How to Keep the Fun in Winter- Family Style

With only  a week until Thanksgiving, it is time to admit that it will soon be winter here. I picked up downhill skis for my son and myself today. If you live in the Northeast, you better like winter sports. It is funny how our preferences change with age, though. And I’m not talking about old age…

When I was young, my parents taught me how to cross-country ski. We regularly broke trails on the historic battlefield that was open for winter recreation. My parents touted the benefits of aerobic exercise and appreciated the relatively safe terrain. As my sisters and I got older, the repetitive motion with little opportunity for speed bored us to tears- literally. My parents finally agreed to try downhill skiing. During the next several years, we spent long weekends or February break at rustic lodges in Vermont or New York. I have many fond memories of watching my ski go down the hill without me, or swinging in a chair that had been temporarily stuck and teasing my sister that we would have to jump down. Of course, there were also the near misses of the giant chair lift poles as I went flashing by, out of control down the steep, icy slope. Which is probably why, once I reached adulthood, I no longer desired to participate.

One of the first big gifts my boyfriend bought me, was a set of cross-country skis.  

We spent that winter exploring winding nordic trails that led us through thick woods. These sometimes ran along narrow ridges and descended in hairpin turns, in which case I would sit on my skis and slide down on my bottom.  My skills improved each time we returned. We picked our honeymoon destination because of its proximity to a ski area. When kids came into the equation, we carried them in backpacks or towed them along on a sled. Once they were old enough to ski on their own, we set them up with a rental program that would accommodate them as they grew.

Within a few years, they were skilled enough to take on the black diamond curves

and had the stamina to ski all the way across the lake.

Last year, they decided that the excitement of skiing down from the top of a long climb  

did not make up for the hard work of getting there. 

My husband and I could not convince them to cross-country with us. Instead we experimented at a local downhill resort. Surprisingly, the technique of slalom skiing came back to me and I quickly weaned myself off the bunny hill. My son was thrilled with the black diamonds and finally convinced me to try them out. I have learned how to be more cautious and stay in control, probably due to my cross-country training. I think it helped him pick up the sport easily,too.

So here I am, with two sets of season rentals in my car, looking at brochures for ski resorts in the area. I am sure my parents think this sounds like a deja vu. I am just looking forward to spending some fun times with my kids this winter. We do whatever it takes, right?

Downhill Skiing

Image by RenoTahoe via Flickr

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 11:15:35

    “We do what it takes. . .” as long as it doesn’t involve putting two sticks on my feet and very gracelessly (because graceful has never been one of my talents) careening down a hill full of rocks, trees and other things that could cause you to stop faster than you really want to. If skis had a brake pedal, maybe. Good for you – having courage and energy that I do not, and the chutzpah to just go for it!

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  2. themiddlegeneration
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 12:39:15

    I think it’s called “Keeping up with the Kids”. As long as they are in the house, I’ll be trying to stay a step ahead of them.

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  3. stmarco7
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 13:02:09

    The runaway ski made your blog! So funny! Glad to hear that you are more graceful and careful in your middle years! 😉 I like suggestion above for a brake petal and that is pretty much what it would take for me to get back on downhill skis. That said snow has been piling on the nearby mountains so I’m looking forward to some x country.

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  4. themiddlegeneration
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 13:18:45

    I know the pictures are from a few years ago, but they bring back some memories,eh? Do you remember watching your nephew go down the black diamond, and how worried we were as he disappeared around the corner? You would definitely not want to see what he does on downhill skis!

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  5. Looking Out The Window
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 11:01:06

    You really hit the nail on the head if you live somewhere winter includes snow you have to embrace it.

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  6. Trackback: Ski Lessons « themiddlegeneration

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