When I first clicked into bindings, I was 37, just diagnosed with MS, and I had $400 a month after the mortgage, household bills, insurance and car payment.......for food, clothes, etc.......for me and my daughter, who was 10 at the time. Single mom. I was paid every other week........so there was $200 left in my account each payday.
After the diagnosis, my priorities took a huge shift. I faced the fact that there could
be a day when I was no longer able to do things I've always wanted to try. Skiing was on my list. It just looked FUN, and since I was one of those people who got depressed every winter, why not inject some fun into it?
Some friends said, Let's go! I rented skis and got a lift pass, threw on some crappy clothes (not EVEN close to comfortable), and we went to Schweitzer.
Surprisingly, after 2 hours, I was in the power wedge and turning and stopping. They took me to the top.
: Naiveity has it's benefits......I had no idea what I was getting into.
Wind and sleet closed the resort at 11 am, while we were on top pecking our way down. We arrived at the base 2 hours later!!! My hair froze to my coat. My smile froze to my face. I was hooked.
I skied one more time that year. Expensive.....too expensive. But I had to find a way to ski.
I went to the ski swap the next year and bought my first skis. Dynastar, straight boards, 180 cm...$50. Boots.....Nordica......$5. Poles, $7. I got ski pants at Goodwill, and a pair of earmuffs. Fashion nightmare! All of this broke the bank, and I skied twice that second year till I tore my ACL on a patch of ice skiing Mt. Spokane at night.
After recovery, I skied 3-4 times a year for a few years. I was not going to quit something that made me look forward to winter, and it was something I was obsessed with. I wanted to ski like all the people whizzing around me.
But the child needed braces and jaw surgery badly, and my expendable income went even lower. I spent years going once or twice, and I always felt guilty for spending money on myself.
I got laid off, and damn near lost the house. I got another job, a better one, and had more money than I've ever had in my life. I was making $10 an hour in 1992. I was Rich.
I got skis at the swap for my daughter, and a pass for me at Silver Mountain ($199). I took her when she wanted to go. She said it was ok, but wasn't excited about it. I skied when I could go, and with the pass, went at least every weekend that year.
Until 2000, I was living in the poverty zone and trying to ski. Nine years on skis, and I'll bet my total days on snow was under 40. Needless to say, I wanted to be a skier.
My situation improved remarkably in 2001, then I skied a LOT. I was making $14 an hour.....an INSANE amount of money for me. I was Wealthy. I worked with electronic engineers who were all pulling down $120k a year or more. They had working wives who made tons of dough. They lived in mansions. They drove Beamers, went to Europe for wine tasting and Belize for diving vacations. I felt like Cinderella, sitting in the ashes.
But I was SKIING, and I was a happy girl.
After a foot surgery, I was surfing the web (a coworker sold me his computer for $100) and found Epic. The rest is history.
I can now afford a vacation a year to someplace exotic. We aren't poor, but we fall in the lower 30 percent ranking on this poll. I can't relate to the other guys and spending $10,000 on skiing a year is insanity to me......still. It always will be.
We did ESA once when it was less expensive, and it was GREAT, but now it's cost prohibitive. $3000 for a week of skiing for the two of us just isn't gonna happen. Lots of things are cost prohibitive, but we do ok.
I'd love to find a way to get some lessons that didn't break my bank.
I will stop and take time to help people I don't even know on the hill. A few pointers, some advice, and some people are improved in an instant. They are so happy when they find something that works better! It's a great feeling to help someone like that. I've taken friends out, helped strangers, spent time with people new to the hill. I donate to this site, and it isn't just a $20 a year.
I want to find people like me, to whom money isn't an issue with everything. Who will take a minute to help someone out. People have shown me incredible kindnesses, and I'd like to return the favor now that I'm more able. We have a Northeast Ladies thread going, where we'll have a little club of women (and guys, too), and ski on a regular basis, help each other out, share wisdom, stories, and ski together.
I hope everyone who voted in this poll who makes more than the poverty level wages is a Supporter of this site. It has tremendous benefits, and is worth the price of a magazine subscription.........and more.
End of rant.