School Bus Synergy

photoTrue story: I’m “Facebook friends” with over 1,800 people. At least a dozen of those are people with whom I rode the school bus to Rutland Town Elementary School with from 1978-1986 in Rutland, Vermont. As the small world turns, I run into one of these pals, Julie, on a weekly basis at our favorite exercise class at the Silver Mountain Sports Club. Another friend, Tori, lives in Atlanta, and I’m used to following her adventures from afar—she and her family (including two young boys, not that far in age from my guys) travel a lot, and get to go to a lot of fun events, in far-flung locales. So, imagine my delight when I found a Facebook message from Tori, letting me know she’d be skiing at Deer Valley on the first Sunday of Sundance Film Festival.

“Smart move”, I told her. “The hotels are full, but the slopes are empty!” I promised to meet her by the ticket window after I dropped off the boys at Ski School, so that we could say hello in person—which we had not done in over 25 years.

I was so excited to see Tori and meet her husband and kids that I forgot to take a picture of us together. But I did score this great photo of her family enjoying their day at Deer Valley Resort. I’d say they fit right in, wouldn’t you?

Come back sometime soon, Tori and family… so we can ski DV together!

Women’s Weekend Reunion – Minus the Ski Lessons

photo (17)I’ve written before about the magic that comes from meeting friends on the ski hill. Women’s Weekend at Deer Valley is one of those magical things. Or at least it was, three years ago, when I met Stacey and Jackie (and our awesome teacher Letitia).

Since then, we’ve stayed in regular contact. We keep tabs on each other—and get together whenever one or the other (or both!) is in Park City (Stacey lives full-time in New Jersey; Jackie in Southern California, both have homes in Deer Valley).  But we haven’t all three been together since we met for coffee about two years ago.  So, we were thrilled when we discovered overlap between Stacey’s schedule and Jackie’s—both in Park City at the end of January. But, we were all so swept up in other things that we didn’t even realize we would be meeting up at Deer Valley on the third anniversary of our own Women’s Weekend experience, even as the clinic went on without us.

We have an uncanny way of getting in a room together and cutting to the chase for updates, on work, on family, kids, travel, and, of course, skiing. All three of us point to Women’s Weekend as having increased our confidence on the mountain. What we’ve done with that varies—but also correlates to the amount of time we have spent on the mountain, and with whom.

To wit: Stacey continually regales me with stories of multiple bumps runs, bowls and steeps that she skis with her husband and their two grown sons.

Jackie has spent the fewest days on the mountain of the three of us. She cites more confidence in varied terrain, which, to me, is half the battle. I didn’t hear her daughter complain a bit that Mom was holding her back.

And then there’s me—I’ve been skiing blues and greens with the kids all winter, and loving it. What’s interesting is that it’s given me a lot of time to just practice carving—and slowing down no longer hurts, since I’m controlling the speed by completing a turn, and not using my quads to brake. As a result, when I hit the steeps, or go off piste, I’m rock-solid on technique and can focus on making the most of the terrain.

As it came close to saying goodbye, we were quick to make more plans to see each other—and realized we’d each have the opportunity to visit one of the others in her “natural habitat” within the next few months. (Don’t tell Stacey and Jackie, but I think my natural habitat wins.)

We chuckled at the coincidence of our reunion as Women’s Weekend was taking place on the hill. We smiled at the familiarity we’ve earned with each other in a few short years. And we reveled in the pure dumb luck that got the three of us in one room for the first time in too long. And we made a promise to ski together next time we’re all at the mountain simultaneously (which, it turns out, is happening next month.)