Hold on! Hear me out first. Taking up skiing or returning to the slopes now that you are 40+ years old is not as crazy as it first sounds. Here’s three reasons why:
#1 Other boomers are giving it up – Just this week USA Today reported that boomers are leaving the slopes in droves now that they are in their 40s, 50s and 60s:
Resorts have planned for at least a decade for a fast and furious drop-off of visits from baby boomers who helped build the industry but who will likely cut back as aching knees, hips and backs set in.
That means resorts are less crowded, and resort operators are likely to offer incentives and discounts to boomers who aren’t ready to trade their skis for a rocking chair by the fireplace. It’s what I call the “contrarian” approach to travel: when everyone else is leaving, that’s the time for you to arrive.
#2 You can afford to do it in style – When I was in my 20s a ski trip to Colorado meant a non-stop road trip in an old beat-up bus, sleeping in a bunkbed in a cold dorm-like hotel, and skiing in Scotchguarded jeans and broken-down rental boots and bindings. All we could afford to dine on was greasy burgers and Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine. Most of us can now buy, or at least rent, top-notch equipment, sleep in a comfy resort with amenities and drink something that doesn’t come with a screw-top.
#3 You’re wiser, have better medical coverage and besides they’ve made such great advancements in joint replacement – Now I don’t mean to make light of the risks involved in hurtling your body down a mountainside. But as a bohemian boomer, I do get a little annoyed at news reports – like the USA Today one mentioned above – that make it sound as though boomers already have one foot in the grave. Yes, my joints aren’t what they used to be, but while that might mean I can no longer tackle the black diamond slopes (reality check: I never could ski those even when I was young), that doesn’t mean I should banish myself from the entire mountain. Plus, I’m a little smarter now (or at least I should be) and better able to gauge the risks…for instance, I no longer have an urge to defy death and ski through the trees.
So when you see a headline like, “Ski resorts tackle a future with fewer baby boomers,” realize it’s a sign that now is the time for you to get your bohemian self back out on the slopes.
Okay, you might want to tuck a bottle of Aleve and some ace bandages in your luggage – just in case.