Article by: Ryan S.

While many ISM students used the December break as an opportunity to rest and reflect on the year that passed, others used the time to participate in winter sports like skiing, sledding, or snowboarding. These sports often do not come naturally to many of our Bearcats, who spend most of the year in the sweltering Philippine heat. But, never scared of a challenge, several students were lucky enough to brave the elements, and ‘hit the powder’.

Sophomore Sasha K. is one winter athlete who, like many others, had to travel in order to take part in winter activities. However, Sasha is familiar with the slopes as she often skis with her family when they make their annual journey to California. Having recently skied at the North Star resort in Lake Tahoe, California, she had “a great time being in outdoors while also keeping active over the break”. She remarks, “I enjoy the snow, the cold weather, and the feeling of going at high speed across and down slopes”. Highlighting the adrenaline “rush” one feels when descending the terrain, she also emphasizes that skiing is a truly a “family sport”; regardless of ability, anyone can learn to ski. Although a skilled skier now, she recalls that her first few days of skiing were “quite challenging” as learning the “correct technique on how to balance and turn on skis” was difficult. But like any sport, persistence and hard work pays off. Sasha claims, “If you continue to ski for a few days, you’ll find that your skill level advances much quicker than you expect”.

However, because the Philippine climate does not allow for traditional winter conditions, many others don’t get the chance to take part in winter sports on a regular basis. Senior Maxine A. tried skiing for the first time when she travelled to Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan over the December break. When asked why she wanted to ski, she responded, “My family had heard a lot about the place and we were eager to try it out because none of us had skied before”. Initially a novice to the sport, she claimed it took 2-3 days of lessons before she could really grasp the skills needed to ski. But once she got the hang of it, she noted, “It presented a totally different sensory experience!” Although it was “something new”, she emphasizes that it was “super fun to try and learn” and would love to ski again, whether it be in Japan or elsewhere. “Skiing is an attractive sport because you can only do it in certain places, and being a Filipino, part of its charm is to get to travel and to experience an environment you’re not used to,” she adds.

Regardless of whether it’s your first time or tenth time, winter sports such as skiing provided a great way to stay active, enjoying the outdoors, and spend genuine time with others over the holidays.

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