Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Things We Do For Our Kids...

At the ripe age of 31, I have been snowboarding once and skiing once in my entire long existence on this here earth.  My first attempt at any snow sport was at the young naive age of 20 with snowboarding.  The attempt was mild, ineffective, and I was a quite sore in the arms from pushing myself up for the entire hour (at most) that I was there.  I never quite learned how to "carve" the snow to stop myself, but instead fell to a halt every time.  Following that experience, there was no desire to return and no apparent reason to go back.  Seven years later, I'd have another go at a snow sport, this time with skiing.  The boots hurt, I hated coming off of the lift, and don't recall much more, except that I looked like a man in my snow gear.  It was pretty uneventful.  So when my husband, who has been skiing since he was a kid, told me he'd like to take me skiing with our boys while we're here in Utah for the next 4-5 years, I thought ignoring him would result in no such action.

This last weekend... he got really gung-ho, and we went to a consignment sporting goods store where I somehow let him convince me to buy a pair of ski boots.  We learned about an awesome deal with Utah Ski & Golf for Jordan's ski gear rental (boots and skis) so headed there right after.  And after the boys' naps, we headed to the Park City outlets for some Presidents' Day weekend sales and got some more snow gear.  I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get pink or purple pants since my jacket is black and white, but the colored pants were so expensive, even at the consignment sale, so I'll continue to look like a man while I ski.

I was still nervous.  I didn't have an awful experience the first two times, but not ones that I wanted to repeat or redo and plus, who wants to learn to ski at the age of 31?  Some things can just be avoided forever right?  Plus, I honestly had no interest in the sport at all.  I'd much rather prefer to go shopping, sit on my bum and watch Parks and Recreation, or play with photoshop or the Internet.  You know, the more productive things in life that mean something.  I know.. I'm simply fascinating like that.  But what eventually changed my mind about going was how excited Jordan got when he got home.  He kept putting his ski boots on, asking to put on his skis, and walking around the house.  He even tried to undo his own ski boots, ripped quite a bit of skin on a finger, and even that couldn't stop him.  He was so anxious to get onto the snow.  We watched some Olympics with ski jumps and he immediately asked to put on his skis again.  He just could not wait.  At night when I asked him if we were going skiing the next day, he said "yeah, and Sophie and Violet too" - his dear cousins who are in Angola and had already gone skiing this Winter (Jordan saw videos but hadn't gotten the chance to go with them yet).  I'm unsure if part of his excitement was knowing he was going to get to do what he had seen his cousins do at long last.  But he was definitely stoked.

I wanted to be there to witness Jordan's first time skiing.  What a milestone right?!  Andy's aunt and uncle, Jan and Ike, both experienced skiers, came along with us, and devoted their time to helping me learn.  There were many times when I would have given up had my son not been there to witness it.  Lead by example right?  Get up when you fall down son!  Don't be embarrassed by how utterly stupid you look when you can't figure out the tow rope, get your glove caught on the rope and end up getting dragged for oh say ten feet until you finally rip the glove off and fall with one ski still on into the middle of the tow rope.  Don't care about how stupid you look when your uncle is yelling "LET GO!" and you're trying to yell back that you can't while trying to focus on removing the caught glove trying to hold back your mortified hilariousness of the whole situation (a grown woman being dragged on her back and butt up the hill) while realizing you may very well die or get very very injured.  Don't mind that there are kids born while I was in my 20's who are more advanced and waiting for me to slowly maneuver the tow rope up and kindly allowing me the time to do so.  Don't be defeated when you finally get onto the tow rope and have no idea how to come off, only to fall and take forever and a day to get up again.  Just don't.

Jan and Ike took turns helping me while we were up there.  They kept yelling at me to "pizza!" my skis to carve the snow to a stop, taught me how to get up when I fell on my bum, tried to teach me to properly position myself on the snow to avoid slipping down the hill unintentionally, and encouraged me to keep at it.  I fell the whole way down the hill twice.  A lot of trying to get up and feeling absurdly old and feeble and wet snow seep up my back.  But then I somehow figured out the whole "pizza" thing just mean pressing my thighs inward so hard that it resulted in intense pain and then I would somehow come to a halt.  And two more trips down the hill without any falls!  Success was mine!

Oh and I went really really fast.  So insanely fast.  Faster than the speed of light.  Zooming down the hill.  Or so I thought.  I saw some videos afterwards... I was like a snail.  Creeping down the hill.  Barely moving at times.  HAHAHAHA.  Oh but how fast it felt though!

But I did it.  And I'll probably be back again.  When in Rome right?

I don't think I would have ever gone again had it not been for my kids.  The things we do for them.

Jordan?  He did AWESOME!  He absolutely loved it.  Kept asking to "do it again" and can't wait to go back.  He seemed to figure out his own balance, wasn't afraid of falling, and really got the hang of his pizza and plane arms.  He exceeded our expectations and was absolutely fearless.

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