The early snow and colder temperatures has this whole town excited for what promises to be yet another epic ski and snowboard season (insert fingers crossed here). To ensure we hit the slopes in tip-top shape, it’s time to go with a mandatory well-thought of—sometimes gruelling—preparation schedule and training regimen. Your training will not only allow you to enjoy the start of the season to its fullest, it will most importantly, give you the endurance you need to rip through the long season ahead and protect you from any mishaps.
Although I don’t own a gym membership or even have the space for training at home, I always find myself preparing extensively and appropriately just in time for the first chair of the season. And if I can do it, YOU can do it!
So, as I prepare for my 18th season here in Whistler, people ask me… How do you prepare? How do you do it? What’s your secret Eric? So for the very first time, I will share with you: the 10 best ways to get ready for the ski season… Two words: Exercise. And diet.
- Get out there, warm up and stretch
Start with “The Picnic” on Thursday night, Cornucopia’s official opening party. You’ll get to see all those faces you haven’t seen since your last wine and cheese in August, and at the same time you’ll get to sample the delicious wines and the food that will hopefully be staples of your diet throughout your season. Don’t be too intense, start easy and work your way up. There are many more exercise routines ahead. Seriously.
- Ok so, you’re a little stiff… that’s normal.
Get right back into it on Friday night, go to “Cellar Door”. Here, you’ll get to train with the cream of the crop. Don’t be intimidated—slow and steady is where it’s at. Take your time, spit between exercises and hydrate. This is really the place where you could find your next favourite wine for the season. So pay close attention, and ask questions.
Also on Friday night, in case you’re a little too stiff to get back into it right away, I suggest concentrating on your diet and Oregon wine with Stoller wines at Araxi.
- Daytime training
To complement your night-time training, I strongly recommend attending some daytime sessions. There are many great ones to choose from but “Guilty Pleasures: Wine and Junk Food, Spanish Wines: Viva la diferencia!, WOW Wines” and “Top Value Wines” are definitely at the top of my list.
- You’re slowly getting the hang of it, right? Perseverance is key.
On Saturday night, your training session is at “Crush”, the Gold’s Gym of Cornucopia. It really is the Big Kahuna of the week. Although it’s still early in your training, it’s the night where you just might need to go bigger. Remember, it’s not a race. It’s a marathon. Just like on a powder day, get there early and don’t ever cut the lines! Again, spit between exercises and hydrate.
- It’s a long weekend, Sunday training is mandatory.
Time to switch things up a little. Get ready for some aerobics at “With A Twist”. Plenty of exercises here, but you’ll also get to work on your diet with Centerplate celebrating 10 years of catering at the Whistler Conference Centre! The team at Centerplate will be featuring 10 of their best dishes, ever! Then you get to sweat a little at the Silent Disco! Exercise and diet, remember?
- On weekdays, you have to keep at it after work—I never said it was easy.
Throughout the week, keep training with “The Witchy Women of Whisky” on Tuesday but most importantly, work hard on your diet. You know what they say, your body is your temple so, Wolfgang Sterr’s Plant Based Deliciousness, Sidecut’s Taco Après Party, Winemaker’s Dinner with Tightrope Winery at The Red Door and Burrowing Owl at Araxi are my sessions of choice.
7- Time to rest. Not.
You worked out hard all week and you should reward yourself. I’m a sucker for Bourbon exercises, so of course, I recommend you attend the “Not So Straight Bourbon” session on Thursday. I find that Bourbon exercises are a real benefit to my après-ski endurance during the season.
Since Thursday is the new Friday, make sure to hit the House Party. Those exercises will definitely strengthen your B.C. wine game but it will also help you focus on mastering and channelling energy through your BBQ Chakra. It’s all about balance.
- More daytime training. No pain, no gain.
Keep complementing your night time training with these daytime sessions: “Carbonated Gin Cocktails” at 11:30 a.m. sounds like a great way to start the day, “Bottle and the Beast: Charcuterie & Wine Pairing with Oyama” a classic exercise really, and “Cabernet Cabaret” are my picks of the day on the last Saturday.
- Understanding your diet
A very important part of eating well is to actually understand the intricacies between wine, beer and food. On Saturday, you’ll do exactly that at the Culinary Stage Series: Cicerone Vs. Sommelier. A beer “trainer” and a wine “trainer” will attempt to pair dishes with their libations of choice. You vote for the best pairings. It’s always healthy to add a competitive aspect to your training.
- The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.
You’re close to the finish line. You can almost taste it. Complete your pre-season training with the Bearfoot Bistro’s World Oyster Invitational and Bloody Caesar Battle on the last Sunday. By now, your wine game is strong, you should feel confident about your cocktail game and oysters are just the perfect ingredients to put a bit more “pep” in your step!
Ok so it’s not your typical training regimen, I’ll give you that. But if you follow my 10 best ways to get ready for ski season here closely I guarantee that come winter you’ll rock lunches at Christine’s, après-ski, and wine dinners in the village like a pro.
This is Whistler, home of deep snow, long days, longer après-skis and one of the best food and wine scenes… Welcome to our house. Welcome to Cornucopia XXI.