You’re not a real skier unless you [fill in blank].

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 08/15/11 •  2 min read

Ever hear anyone say something like the following:

“You’re not a real skier unless you:

……ski x number of days;

……ski off piste exclusively. No groomers;

……ski first chair to last;

…..don’t stop for anything, not even to go to bathroom (you can go in the woods);

……[fill in your own qualifier here].”

I know, I’m a sap. My first impulse is to check to see if I’m doing whatever it is they say I’m supposed to do. Am I a real skier? Oh, please let the answer be yes. But then I give myself a good dope slap. What are you, crazy?

It’s mystifying why anyone would set parameters for what qualifies someone as a real skier. I mean, what is that, exactly? Isn’t anyone who skis a real skier? What’s the alternative? And anyhow, what’s the difference?

In case anyone’s forgotten, skiing is supposed to be (now get this, folks) fun. And last time I checked, skiing didn’t require any sort of certification or license, like practicing medicine. You can call someone a real doctor, as in someone who’s qualified to write prescriptions and perform surgery. But a real skier? Naaah.

Perhaps they don’t mean “real” at all. Maybe they mean “committed.” But how can anyone measure someone else’s level of commitment? Is someone who lives five minutes away from the mountain and skis every day more committed than someone who saves for weeks for a lift ticket, gets up at 4AM, and travels five hours each way for a day on the slopes? Maybe someone who skis a lot is geographically lucky. Maybe they just have more time on their hands. Maybe they’re unemployed or retired. Or perhaps they’re incredibly rich.

You can see my point.

All I’m saying is that before we get our thermal underwear in a knot about whether or not someone is a real skier, let’s not lose sight of why we’re out there, folks. And let’s set all this silliness aside. Really.