, with every tree branch weighed down by a thick blanket of fresh powder. But what truly brings warmth to these chilly memories is the countless hours I spent skiing down the pristine slopes of our state’s wonderful ski resorts. Growing up skiing in Michigan was more than just a sport or a weekend activity; it was a rite of passage, a lesson in life, and most importantly, a source of countless joy-filled memories.

1. The Value of Patience and Perseverance

In Michigan, snow starts to blanket the ground as early as November. But for ski enthusiasts like me, it was always a game of waiting. Waiting for the snow to get thick enough, for the resorts to open, for the perfect day to hit the slopes. This taught me the invaluable lesson of patience. Skiing, like life, is not always about the rush. Sometimes, it’s about the quiet anticipation, the steady grind, and the understanding that good things come to those who wait.

Moreover, learning to ski wasn’t a walk in the park. There were countless times I found myself face-first in the snow, cold and frustrated. But with every fall came the opportunity to pick myself up and try again. This taught me resilience and the importance of perseverance, lessons that have been invaluable in other aspects of my life.

2. The Beauty of Being Present

Skiing demands focus. One moment of distraction, and you might find yourself off course or, worse, injured. It required me to be fully present in the moment, to feel every twist, turn, and bump. This immersion taught me the beauty of living in the present, to relish every moment, and to take in the world around me without the distractions of the past or anxieties of the future.

3. The Bonds Forged in Snow

One of the most beautiful things about growing up skiing in Michigan was the community around it. From family to friends and even strangers on the lift, skiing brought us together in a way few other activities did. We shared stories of our most exciting runs, our most embarrassing falls, and everything in between. These shared experiences forged bonds that have lasted a lifetime. It taught me the importance of community, of shared experiences, and of the deep connections that can be formed when we open ourselves up to others.

4. The Humility of Nature

While skiing, I felt invincible. Racing down the slopes, the wind against my face, and the world a blur of white, it was easy to forget just how small and fragile we are in the face of nature. But every so often, a particularly challenging trail or an unexpected change in weather would remind me of nature’s overwhelming power and our place within it. It was a humbling experience, one that instilled in me a deep respect for the environment and a profound gratitude for every safe run.

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