Monday, May 9, 2011

Last Day of Skiing

On the last Saturday of April, Dave and I took the two older kids for one last ski trip. Even though that weekend we were in the midst of trying to clean out the junk room (and turn it into a room for something other than junk), I had bought a Groupon for skiing at Mt. Hood Skibowl and it was the last day we could use it before it expired. So we left our unsorted junk piles and skied.

It was the second time we took them skiing this season. They had an all-day lesson the first time and a shorter lesson this time, so by the end of the day they could ski most of the lower bowl. We could actually ski together as a group and have a lot of fun. This was of course a long way from where we started that day.
Jared bombing down the mountain.
Our first run of the day started with some barely downhill could-be-cross-country-skiing paths. As soon as we got to the part of the mountain that was actually downhill, Camryn refused to ski and launched into a tantrum and tears and “Why can’t we ski at the place we skied last time instead?” Apparently the other resort's bunny hill was more bunny and less racer rabbit. I skied with Jared while Dave dealt with the crying and protestations that it was too hard and why couldn't she just get back on the lift and take it back down the mountain. When Jared and I had gotten to the bottom of the mountain, taken the lift back up and caught up to them on our second time down, I told Dave to trade places with me. I spent another 20 minutes trying to convince her that she could get down the mountain in one piece if she would just try and do what I showed her. I'd seen her ski before and she was perfectly capable of doing this hill. She was just scared and looking all the way down the mountain instead of looking to the next turn. Finally after using every technique/imagery/motivational trick in my book I just told her she could have a Slurpee if she did three turns without crying or falling. Apparently sugar is a much more effective short-term motivator than either reminders of past success or promises of future skiing glory. Bribery did its work and we made it to the bottom of the mountain fairly quickly thereafter.

I am sure there is some deep life lesson to be drawn from this... about all the times I figuratively sit on the hill screaming, "I can't go down! It's too hard! I like the other easier hill better!" while meanwhile God is saying, "Just do a turn or two and get started. You'll be fine. I know you can do it." I don't know if God stoops to Slurpee bribery (although if you made it Oregon Ice Works sorbet, I'd be  WAY more tempted) but maybe he does stand next to us on the hill, offering some encouragement, waiting for us to finish our tantrums and just start doing turns again. 
Jared and Camryn during their ski lesson.
During the middle of the day, Jared and Camryn had a one-hour ski lesson. It was supposed to be a two-hour group lesson, but it was just the two of them, so the instructor made it a one-hour semi-private lesson instead. While they got coaching and practice on making turns, Dave and I went to the top of the mountain to tackle a black diamond. Given my fear of heights, I think it is pretty amazing that I have gotten to the point where I can ski a black diamond-- and not just make it down alive, but actually stay in control the entire time. Now if only I can get to the point where I can relax and enjoy it (and not breathe a huge sigh of relief at the bottom that I'm still alive).... But hey, this is my blog so I can toot my own horn and say, "Hooray for me!" if I want to. (This hill looks WAAY steeper in real life. Especially from the top. Just sayin'.)

Me at the bottom of the black diamond.

It was a great day with surprisingly good snow--especially considering it was the end of April. By the end of the day even Camryn admitted that this resort was pretty fun and she would do it again-- a far cry from her earlier attempts to get me to promise that we would never come back to this ski resort. I don't know if I would go that far about my figurative "ski hills," but maybe just getting to the bottom, breathing a sigh of relief and saying, "Hey, I'm still alive!" is good enough too.
Camryn after deciding skiing wasn't so bad after all.

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