Those words still haunt me. I was 17 years old and a senior in high school. I put on skis for the first time in my life. It was not pretty.
But I was not prepared for how clumsy I’d instantly become. As soon as I pushed off the ski lift, I regretted my decision. I breathed a heavy sigh of determination and headed down the hill. Food, fire and warmth awaited me and I was going to get there.
Push. Stop. Goooooooooo. Stop. Woooahh!! Stop. Push. Stop.
I was going so slow, then too fast, then I fell. I dreamed of pretending my leg was broken so a patrol could drive me down the hill in their snowmobile.
I cursed a little under my breath as I strained to pull myself up. I had a friend coaching me this entire time. “Annie, you are doing great! I was the same way my first time!” I wanted to hurl snow in her face.
Then, those words.
A dad flew by with his 5 year old daughter. As she zoomed past me on her own set of skis, he said that phrase. That awful phrase. To his baby girl. “Look honey! You are doing better than she is!”
I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed, mad, or hate myself for my clumsiness. I forgot everything I learned in our little ski school that morning and just tried to get down the dang hill.
I am so glad I gave it a chance. That father might have been trying to help give his baby girl confidence, but it shook me. It also told me the importance of getting my children to try new things when they are young. At places like Mammoth Mountain in California you can enroll your kids in classes and they even have intertubes for going down the hills! I’d choose the tubing. Totally.
Mammoth Mountain is where I want to take my kids really soon. This resort has every kind of amenity and class you can think of. They have childcare for babies, classes for young children (and adults like me that don’t know a thing about skiing). Or – what I really want – is to leave the kids with grandma and enjoy one of their romance packages! No matter what, my experience at Mammoth Mountain simply has to be better than my flop in Colorado.
Do you take your children to experience new things young? Have you had a similar experience to mine?