Thursday, April 1, 2010

What I Learned Skiing

So I have been neglecting this blog this week. Not so much neglecting as actively ignoring this entire section of my web browser. I have had some ideas of post to write but I guess decided the pool of malaise I was drifting in this week was more to my liking. It did not involve thinking, it barely involved moving out of a sitting position. I am still enjoying the view from my pool of malaise, which is now a combination of unmerited agitation and an weird feeling of being underwhelmed, but it is time to post something. Good thing I have some sense of discipline in my mind that combines with feelings of guilt to get me moving.

So here are two things I learned while on Spring Break last week.

1) Take the lesson FIRST or better titled, "Blog Karma". So as I posted before, our family went to Sunriver for spring break last week so we could learn to ski at Mt. Bachelor. Our original plan of learning at the site of this year's Winter Olympics had to be scuttled when I lost my passport. I was nervous about learning to ski which I chronicled here so I told my Beloved that he needed to be the enthusiastic one at the mountain. Turns out he was so enthusiastic that once we had the kids all settled in their classes he was ready to go get skis on and head up the chair lift. Me not so much. Not only did I really want to watch my kids learning to ski and snowboard, but I really, really did not want to go up the chairlift. We had a lesson scheduled for 1 pm and I was content to just wait until then. I don't know where all his enthusiasm came from, but my Beloved really wanted to get up that hill. So next thing I know, I have on rented skis with boots that were not terribly comfortable and am getting ready to go up a hill, on a chairlift, high in the sky, and the only way back down was on skis. I did pretty well getting on the lift, managed to not panic seeing how high we were, and got off the lift without falling. Unfortunately that would be the high point of that run because once my skis were pointing downhill, well, it went downhill. I fell. I almost ran over groups of small children. I barely missed going down the freestyle run. I tried to listen to the instructors with their groups on the hill for some hints. I liked the one lady who had her student walk sideways down until they got to the easier section. That worked for a bit but then my feet went numb. It is really hard to ski or even think of anything else once your feet start tingling and go numb. I just wanted off that mountain. So I took my skis off and slowly walked my way down the mountain. I am sure it is not good for the snow to have my boot marks ruining the run but it was either that or lay down and give up. In the time it took me to get down the mountain, my Beloved had made four runs. So on top of me totally failing at skiing, my husband was excelling.

Once at the bottom, I pulled of my helmet, my boots and my jacket. I was hot and sweaty from all that work. I was ready to give up but I knew I couldn't. For one thing I am way to cheap and I spent a lot of money for a day of skiing and a lesson. And also, I had to try again. I had been warned that learning to ski was hard. That I would want to cry, which I did, but that it would get better. Same thing I said to Middle Man when he was frustrated with learning to skate. I wanted so badly to put the skis on and be good at it right away. I did not want to do the hard work. But just like I wrote here it was going to take hard work on my part. See blog karma.

Once I could feel my feet again, I went and got new boots. Those new boots felt like heaven comparatively. I then headed over to my lesson. Because my husband was doing so well he got to move up a class which was a very good thing. I got to be in a class with three other moms who were all trying skiing for the first time. And our instructor happened to be the one on the hill that had her student walk the hard parts. She had seen me on the hill which was a huge help. Turns out my time on the hill alone without a lesson lead to "trust issues" which were going to take some time to correct. Some may learn by doing, I learn by reading the instruction manual, watching someone else a few times and then tentatively giving it a try. I now know to always do the lesson FIRST! I felt frustrated by my fear and my lack of skill. I wasn't getting it as fast as I wanted. But by the end of the lesson I was back on the chair lift. I was able to make a few turns. I still fell a few times and once needed help to get my skis off just so I could get up. I made it down the hill this time with my skis on my feet. I felt like I had won the race. Though when they all went off for one more run, I decided to savor my victory at the bottom of the hill. I would come back another day but for that day I was done.

and 2) I totally get stage mothers now. I had so much fun watching each of the boys learning to ski/snowboard. I loved seeing Little One in his orange vest going up the magic carpet on his tiny skis. I got so much joy watching Middle Man work so hard to move on his skis on day one and then by day two, he is going down the little learners hill by himself. He is so much better than me already. And I got a very weird sense of accomplishment seeing Hockey Boy go up the chairlift for the first time with his snowboarding coach. Knowing that he had learned enough to be on the real hill. By the end of the third day he was a real snowboarder, well he is at least ready for the green runs. I had given my kids a chance to learn to ski and snowboard and they each did amazing. I loved sitting at the lodge in the warm sun watching them learn and try something new and hard. And not only did they try but they were successful. So I'm sorry to all the stage mothers I ever judged. I get it now. Though I hope I can manage to not put all my needs for accomplishment and my sense of identity in who my kids are and what they do. I don't want them to live out my dreams. But I love watching them grow into themselves.

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