Three years, pep self-talk, and my favorite view

Whales Tail at Breckenridge Ski Resort. A view from on top of the world! It's all about the challenge.

Whale’s tail is one of the most spectacular ski runs in Summit County, in my humble, okay, not so humble opinion. I have always felt exhilarated when skiing it. It’s a double black diamond, so half the excitement is dropping into the bowl. The views are breathtaking.

See those little dots looking over the cornice? They are skiers or boarders contemplating the drop.

The view from Whales Tail in Breckenridge, Colorado is spectacular, but it is also a double black and most challenging.

After a partial knee replacement repaired damage from an old ski injury, I had to give myself stomach shots to keep from clotting and my knee didn’t heal. It swelled and both legs atrophied. One year later, I skied Whales Tail, but struggled. After that, I took it easy. Single blacks were my limit. No doubles. Why take chances, right?

I hired a personal trainer but still didn’t feel strong enough. Then I pinched my meniscus over the holidays. Are you kidding me? We took a family trip to Park City. While everyone else hit the double blacks, I stuck to blues and blacks and played it safe.

Memorial Day rolled around. Breckenridge extended their season with a few runs on Peak 6 and 7. Not wanting to ski slush all day, I took the T-bar to the top. I hadn’t been up there for a while. After a quick warm up, I said to my husband, Danny, “Let’s take Imperial.” That’s the lift to Whales Tail.

I was ready.

It’s not often that Lake Dillon is open when I’m skiing. See it in the distance?

Spring skiing in Breckenridge

I had a conversation with myself as I rode up the lift into the clouds:

“You’re ready, right?” I asked myself.

“Yeah, I guess,” I answered.

“Well it’s a helluva lot better than hitting the slush and breaking your tibia above your boot.”

“That’s grim.”

“It happens. Just turn your shoulders and stick your butt out. You’ll be fine.”

“Unless I fall.”

“Don’t say that. Don’t even think it. You’ll will it to happen to us!”

“Okay, okay! I’ve wanted to see those views for long time now.”

“It’s time. To get off the lift! Snap out of it!!!! You can do this. You got this”.

“Yeah, yeah. See you at the bottom. I mean, well, I’ll be fine.”

Looking down the tail of Whales Tail one of my favorite places in the world!

Skiers and boarders hike about ten feet up to enter between the snow fences. Then we ski the narrow ridge to the Tail. I had taken a photo here years ago. Nothing had changed.

My heart filled. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

Skiing Whales Tail Double blacks once again!

The snow was like ice cream, thick but easy to maneuver. I never worried about falling although I carved wide turns. My knees didn’t hurt at all. Yay!

My first time skiing double blacks in three years. Yes!

Good thing I talked myself into it.

“You’re welcome.”

Have you talked yourself into anything lately? Do you talk to yourself?

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

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37 thoughts on “Three years, pep self-talk, and my favorite view

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  1. Lucky you. When I turned seventy (eight years ago) I walked away from my last mountain (Heavenly in Nevada) Was fun, but time to hang it up. I had the same conversation on the lift and came to the conclusion that a fall would have been a very bad thing and decided to take the gondola back down. No regrets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I talked myself into getting back onto my feet when I had an injury in 2012. It took me 2 years of rehab to learn to walk, step, etc. Then of course I reinjured in 2016 and then fell off my bicycle (hard landing) in 2018. I continue to amaze myself. I found an exercise studio that I love and try to go three times a week. I am strengthening and gaining stamina. The little to no energy still frustrates me at times. I have lost over 20 lbs and my whole being thanks me for a little less weight on it. The biggest success is being able to twist, pivot and rotate – have not been able to do since my injury in 2012 – love having more of a range of motion. I have had to find that balance between being safe and taking risks. I will be living with this injury for the rest of my life and not ready to couch surf yet. YAY for you – You go Wild Rider!!! Love the pics of you skiing. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂


    1. WAY TO GO, RENEE! Wow. Along with perseverence, that take courage. I’m so glad to hear you’re doing so well and have seen the results of your hard work. You have the best attitude!
      You’re right about the balance. I had wanted to skydive sometime in my life, but there have been two deaths in the last six months. I don’t reeeeally need to experience it. I may change my mind someday. LOL!
      Have a fabulous day!


  3. It’s great that you’re able to continue your skiing dream, Susie. The time will come when, like John, and like me, you make that decision that a broken hip could be a devastating way to end the fun. But until you feel you’re at that point, just “Go for it”! You live in the perfect place to take advantage of your love for skiing.


  4. The beauty of skiing is the ability to chose the level in which you feel comfortable getting down the mountain. Two years ago when we were in Quebec for a few months, we skiied at a club where that was a group of friend who skiied 5 days a week, ranging on age from 75-92. Inspiring! Keep going girl, sounds like you know exactly when to dodge the double blacks!


