Learn to Turn: One woman’s reflection on how skiing changed her life

I remember the first time I ever skied. I was about 8 years old and my father had just fallen madly in love with the sport. He took me out of school to learn on a week day in the Poconos and I ended up in a private lesson by chance. I wasn’t what you would call an athletic child, so I was definitely nervous about my performance, not to mention intimidated by the slopes, equipment and the cold. After getting suited up, a friendly instructor took me by the hand and spent two hours teaching me to how to ski and making me feel comfortable on the slopes. By the end of the lesson I had a decent grasp on the motions and could make my way down a green circle making wedged turns. I ended the day by taking my first full length run with my father. I didn’t know it then, but that day was life-changing for me.

Skiing became an integral part of my life in the years following and I joined the junior ski patrol at the ripe old age of thirteen. Skiing gave me not only an active outlet, but confidence in my day-to-day life helping me through adolescence (which isn’t easy for anyone). It also gave me direction when applying to college. Head north, I figured. I landed in Vermont and even began my first full time job as a ski patroller in Bolton Valley. Almost 15 years later, I am the Director of Public Relations and Programs for the Vermont Ski Areas Association.  From that first lesson to today – skiing has helped me grow, learn and mold me into a happy, healthy, and successful human being. I couldn’t be more thankful to my father for getting me out that first day and changing the course of my life forever.

With my father learning to ski in his 30’s and my introduction to the sport as a child, I fully support the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiatives in Vermont. Anyone can pick up a winter sport and not only become more active in the winter, but possibly change their lives or their children’s lives forever.  To learn more about Ski Vermont’s $29 learn to ski and snowboard packages that are available during the month of January, visit www.SkiVermont.com/Learn, and remember that staying active this winter means staying healthy!


Sarah Wojcik, Director of Public Relations and Programs for Ski Vermont 

Sarah Wojcik is the Director of Public Relations and Programs for Ski Vermont and is an avid downhill and backcountry skier, Council member and sometimes artist, dancer, bird watcher, comedian and roller skater. She has lived and played in Vermont since 1999 and never plans to leave this beautiful playground.

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