This ski season, I made a promise to my son. I promised him that I would learn to ski. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking.
‘You’ve never skied? And you’ve lived where you do for how long?’
It’s true. To top it off, I grew up in an area surrounded by ski resorts and never learned to ski.
‘What? How is that possible?’ you ask.
Well, you see I didn’t grow up in a skiing family. My dad avoided all things athletic. And my mom, well, she’s athletic, but I remember the last time she went skiing. I was three. My mom left the house very early to ride the bus to the ski resort. I asked my dad as many times as possible that day when Mommy would be home. I don’t remember the answer. I filled my day with waiting for my mom to come home. I waited in the house, in my room, in the hallway. Wherever I was, I waited. I would ask my dad seven times or so if he knew when my mom would come home, then I’d go back to my room. He sat on the couch watching television all day. I’m sure he fed me at some point, but I have forgotten that detail and filled my memory with the waiting. It was one of the longest days of my life.
At last my mom came home. I remember her carrying her skis up the stairs and putting them in the hall closet. My life returned to a normal pace and I stopped wrinkling my forehead with worry. My dad remained on the couch. I’m sure I jumped all over my mom with excitement that she had come home from a day of skiing. I’m sure my dad felt relief that my mom had come home and that I would therefore leave him the hell alone and not ask that one question anymore. I would guess that my mom felt a longing for the couch or a chair or a something so she could rest while I expressed my delight at her return.
And that’s the first and last exposure to skiing that I had.
Then I grew up (partly), graduated from college and moved to Colorado as quickly as I could. That was 13 years ago.
About 10 years ago, I tried snowboarding. I didn’t take a real lesson and the conditions were all wrong, except for the snow. I didn’t enjoy it one bit, so I returned my snowboard to the rental shop at the end of the day and went back home or more likely work and didn’t revisit the subject until this past winter.
I made good on my promise to my son a few weeks ago that I would try skiing this year. I did it the right way. I rented gear and signed up for a lesson. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I ended up being the only person in the class. Maybe it was supposed to be that way, but it got me hooked on skiing like a girl in the 1980s to her Jane Fonda workout tapes.
I took to the sport well and can hardly wait to get out there again, so the lesson worked. And I have another sport to do with my son. So, next year when he asks me if he can ride the lift and show me a trick, instead of saying, “No, you need another adult to go with you,” I’ll be able to say, “Yeah, let’s go!”