One of the best things in life for me is skiing. There is just something about the freedom, speed and fresh air that, for me, is completely intoxicating. I think the culture of skiing is appealing too. There’s a certain camaraderie amongst skiers. And then of course there is après ski.
It’s a life I have tried to pass on to my kids and so far have been fairly successful. For me the ultimate ski day starts at first tracks and ends when they close the runs. It’s just the way I was brought up. Occasionally my husband needs to remind me that just because I love it, it doesn’t mean that my kids will love it with the same zeal that I do. And they may not want to ski all five days we are in Whistler. Whatever.
I was probably five, maybe six when my dad first took me skiing. Seymour Mountain; Goldie Rope Tow. It was cold and wet and I was miserable. My dad is not a patient man and after a few attempted runs we had both had enough. He took me back to the car and then went back to skiing by himself. Remember this was 1969 and this was still considered okay. So I sat in the car and pouted. After a while a ski patrol guy happened to pass by. I guess he felt bad for me and since the car was unlocked ( again, they did that back then) he asked if I wanted some hot chocolate. Um, yes. Eventually my parents came back to get me and well, I wasn’t there. I was a happy camper drinking hot chocolate with the nice. ski patrol. I’ve loved skiing ever since.
Somewhere in my elementary school years I actually became quite a good skier. Perhaps it was the hundreds of runs I did with my dad skiing a few feet behind me yelling “bend your knees, skis together, bend your knees, skis together”. That and the crack of dawn wake up calls for road trips to Mt Baker or Hemlock Meadows where we skied all day, only stopping for a picnic lunch at the back of the car. I can’t say that I always enjoyed that part of it, but it did improve my skiing.
So what do I want for my kids? I want them to enjoy life and all that it has to offer. Am I going to get them up out of their beds to go skiing with me? Hell yes. Will it be at the crack of dawn? Probably not. I’ll take the good parts of what my parents did and put my own spin on it.