Days 44 to 47 – Rest and Backcountry Skiing (not an oxymoron!)

Yeehaw! When you need to rest, rest. It’s so much easier living full on when your have the energy to do it. I did NOTHING Days 44 and 45 except sleep in, get a massage, read, and drive to a sweet backcountry Alaskan powder hut. I went to bed those nights and slept HARD.

The day after driving to the hut, we all slept in because the shutters were still on the hut windows blocking out the light. Once up (at 10??!!!) the 8 of us (plus two dogs) made an epic breakfast of eggs, coffee with Bailey’s Irish cream (for breakfast?! Yes! St. Patrick’s Day!). We then donned our wigs to eat breakfast and head out to ski. But before that we had a morning work party and chopped wood, brought it back to the cabin with sleds, and put in a new door on the hut.

After all that we hiked up epic backcountry terrain (BTW if you’re ever cold put a freakin’ wig on your head. They are WAY warmer than hats!) and skied down amazing fresh powder. And I mean AMAZING. Plus the views were epic, the weather was spectacular, and the company was hilarious. Not to mention it was awesome to have two other women along the trip to balance out all that testosterone.

I am not a big skier. When I was younger it was too expensive and when I was older it seemed scary to fall going so fast. But I’ve slowly grown into it after I picked up a pair of tele skis, and am digging spending a lot more time on snow this season;) Plus, Alaskan powder makes in much less scary to fall!

I have a cool videos of us skiing (with me singing really bad operatic soundtrack on one), and will post here in an update. In the meantime, all I’ve got are the wig pictures above.

When I speak of resting, I can’t describe how key it was for me to take time for myself and listen to my body. Rather than forcing myself to go go go
the first day of skiing, I decided to sit atop a ridge as everyone did a lap up and down. I sat there and took in the views, the utterly beautiful silence, the glistening sparks of snow in the sky that looked like fairy dust, and felt the sun warming my face. Granted I was wearing five jackets but it was surprisingly warm on that Alaskan ridge in winter. It felt so good to REST. Plus at the end of the day I wasn’t too tired to don the wigs again and laugh for a few hours. I really was tired at the start. I could feel it intensely. Hiking was so hard. It was barely fun that day…but that all changes soon!

By the end of the day there were 9 of us and 4 dogs in the little hut. That wasn’t quick breeding – we just had more visitors. It felt so cozy falling asleep with every inch of the hut – including the kitchen floor – strewn with my friends and their pups. Even though there was no running water, we cooked on a wood-stove, and heated the place only with wood, it was relatively light work with so many friends.

The next morning was an earlier rise. But I felt fantastic after having a relatively restful day. So fantastic that I boot-packed (aka hiked) up to the summit of Hail Bob peak with everyone even though there was NO WAY I was going to ski down the steep corniced chute from the top (at this point in my skiing life, at least). I instead climbed back down, which many of the skiers said would be scarier for them than skiing down. Just goes to show its all relative!

We got back and there was an Alaskan moose meat chili ready for us after slow cooking on the wood stovetop all day. We all packed up (at this point there were 12 of us and 5 dogs) and I managed to have kept track of all my wigs (thank you, Ashland friends, for lending me wigs for this event;).

We toasted my 8 years of being cancer-free from renal cell carcinoma, gave group hugs, and headed back to Anchorage. That was after falling flat on my back and ass on ice as we packed up the truck. THAT was the most painful part of the whole trip! I always seem to injure myself in the front country.

Pretty full on for a weekend. But that’s kind of how it goes in Alaska;)

Note: Ana Neff is known as the Ziji™ Mentor. She helps individuals awaken their lives, their businesses and their success with radiant inner confidence. Her monthly Ziji Up! eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting