I’ve been periodically going in and skiing with the students of Lake Placid Elementary School. (Yeah they get to ski in gym class how cool is that!?) It’s been fantastic. I think I relate to 8 year old really well… mostly because we share a very similar level of passion for skiing. You know. Uphills are hard… but pretty awesome. Downhills can be scary…. but also pretty awesome. In general, skiing is… pretty awesome!
The kids seem to really enjoy themselves. I think I’ve only had one kid lay on the ground and yell, “I’m dieing!!!” (yes 8 year olds and I share that too… we can be a little dramatic)
I’ve had four different classes, and once we are all back in the gym. Skis, boots, and poles aside we get to dive into a little Q&A time. With elementary school students it really is a dive. You can’t be sure what you are going to get. And I do my best to field there questions in relatable, appropriate ways. Today brought a gem of a question. “What is your favorite moment on skis?” I did my best to share a good memory of mine, something about what a great day I had racing in Ridnaun last season… But on my run this afternoon I just kept thinking about it. What is my favorite moment on skis???
I honestly don’t know if I can pinpoint ONE favorite moment. One memory… But instead I’d like to share some of my favorites with you.
Most of the moments that come flitting back to me are ones where I did “taboo” things on my skis. I think in part because I skipped that whole “grow up playing on your skis” phase of life. Those moments of frolic and adventure really grab my attention right off the bat. Sharks and minnows with NYSEF and the Dewy Mtn crew. Running across the road on my fish scales and laughing so hard at myself because I thought I was SUCH a rebel. Being coaxed up the Whiteface toll road to the allure of boxed wine and swedish fish with good company. Trying to ski the single track… in the dark.
I have great memories from my first years as a skier. (some more type 3 funny than others)
That day when there was so much snow at practice we couldn’t see our boots or our skis. So much snow that we found ourseleves penquin sliding down the hills on our stomachs. So much snow if felt like we were floating.
I look back fondly all the times Molly’s dad took us skiing at ABR. How he tried to get us to classic ski up this (nonexistent) incline… and how I couldn’t do it. … how I cried about it. I picture myself stomping my feet and cursing that “stupid hill” and that “stupid drill”. I picture myself on the verge of a total break down. and I laugh.
There was that freestyle race I had to classic ski because I had just had knee surgery… and how I almost won.
The weekend I realized a good race didn’t depend on where I finished on the results sheet.
Or how about those rollerskis when its starts raining. You stop and sort of look up at the sky… as if to say, “Really?!?! Rain?? Come on!!!” only for it to start raining even harder.
The days with perfect corduroy or bullet-proof tracks under blue bird skies. When you have unbeatable kick and mind blowing glide. The days when it’s puking snow and you can’t tell which way is up.
This winter when VanHo finally got enough snow to make the trails almost level and you get to bomb down from High Notch with a bunch of 10 year olds in tow. Everyone so excited to be flying through the woods.
Taking a break from racing in Europe to classic ski up some pass in Germany. Only stopping to enjoy cold cokes and hot sausages in the sunshine. Exhaling altogether, as if we finally have all managed to catch our breath again.
Breaking trail up Bozeman Creek as we looked for things to huck ourselves off of. Carrying donuts in our packs.
Trading high fives with Lollipop racers who don’t care that it’s bitter cold and skiing makes them sweat.
I could go on and on. But I’ll spare you from my own nostalgia. I know skiing hasn’t even been part of my life for that long. I guess that just means… I have a lot to look forward to. As I have many favorite moments yet to come.