Out of Shape

By Beacon Staff

Most skiers I know are not in very good shape for their first day or so on skis. Like me, I guess, as I was too busy with the shows to exercise in November and December.

One year in Sun Valley, I was really having a painful second day when I was trying to keep up with a doctor friend of mine, when I told him, “My thighs are so sore I can hardly ski today. It’s just not any fun.”

“Warren,” he said, “go to the drug store and buy some Rolaids. They will take the lactic acid out of your muscle fibers and you can ski pain free and enjoy the rest of your holiday.”

The doctor always knows best, so I bought some Rolaids before I did my show in the Opera House that evening. My legs were so sore I could barely climb the stairs. Part way through the first reel there was a pause in my narration and I had time to chew up six Rolaids. During the intermission, I had forgotten about my sore legs because all of the pain had gone away. Many years later, I still don’t know what there is in Rolaids that works its magic with your painful muscles, but I’ve have been telling my friends about it for years.

While on the subject of that first rip of the year, it pays to remember that the last time you went skiing, it was probably in the late spring and those skis of yours will have spring wax on them. Rather than trying to remove that spring wax I suggest you take your skis to the local ski shop and have them professionally sharpen your edges and wax your skis for that Christmas ski trip you will be taking the family on.

I will be thinking of you, because it looks like I will be stuck behind the computer for a couple more months putting the final edit on my autobiography. This is a project I have spent the last four years working on. “Is it a lot of work?” my friends ask. In all honesty I can’t ever remember going to work since I started filming my first feature length ski movie in 1950. Skiing was different then. There were fewer than 15 chairlifts in America, none of them costing more than $4 for a ticket.

As November eased into December and the days grew shorter and colder, kitchen tables were covered in road maps and money was stashed away for that ski vacation somewhere.

When Everett Kircher brought a chairlift to the highest mountain in Michigan in 1948, a lot of people quit making the 24-hour drive from Detroit to Aspen.

I have never really understood why people live so far away from the Rockies. Or as I have been preaching for years, “Any job you have in the city, that same job is being done in a ski resort somewhere.”

In late November and early December we just start loading up a pretty large box trailer and when there is no more room to put stuff into it, it’s time to hitch it to the back of the SUV for the drive from Washington to The Yellowstone Club in Montana. Of all of the skiers in the world, I am one of the luckiest. I got to ski in powder snow in Austria when there was only one chairlift in the entire country and, to the best of my knowledge, before the first chairlift was even built in Switzerland.

It is the middle of October and there is still time to work out and sweat enough times to get that body of yours in shape for that first ski trip of the year. If you don’t have time to go to the bump and grind store, take enough time to stop at the drug store and buy some Rolaids. Just tell the druggist that Dr. Miller sent you and while you are there buy a six pack of them so you can be a hero when you give some of them to your out-of-shape, achy-muscled friends that are on their first ski trip of the year with you.

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