I had no idea what was in store for us when the first #OmniTen invitation from Columbia Sportswear came in the mail almost two years ago. The trip to Havasu Falls was a life changing bucket list trip, not only as a location I was fortunate enough to visit, but getting to do it with some of the most amazing people I’ve met in some incredible new technology elevated it to another level. I was in my element with like-minded folks who shared the experience with a level of enthusiasm and joy that mirrored my own.
When the second trip came along, this time in Utah in the winter, I immediately knew I would be challenged by being outside my comfort zone. We were invited to participate in the #OmniGames, and even though they didn’t tell us what that meant I knew it would involve snow! How could it not in Park City in January?
While I enjoy the occasional snowshoe hike, cross-country skiing, and overnight snow camping, I am far more comfortable and proficient in summer sports. Why don’t we review some ways in which I am not a snow person:
- I grew up in Northern Michigan where snow was generally a nuisance, and not something I had much fun in other than the occasional sledding, snow angel, or ice skating. It was a reason to curl up with some good books by the fire for a few months, waiting for summer and beach season to return.
- I am a very cold person by nature. I use a zero degree sleeping bag in 40 degree temperatures. I step outside for a run at 50 degrees and think I’ll wait just a bit longer for the sun to warm things up. An evening below 60 degrees is an excuse to put on a puffy jacket.
- Like a cat picked up by the scruff of its neck, putting downhill skis on my feet neutralizes any athletic ability I have. For some reason, I seem to lose all coordination, balance, and skills when skis are strapped to my feet. Granted, I’ve only tried it a few times but I definitely haven’t taken to it like I have other outdoor sports.[/list]
On the other hand, I am all about trying new things, or as we like to say on Twitter, #TryingStuff! After all, it is one of the reasons I was invited to the original Ten! I knew going into the games that I would be at a disadvantage in snow sports, but I certainly wasn’t going to let that discourage me (especially since I had no idea what the games would be). Rather, I saw it as an opportunity to experience things I normally avoid. And by doing it with the rest of the #OmniTen and Columbia Sportswear, I knew it would be fun!
Most of us flew in on Wednesday and met up with the group at the gorgeous Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City at the Canyons Resort. It was snowing pretty hard when we landed so I knew we’d have a good base for whatever adventures were ahead.
Columbia had a suite set aside as the #OmniTen hub, and when we arrived a big duffel full of gear greeted each of us as we checked in and signed away our lives on waivers (hmm, one for snowmobiling?)
I was taken to my room, a two story suite shared with Ann, Gina, and Erika. They were all out skiing, so I took my time exploring the enormous goodie bag provided by Columbia. Inside were OmniHeat base layers, an interchangeable ski jacket, ski pants, fleece tops, Bugaboots, and a nice thick beanie. I could see I would have no trouble staying dry and warm while playing in Park City.
We all gathered together to head out to a get-to-know-you dinner and drinks in which we were encouraged to mingle outside of our seasons. While I was part of the original OmniTen, there have been three new seasons since then and it was a great time getting to know people I had mostly only met through Twitter.
The party continued in the resort’s fantastic hot tub, and it was a late first night. We all went to bed still in the dark as to what the #omnigames would be, though there was plenty of speculation going around! Would my bet on bear wrestling be validated? Wait and see!
Over the next few days I’ll talk about how the #OmniGames tested me, and the surprises and announcements that we got to experience along the way. Shenanigans! Dance Parties! Olympic athletes! Mystery bruises! It was a whirlwind adventure and my head is still spinning!