Opening Weekend and Celebrity SkiFest

Opening weekend 2012 is officially finished and was successful in all areas. The storm that brought us 6″ of snow on opening day made everyone’s mood electric. I saw big smiles on everyone’s faces. Living in the mountains it is assumed that by December there will be snow on the ground. When the temperatures don’t allow for snow making and the landscape is bare, people start to get grumpy. So our snow storm arrived at the perfect time and was welcomed with open arms.

Opening weekend is paired with the Celebrity Skifest to benefit the Waterkeeper Alliance. In case you didn’t see it on CBS this past Sunday, it’s a celebration of skiing and promotes a great cause, clean water. It was the same musketeers (ahem, skiers), Phil & Steve Mahre, Tommy Moe and me, as in years past. I think I can safely say that we all had a great time and we each skied as fast as we could to beat each other. The competitive adrenaline never goes away.

Heidi and Tommy Moe

There’s something to be said when we all get together. Whether we have shared the same experience of winning an Olympic medal or being at the top of our sport; we have respect for each other and admiration. (Maybe a little more from me towards them.) Whenever I work with these guys and others from the ‘good old days,’ I always have a smile on my face and truly feel blessed that I can still be involved and work with these amazing, successful athletes.

One of the stand-out memories of opening weekend was the Melissa Etheridge benefit concert on Saturday evening at The Montage. WOW, what a voice. She doesn’t even have to sing to know her voice is powerful. She played 7-8 songs and brought the house down.  It was amazing to be so close to someone as they performed. I know I will probably never be able to get that close to a performer at a concert again.

Now that opening weekend is behind us, I have some friends arriving today for 48 hours to
celebrate 12-12-12. I know this date is a neat one, but for a teammate of mine, it represents 25 years from when she had a horrific racing accident. I don’t think there is a better way to celebrate life, as 10 of us old Ski Team-ers get together to ski. I can’t tell you where we will be but you’ll hear us whooping and yelling!

See you on the slopes and keep snow dancing!

Three Stages of Relaxation at the Montage Spa at Deer Valley

Kissing Monty wasn’t one of the skin care tips I picked up when I had a facial at the Montage Spa but it probably should be.  When I arrived at the Montage, I was introduced to their friendly furry mascot, a Bernese Mountain dog named Monty.  When I crouched down to greet him, I was rewarded by sloppy licks to the face. As I plopped right down on the floor, he tickled my neck as I totally lost myself in laughter.  What a wonderful way to start my afternoon of relaxation – smart too – because research shows petting a dog actually lowers blood pressure. Monty helped me easily shake off my work day and enter my first stage of relaxation.

The next stage of relaxation was the “art of spa” which I nicknamed “the pre-treatment treatment.”   Before my facial, I wanted to let go of the world, so I went early.  Secluded in the women’s lounge area, I followed their suggested “hot-cold-rest-repeat” regime.  I started with the dry sauna for ten minutes, followed by a cold deluge, then a cozy lounge chair for five minutes.

Since I am a little on the claustrophobic side, I normally can’t stay in the stream room very long. The steam room at the Montage Spa was different, however; one entire wall was glass. After the steam started filling the room, I didn’t have the usual urge to bolt.  I felt completely comfortable through the whole steam cycle for the first time in my life.  After my second cold deluge, I entered a deeper state of relaxation as I lounged on the chair.

By then, I felt like a human being again but there was more – the actual facial treatment!  I was greeted by Janelle, my esthetician who walked me to the treatment room and made me comfortable.  We started with the “art of breath” as she led through a relaxation meditation to calm my mind for stage three relaxation.  After cleansing and exfoliating my skin, she applied a whole host of healing treatments and vitamins including a local mountain honey bee populous (like super charged royal jelly) unique to Wasatch Mountains. My skin responded by lapping it up.

While my moisturizing mask did its work, and when I thought life couldn’t get any better, she treated me to a scalp massage and then surprisingly a gentle foot massage. With this, I completely relaxed and then I found myself again.  I could hear an inner voice that had been attempting to talk to me for a long time but I had so busy with life, I hadn’t been listening.