It’s Official: My Kids are Better Skiers Than I am.

Family Picture

Meet the newest contributor to the Deer Valley blog, Summer Sanders. In 1992 at the Olympic Games, a 19-year-old Summer Sanders won four Olympic medals, bringing home 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze. The moment she hung up her Speedo, she embarked on a television career, hosting shows for MTV (Sandblast), the NBA (Inside Stuff), Nickelodeon (Figure It Out), and Fox (The Sports List, Skating with Celebrities), and acting as a correspondent for shows such as Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, and The Today Show.  She has been a contestant on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and the Food Network’s “Guy vs. Rachael Celebrity Cook-Off”. Sanders recently created and hosted “Find Your Fitness” on MSN, where she challenged herself to try new fitness trends for the education and amusement of the audience. A health and fitness realist, Sanders is a working mom who prides herself on living a hands-on active lifestyle and being a “life is perfectly imperfect” motivator. She has two children, Skye (7) and Spider (5), with her husband Olympic skier Erik Schlopy. Follow the Deer Valley blog and keep up with Summer as she blogs about her experiences at Deer Valley.

Group Picture

It is now official, my kids, who are 6 (Spider) and 7 (Skye), are way better skiers than I am. I’ve had a hunch for a few years but after this past weekend, I have proof.  Together, my kids and I took a family ski lesson at Deer Valley, something that I’d wanted to take for a few years but never got around to scheduling. My kids are solid skiers already, but I wanted us to feel good about it as a family and really know where we could go together to enjoy a day on the slopes. Our instructor took us through all the amazing kids runs at Deer Valley, most of which were in the trees, which my kids think are fabulous, and with names like “Oompa Loompa”, “Ruby’s Tail”, “Bucky’s Backyard” and “Quincys Cabin”, you knew it was going to be nothing short of heaven for the them, their mama was another story.

Cabin

Let me be very honest with you. Up to this point, I had never taken the kids skiing by myself. There was way too much room for error in the process for me to stomach it, the gear, the schlepping to and from, and keeping myself from getting lost. It was all a little too much for my swimmer brain to handle.

Our instructor’s name was Lance Swedish, and he was awesome. It took the kids about 25 seconds to warm up to Lance, and then it was game on. I worried for a second whether he could keep up, not only with the kids skiing (they aren’t first timers), but with all of Spider’s questions. He must have asked Lance 20 times how old he was. It’s still a mystery, although we do know he isn’t 100 or 22. We started by skiing down one run so he could assess our skiing abilities. Although I was worried to finally hear that I was at the bottom of the class, I’m happy to report that I did not feel judged in the slightest. After that run, Lance suggested that we all ski without poles just like Spider.  My son doesn’t like them. His reasoning is that you are a much more centered skier without your poles. So he stashed our poles and away we went. I think this is the point when I realized that this “lesson” was more for me than anyone else in our party. Lance even said to me at one point, “Your kids are great skiers, so let’s work on you.” I was both proud of them and cracking up inside because what he said was so true. I was kind of thrilled at the opportunity to get better. I know the longer I wait, the more I’ll fall behind my kids.

Instructor

The day started strong and fast, and we never slowed down. We cruised thru Bucky’s Backyard and his front yard. We skate-skied across a run to reach the super famous Oompa Loompa Land, where I unsuccessfully tried to convince the kids to sing the song from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” We skied Ruby’s Tail and a few other unnamed spots. I stayed with the kids for most of this adventure, and along the way I picked up some wonderful tips.

  1. Keeping your hands out in front is key for balance.
  2. Bending your knees into a bump actually slows you down.
  3. If you fall you must, without fail, scream “WIPE OUT!”
  4. When jamming out of the trees into the open run, always check to see if someone is coming or have a “look-out person”.
  5. Screaming for no reason is absolutely fine, you’re in the trees, you can say it was someone else.
  6. There is always a hard way and an easy way down.

Yes I did get scared a few times on along the way. I mean speed is my enemy, my nemesis even – although you’d never know it watching my kids zoom by. The bumps and I don’t always get along, I have yet to conquer my fear of tree skiing. A little fear is part of the fun. I did really get a little more than scared at the top of “Toilet Bowl” (It does have another name but once you hear toilet bowl that’s all you remember, that and the fact that the kids kept saying “Mom, you’re gonna get flushed!”)