    1. Hey, Lynn! Great to see you!
      Wow! That’s inspiring. I hope I’m skiing at 92!

      I learned that Stan Warwrinka had a few knee surgeries and he almost made it to quarter finals in the French Open. He’s my new hero even though he’s about 34 years old 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Suzie, whenever I start talking to myself people around begin giving me really strange looks!!! I never was a skier, and, to me, cold is a 4-letter word, but I truly do love the mountains. 🎣 Happy for you, and must praise your courage ⛷


    1. Thanks so much, Paul! Great to see you!
      Yep, I’ve attracted some strange looks too. 😂 I’m trading skis for biking and paddle boarding this summer. My board is for rivers so standing without being flipped into the pond is my new challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A few thoughts…

    The photos are spectacular! Especially the one with the lake.

    When I first saw the first photo, I was worried that you were buried under the ski pole in foreground. Not really, but it struck me that way…you know my warped humor, eh?

    It occurs to me now that your blog is perfectly named. You are truly an adventurous soul who takes on and relishes challenges. A get up and go gal if ever there was one. I believe you are located in the perfect place for it.

    You asked if I talk to myself. I did once, but gave myself such bad advice we haven’t spoken since.


    1. Thanks, Al! I do my best. It is a Wild place to live in. I love Colorado!

      Hahahaha! I’ve given myself bad advice too. Ended up In Portland, Washington in early April. Rainy and cold. Sometimes my advice isn’t rock solid.

      That pole must have been skied over since it’s almost sideways!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good for you and yes, I talk to myself all the time. Mostly because I’m the only one who’ll listen and I’m the only one who understands me. But, it’s a great way to get things done, especially things you don’t really want to do. Sometimes it’s the only way to get those yucky things done. (“Just shut up and go do it. Then you’ll be done and you can do something else.”) See how easy that was?

    I’m so glad you’re not letting these things slow you down. You’re cautious but living your life to the fullest. Keep it up girl.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. Thank you, Patricia! I love how you tell yourself to “Just shut up and go do it.” Works for me too!
      In light of all I’ve been through, it would be easy to avoid anything risky. There would be no fun in that! BUT I don’t plan on skydiving or basejumping anytime soon. LOL!


  8. Wonderful conversation between yourself and ……………… well you. I love moments like that when you can talk out loud to yourself and no-one is listening. The mountains and skiing look fabulous though, what a brilliant day.


  9. How come you look so fine in Ski suits’? I look like the Michelin man shops at K – mart.

    ‘Hay today my dear wife ordered my Kilt’? 🙂 Dark Brown cotton – canvas as its been getting hot around here with this Fever I’ll have you know. 🙂 Because the other day I cut the legs off of my black Carhartt work Overalls and I hemmed them then above the knees. If you can emagine me with a pair of Scissors – Damn near ended up with daisy – Dukes! So I guess they are now technically Laderhosen. 🙂 oh, so I guess now I need to ask where does Man buy Chainmail Nickers’? Or rather more to say, what does a Scotsmen wear under a Kilt’? a Knitted golf club cozy’? Help me out here, Danny’s a Scotsman.


    1. Thanks, Brock! Danny is German so he’s all about the lederhosen. LOL! You’re on your own, Brock. Might want to draw a line with chalk before cutting them next time. 🙂 Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!


  10. Congratulations!!! So excited for you. I have always wanted to learn to ski, but now doubt I will since I broke my back several years ago. I talk to myself all the time, loved seeing the photos and reading of your victory!!


    1. Hello Anonymous Friend! Thank you so much! I’m so glad I went for it. I’ll definitely ski it more often next year!

      Sorry to hear about your back. My son broke his snowboarding but he snowboards every year. Depends on the fracture. L5 comes to mind.

      I have a terrible habit of talking to myself. LOL! I have to be careful when I’m out in public or someone might alert the authorities.😮

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh WOW, this is one thing I have not grown up with and since in Canada never learned to do. Maybe just as well, as I am sure that I would have broken many bones should I tried it.


  12. I love this sooo much! I give myself pep talks on the ski lifts getting ready to zoom down the mountain too. I am sooo impressed that you think of the blues and blacks as easy! I always have to work myself up to black diamonds, and I didn’t even consider trying double black diamonds yet!

    One day I’ll be amazing like you. 😉


  13. Whenever I find myself in a conversation on how best to undertake an activity that carries a significant risk of a leg or other injury, I’m usually very successful in talking myself out of that activity completely.


    1. Not me!!!! LOL! I was dang tired of being cautious. But I wasn’t skiing it for the first time either. For me, it’s like riding a bike, although people fall off their bikes all the time! No injuries. Whew!
      Thanks for stopping by, X!


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