'Sheila I really wish you would try using your poles.'
'Ken I gotta be honest, I really don't know what they are for.'
Loud sigh. 'They are a timing device, I'll show you.'
My ski instructor Ken expertly heads down the hill, over exaggerating his pole planting while shouting instructions at me. 'Now you do it.'
The lessons have been going well. I have managed to get down every blue run Ken has shown me. I think one of the things I most enjoy is experiencing different runs on the mountain that I would never bother to go on with my board. Seeing the mountain through the eyes of a beginner has opened up whole new terrain for me. I feel like I am really improving, really getting this whole 'skiing' thing.
I head down the hill in my best 'I'm- such-a-great-student-look-at-how-good-I-am' style.
Secretly hoping to impress Ken, I do a few confident pole plants - really digging the poles into the snow (which I am hoping looks pro). I finish my run with an expert hockey stop and a big smile.
'Sheila, in all my 30+ years I have never seen anything like that...'
My smile widens.
'…you were pole planting up hill.'
Ok, so I have a little ways to go before I hit the double blacks. But in the five weeks I was in the freeride group with Ken as my instructor I seriously improved. I face down the hill while skiing. When I started I just went across the entire run with a scared expression on my face. I can do a proper stop, no more pizza for me. And I can even pole plant now.
I will be able to take our baby girl out next year with confidence. That was that main thing I wanted to achieve with skiing this season and I am so happy I did! My husband and I will be trying baby girl in the Wee Ski parent participation lessons next season. They are wonderful hour long classes on the magic carpets for tots 2 -5 years of age. We have done a couple with our nephew, who after never being on skis in his life was skiing on his own at the end of his first lesson!
As we wrap up on the season I want to really thank all the staff at the Mtn Kids Daycare. The atmosphere down there is always incredibly friendly and caring. I should really stress that not only the daycare staff but everyone was always so welcoming and kind. It made the experience a really positive one for me and my baby girl. Baby girl would like to give a shout out to Bonnie and Mr. Potato Head for all the great times.
Have a great summer everyone! Get outside and get your kids on bikes!