9 Thoughts Every Southerner Has When Learning How To Ski

9 Thoughts Every Southerner Has When Learning How To Ski

We can't all be good at everything, right?
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While I am writing this, I am currently on a ski trip with my family in Colorado, and my body feels like it is falling apart. "Why?" you may ask. Because I just spent the day looking like a baby giraffe that's been trying to walk for the first time, aka learning how to ski. Honestly, I am just surprised I survived a full day of ski school without dropping out. Skiing was literally the most difficult thing I have ever tried to learn. Don't get me wrong, skiing is a ton of fun once you get the hang of it, so I have heard. But while I was learning how to do something completely out of the norm for me (since I am a girl from Louisiana who has seen snow a whopping two times) I had a lot of thoughts going through my head during this experience, mainly questions.

So, if you're a Southerner, and you have never tried skiing, here are some thoughts you may experience for when you do:

1. This skiing thing doesn't look too hard! I will definitely have it down in no time

Sorry to break it to you, but that's going to be a hard no.

2. Walking in your ski gear is a lot harder than you pictured it

^ How you and your ski school pals look waddling around in the 80 layers of clothes you're all wearing

3. Wait what is going on? And Could I die?

^ Me when the ski instructor said "OK, Madison, show us what you got?"

Ummm, I have literally nothing. Please don't expect much. Or anything at all.

4. What is "wedging" and why do I suck at it?

Turns out wedging is the important little maneuver that helps you slow down/stop. So... let's just say I was going pretty fast most of the time. unintentionally.

5. Why are all these kids so much better than me?

Did that pack of six-year-olds really just pass me up on the bunny slopes?

6. There's no way in hell I'm getting off this ski lift

Wait, so you want me to ride this ski lift to the top of a mountain and then jump off?? Sorry, I think I rather die a different way, but thanks for the idea.

7. Oh, I think I'm kind of getting the hang of it!!!

Sooooo, I'm basically ready for the winter Olympics, right? Someone sign me up.

8. Oh, false alarm, I still suck

But that's OK because no one's an Olympic athlete after a few hours, plus it's almost lunchtime, so that's a plus!

9. I may not be the best, but at least I didn't die!

I'll be skiing on the black slopes next year. Or maybe just not the bunny slopes.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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Body-Shaming Has Made Me Terrified To Go To The Gym

Working out has never been so scary.

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Hot people. That's probably my favorite part of going to the gym. All the guys with their shirts that show all their rippling muscles underneath. And when they lift those weights you can easily tell that they do this regularly.

And the fit girls on the treadmill. They run at a pace I couldn't even hope up. I see them on their covered in sweat for an hour or more. Beautiful and comfortable enough in their bodies that they can consistently post about their workouts on social media. Those are the girls I aspire to be like.

Funny thing is they are also my least favorite part about going to the gym. I love to admire their commitment (and sexy bodies), but I also feel so much envy that it's almost hatred.

I wish so badly I could be like them. I want to go to the gym every day and be super committed to taking care of myself, too! I want to be able to wear a crop top in public without worrying about what others think. Most of all, I want to be strong and fit.

There's really nothing stopping me for attaining that. There's no physical barrier between me and the recreation center on campus. I have a bike that can get me there. And if that fails, I'm walking distance from campus. My legs work. So why don't I go?

My body. When I think about my weight, I try not to use the word fat because I like to use more positive self-talk. But when I step into the gym, my mind immediately goes to thinking about how heavy I look. I think about my double chin and how my thighs practically smother each other and how my arm fat ripples when I run. I feel myself automatically sucking in my belly and my face burning when I look at all the pretty girls.


Society plays a big roll in this embarrassment I feel. All over the place, I see images of gorgeous swimsuit models and athletes with their toned muscles. I can't even go to the store without being reminded of my size - there are mannequins with full breasts and skinny waists. I feel like a lazy cat basking in the sun compared to the thin, dainty girls I see walking all over the place.

Even when I go on vacation to be with my family I feel like I'm being judged. They're careful to never outright say that I'm fat, but it's definitely the subtext in nearly every conversation. "Are you sure you want to have cereal for breakfast? We thought about taking you on a hike today. Your cousin has a volleyball game tonight. Have you heard about this new weight loss vitamin?" I feel like their version of healthy is being shoved down my throat at times.

Others may call it irrational or stupid, but I am extremely self-conscious of my weight. I've been told over and over that I look great or that I'm not fat, and I try to believe it. But when I go to the gym and am constantly surrounded by better-looking people it's really hard to keep that positive self-talk going.

"Why don't you work out at home?" I live in an apartment. I'm not sure how my neighbors would feel about jumping jacks on the floor. I also don't have a whole lot of space in my apartment. I know I'm making up excuses at this point, and they aren't good ones. At the same time though, I often feel that there's no point of even trying because I'll never be as attractive as those girls at the gym.

It's an ongoing battle for me to go to the gym. I try to do some form of good exercise once a week and eat healthy in between. I know this isn't enough to really lose weight, but I'm not at a place in my life right now to focus on that. I'm a full-time student and work a part-time job. I'll be satisfied with not gaining weight at this point. I'll get my dream body someday. Until then, I'm going to work hard to get good grades and make the connections that will help me land my dream job.

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