I do a little prep the night before. In 1988, Greg Stump put together a little feature-length ski film called "The Blizzard of Aaaaahs". This was the movie that really gave me the bug. I'd been watching Warren Miller shows since I was little, but they were my older sibling's films, not mine. Stump had a flair for film making that was fresh and young, and I DUG IT.
I've watched The Blizz EVERY year before my first day of skiing. Without fail. Sometimes I watch it on other days throughout the year (without exaggerating, I bet I've seen it over 200 times.), but the night before is special. It puts me back in that place when I remember what it was like to just go skiing with my buds, make fun of ski instructors, ski fast all morning (and dodge the patrollers) and pound bumps and build jumps all afternoon. (If I was really lucky, I'd score a trip or two to the hospital and check out my favorite nurse, Rita.)
In 1989-90 it snowed almost every day that winter... and I skied over 100 days. Bear in mind I was still in High School, so it was a stressful year for my parents and teachers. I only missed 12 days of available skiing that year, and the only reason I missed those was because I was told I couldn't wrestle in the state tournament if I missed any more school during wrestling season. I toughed it out for 8 or nine days, but it snowed like two feet one day... BAM! My wrestling career was over. So I just finished the season out skiing every day and doing school work at night and early in the morning. (my girlfriend and best friend kept me in the know as far as homework.) You heard it here first folks. "The Blizzard of Aaaaaahs" nearly cost me my senior year of high school. I was that hooked.
So on day one, with the sounds of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Andrew Poppy in my head, I hit the slopes and just try to remember the days when skiing was just something I really, really liked to do. I forget that it's now my profession and go make some turns. If I have trouble, I start skiddy and work towards carving... and then my radio goes off and I'm reminded of the profession thing again. My first day is ALL about fun and goofing off as much as I can. I can always pound my skiing into shape on day 2 or 3. God I love skiing!!!
Sorry so long-winded. I'm already getting a little excited to go. I just ordered my new skis and boots, so the little switch in my head has already been flipped. Won't be long now!