I share the ambition to get my family on skis. Since meeting my husband, I have put on skis once. In my postpartum identity crisis reflection, I realized I had spent a lot of time on skis; I had great memories of my ski trips; and skiing was one of my favorite ways to explore the outdoors.
Before you think I could go tip to tip with Olympic hopefuls, I am a true blue skier. That means sticking largely to the intermediate trails (blue square in U.S.) I have been fortunate to ski a few olympic runs (the giant slalom runs are usually blue) as well as ski with competitive skiers who pushed my limits.
But, I didn’t start skiing until I was 12. (Heck, I didn’t even see real snow until I was seven or eight.) Watching kids shorter than my ski poles zip down the slopes, I saw the advantages of starting early. That is why I am dreaming of getting my daughter on skis and watching her squeal with joy as she snowplows down the bunny slope.
Last year we tried and failed. We, included my brother who was a competitive skier and still is an extreme skier. Not that we were looking to get Mirielle on the K-22 her first day, but, I was not expecting her to burst into tears when we snapped her boots into the bindings. Our tactics to get her interested failed. She preferred to dig in the snow.
This year, I am going to try again. Her awareness of peers is growing now so visiting a local ski area on President’s Day to watch other little kids learning to ski might help. If that doesn’t increase her interest, I think a few hours of Olympic coverage will.
As a true blue skier, I want to motivate her and enable her, but prefer a more competent instructor teach her. As with kids programs at many resorts, most ski schools start lessons at four years old. Is it an insurance thing? A potty training thing? Why so late? Vermont and Maine ski areas have a good selection of group lesson programs for three year olds.
While I prefer to try something close to home first, we will probably take a weekend trip to a neighboring state. The upside is my husband agreed to take a ski lesson. It will be his first time on skis so he is starting at the same place as Mirielle but a few decades older. My dog loves the ski slopes too, so this year skiing might become a family affair.