I didn’t grow up skiiing. I mean, I guess I sort of did. We would go at least once a year, and in my high school days maybe more if my friends were going. But I wasn’t crazy about it. I didn’t get why everyone thought it was so great? Based whole holidays on it? Really?!
When I met my husband, it was obvious that skiing was a huge part of his life. (That’s mini Blake!) And when we started dating, it was obvious that if I wanted bonus girlfriend points, (which I DID!) I should probably ski too. I signed up for lessons at the local hill and took a ski class after we got married at Grand Targhee Resort.
I’ve gotten much better since my days of skiing on his grandma’s old skis and hand-me-down ski pants. I’ve gotten braver, more confident in myself and my abilities. Now I get to watch my daughter ski with family and it gives me all sorts of nostalgic teary-eyed mom feels when I hear her say she can’t WAIT until her next lesson!
It can be a pain though, I get it. Hauling the little ones around or paying for a babysitter, all that money forked out on ski passes and lessons and gear, the time just getting to the mountain. But here’s why WE have chosen to be a ski family.
- It breeds confidence and adaptability.
My oldest has always been brave. This summer she rode her wooden trike down the stairs because she was “trying to do a trick.” She’s 3. But skiing is teaching her different things. She’s learning that when you fall, you get back up. If something isn’t working for you, try something else. She’s learning how to communicate and what she is capable of. She’s learning about the joy that comes from a job well done.
- It gets you stoked.
I don’t claim to be an amazing skiier. Last week was my first powder day; there was maybe 6″ of new snow. My first run was on a usually groomed trail that was untouched. One run and I. WAS. HOOKED. I couldn’t stop smiling. I pulled out my phone on the chair lift and quickly wrote a note to my husband. “I get it now!”
- It’s hard.
I remember one day skiing with my husband pre-marriage, he took me down a steep run littered with chunky snow from a recent snow fall. I ate it. My skis popped off, my face covered in snow. I was sooooo mad, probably also a little embarrassed. I remember crying, so what does that tell you?! This was the first of many wipeouts. Attempting jumps and bumps when feeling tough skiing with “the boys” (my husband has 4 brothers) usually led to landing on something besides my feet. But each crash made me log the incident in my memory bank and figure out a way to fix it for next time. Cause when you screw up all you really can do is try again.
- It’s the best way to make memories.
We had only been married for two months when Blake’s family and friends all went on a spring ski trip. I had seen Blake do this cool thing where, before you get on the chairlift, you stick your poles under your butt and sit on them, efficiently removing the painstaking step of sitting and THEN sticking them under your butt. Hey, I’m a skiier, I thought, I’m going to do that.
My poles jammed into the chair back and I was sent sliding off the chair, down the loading area and into a puddle below the lift. Everyone laughed, I laughed and was humbled. But I still never try it.
- It’s worth it.
We ski, we hike, we travel. We plan to move to Montana in the spring to pursue our dream life. We also live in a small, inexpensive duplex, drive used, paid for cars, and my husband works for himself. But I would never change the freedom of our lifestyle for an increased paycheck. Every ski day I’ve ever had, really any day spent outside, it’s always worth it.