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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Kenise

Denver Ski Trip

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Takes a look at the bucket list. Learn how to Ski… CHECK!

I always envisioned myself skiing somewhere exotic, like the Swiss Alps. You know, rocking the cute outfits and latest gear… After a long day on the slopes, return back to my fancy cabin to sip hot cocoa and cozy up next to a handsome man.

Yeah…Then reality hits. That handsome man doesn’t exist and I don’t have the slightest clue how to ski let alone been around that amount of snow. I mean come on, I’m from Atlanta. Let any sign of snow hit the ground and the whole city shuts down! And as far as a mountain goes, I don’t think Stone Mountain really counts… it is man-made.

So, the question is how hard could skiing really be?

Let’s rewind.

Lucky for me, I knew a couple of people who lived in Denver and were more than willing to help me plan the trip. Ashley, my sister from another mister (play sister), even decided to join in on the fun and go skiing with us.

When I arrived in Denver I didn’t realize the effects of elevation until I got altitude sickness. At first, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was fine the whole car ride from the airport to our Ski resort in Breckenridge. Once we checked in, got to our rooms and settled down, I was overcome by nausea and a major headache.

I first thought it was from not eating. I was freaking out because I thought my iron or blood sugar dropped and I was going to pass out. Then I remembered I just ate a “special cookie” and thought I just had a bad reaction to it. I mean, it was my first time indulging in Denver’s delectables. They are definitely on a different level that I was not ready for. After I calmed down and described my symptoms, Ashley told me I was suffering from altitude sickness.

Lesson Learned:

Denver, also known as the Mile High City, is a mile above sea level and Breckenridge is almost 2 miles. Denver has 17% less oxygen than the cities I’m used to, so it’s even less in Breckenridge. Getting altitude sickness is common for first timers at such a high elevation.

Some of the signs of altitude sickness are headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, and insomnia. Here are some tips to prevent or overcome altitude sickness.

Slow It Down. The one thing I didn’t do was take it easy. I was so eager to get off the plane that I ignored my body and never gave my body a break. My adrenaline was rushing from the excitement that I continued to “go” until I couldn’t anymore. I should’ve taken a break and allowed my body time to adjust to Denver’s altitude before going straight to Breckenridge.

Stay Hydrated. Water… Oh, how I don’t like to drink you. Who knew high elevations can cause fluid loss. Though I drank as much as I could stomach, research says one should drink at least 3-4 quarts a day.

Breathe. After checking in, we went into the city to grab some pizza. As we waited, for what felt like FOREVER for the pizza to come, I took moments to meditate and take slow, deep breathes. It actually helped… along with closing my eyes and laying my head down. Taking slow, deep breaths actually helps increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. More oxygen in your blood helps alleviate the effects of the thin air.

Eat high carbs. They say consuming carbs increases the production of carbon dioxide, which in return increases your breathing rate. Others say eating a high carb diet does nothing. I don’t think I need help in this department because carbs are my kryptonite. Any reason to eat carbs, especially pizza sounds good to me! I had no desire to eat from nausea but, who could turn down pizza? I definitely started feeling better as I ate. I don’t know if it was the hidden hunger, the elevation, or the fact that most of the restaurants we saw served pizza, but it was really good.

Keep your Iron up. I already struggle with low iron on my normal days so I knew to pack my iron supplements. Studies show that an iron supplement makes it easier to do activities at high elevations. I’m no doctor (though I always wanted to write prescriptions), so you’d probably want to consult with one. Let’s just say… take your vitamins.

Rest Up. Though some may suffer from insomnia as a symptom of altitude sickness, getting a good night’s sleep will help recharge you. Especially with a day full of skiing lined up, I needed all the energy I could get. Once we got back to the room, I crashed. I couldn’t even manage to take off my clothes. I was drained.

Next up, the BIG ski day, XOXO


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