Fair Weather Skiing

I grew up in Vermont. Skiing there often means braving severe weather conditions in the name of sport. So when we hit the slopes in the early 20s of December, and a wet “snain” was falling, I found it oddly comforting.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a devotee of the 300+ days of sunshine Utah receives. I love the fact that skiing, most days, is a comfortable and fun affair, conducted in concert with the application of sunscreen, and proper layering to avoid the nearly-inevitable overheating on a bluebird day.  (No offense, Vermont.)

But we had so much fun making old-school jokes “How wet is it?? It’s so wet that…” and yep, making turns, my kids made only passing (and legit) complaints about the weather. 

It made me think what a service we do for our kids if we are not fair-weather skiers. It makes them see you can have fun even when the weather isn’t. It makes them hardier. If they’re going to compete on even the most casual levels, they’ll inevitably need to do it in less-than-stellar conditions, so they might as well learn to ski everything, right?

I risked sounding like one of those “uphill both ways to school” kind of moms, and said to Big Guy, “Can you believe that I spent most of my ski days in weather like this when I was your age? And I love skiing sooooo much?”

His response was one of those “Great Moments” parents live for. “Mom, I’m really lucky you still love to ski,” he said. “Because it would be a real bummer to live in Utah and have a mom who hates to ski!”

I thought, that night, as I did my usual toothbrush-time think on the day: This is what I wish for my kids—a lifetime of happy skiing, so they can share it with their kids.

 I’ll save the deeper thoughts for another post. In the meantime, don’t look askance at an overcast day. Use it as a skill-builder—hit overly-familiar terrain and remind your kids that their roll-with-it skills are as important a the perfect turn.

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