Fun Ski

I stood at the top while listening to Lance give us instructions and decided I needed to put tip #6 to work. I’m happy to report that there was and easier way down, and after checking with the kids and they were both ready to do it, (Lance also assured me they were strong enough skiers to handle it) I met them at the bottom. I listened to their hootin’ and hollering and giggling until they shot out of the trees with the biggest smiles on their faces. What a fabulous day!

I have shared my day with so many of my local friends, and every time they look at me with this hilarious expression and say either “that is the coolest thing ever, I didn’t know that existed” or “Oh bless your heart.” It was such an awesome three hours full of fun, knowledge, and memories. I think I’m more than prepared to take on the mountain with my kids. I may not quite be able to keep up, but I’m definitely more prepared and confident that we’ll be fine and have a wonderful time. Next up is a powder skiing lessons.

Leave your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Feed

Deer Valley Resort shared Ted Ligety's video.

Ted Ligety
Ted Ligety, Deer Valley Resort's global athlete ambassador, training on Mountaineer ski run earlier this month.
... See MoreSee Less

Thanks @deervalleyresort for the awesome training this spring! New @head_ski 30m skis are a dream. #goprokarmagrip

Christoph Sitzer, Lepetit Prince Dk and 222 others like this

View previous comments

Steve KuehnTed Ligety....one of the greatest world class skiers on earth skiing at my favorite place on earth!! Thank you!! What great technique, balance, speed, carving and weight on downhill ski!!!😀😀😀❤️❤️❤️😀😀😀😀😀

1 day ago   ·  3
Avatar

Steve KuehnI wish I could ski that well!! I am good and focus on the basics and technique, but I am nowhere near that good....Heaven on earth to me is skiing and / or teaching people to ski every day!!

1 day ago   ·  3
Avatar

Lisa K SimpkinsNo wonder my favorite run was closed 2 weeks ago. He was going so fast I never saw him.

19 hours ago
Avatar

Patricia Wollerok, maybe he goes a little, just a little faster than I... one think is certain, that is one of my favorite runs!

21 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Laura Nolle SpurlinEmily Spurlin Abby Spurlin this is my favorite run "mountaineer" !!⛷

1 day ago   ·  2
Avatar

Tom ThomasVery impressive, Patty must be proud.

1 day ago
Avatar

Ted ForbesBill Mitchell I think you can take him

1 day ago
Avatar

Hideko ShimabukuroOMG that's so fast...! Made me dizzy watching it. 😅

21 hours ago
Avatar

Dan PeoplesBill Liguori this looks a lot like Marc D. Lewis without the aqua green, one piece jump suit.

1 day ago
Avatar

Liz SinHey Juji is this the lovely run we did where we were crying of steepness. No problem.

7 hours ago
Avatar

James EvansLooks fantastic there at Deer Valley --- look forward to a Huge Season for Ted in 2017 / 2018 as well as the Winter Olympics . . .

1 day ago
Avatar

Effie Baramso rad having the mountain totally to yourself....VIP treatment

22 hours ago
Avatar

Nikki GraceI want to go. Just not that fast.

1 day ago
Avatar

Miguel CamposRenzzo B Namuche ese weon skia igual a mi csm jajaja

1 day ago   ·  1

2 Replies

Avatar

Barbara JonesThis is one of my favorite runs at Deer Valley!

22 hours ago
Avatar

Kirk HoffmanI've skied that, but not quite in the same way!

1 day ago
Avatar

Michael A. StahlerFrom two weeks ago?

6 hours ago
Avatar

Joseph HamiltonJet propulsion?

1 day ago
Avatar

Michael O'SullivanYeah, and I would be just ahead of you 😜

1 day ago
Avatar

Karl ByrneThe true mountain sport, pure speed

20 hours ago
Avatar

Arlen Gilbertpretty much how I imagine I look when I ski.

1 day ago
Avatar

Rachel O'SullivanMichael O'Sullivan this is what I look like on that run

1 day ago
Avatar

Billy GlosWayne Wilkinson is that you?!! Crazy!

20 hours ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Elizabeth HaleIt even feels fun 😁😁

1 day ago
Avatar

Leigh Gallagher WaltersWow

20 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley