Last winter I did something that I hadn’t done in almost 10 years. I went downhill skiing. My daughter had turned 8 years old just a few weeks before, and one of her birthday presents was a day of skiing. Because of unforeseen circumstances with my wife, I was the lucky parent to take her.
Let me back up a little. When my wife Carol and I first met in the late summer of 1991, we shared interests in the outdoors and all the activities involved in getting out and enjoying them. That morphed into an interest of swishing downhill on two pieces of fiberglass, otherwise known as downhill, or alpine, skiing. I didn’t know much about the proper technique and mechanics of skiing at the time. I thought you just strap on the skis, or shall I say, lock into your ski bindings, point your skis downhill and go. But she made it clear that there is much more to it than that.
Carol showed me how to shift my weight properly, and how to make nice smooth turns. Above all else, she showed me how to maintain control at all times, even going down the steepest slopes. Once you have the confidence to ski down a slope without worrying about killing yourself, you can take on almost any mountain.
So here we are now, about 14 years later, and my daughter wants to learn how to ski. I know better than to try to teach her myself. I’ve learned it’s sometimes better to have an impartial third party teach your child how to do something than to try to do it yourself.
We drove to Bristol Mountain and I enrolled my daughter in ski school. This is a wonderful program that teaches anyone, kids and adults, how to ski correctly from the start. The school wisely asks the parents to drop their kids off, and please not hang around because they may cause a distraction. I left her in a state of barely being able to stand upright on her skis, let alone zoom down the kiddie slope.
I proceeded to ski on my own for several hours until the school was over. As I approached the area where she was practicing, I witnessed my daughter making some beautiful turns from the top of the hill to the bottom. What a difference in only a few hours. I can’t say enough about her instructor and how well he taught her. Several hours later, my daughter and I were skiing down moderately easy slopes, from the top of the mountain!
Now, my daughter is truly excited to get back on the mountain to try her legs on more challenging trails. And my son, who just turned 5, has his heart set on snowboarding. In fact, they started talking about snow by July 4th.
Can you guess what we’ll be doing this winter?