Saturday, February 20, 2016

My Daughters are Awesome

The title of this blog was what I was thinking yesterday as I was skiing at Purgatory Ski Resort near Durango, Colorado. Before I get to why I was thinking "My Daughters are Awesome" at that particular moment, I need to talk a little bit about skiing. Anyone who knows me, knows that skiing is a big part of who I am. It could probably be safely argued that skiing is the only sport I've always loved. I would guess that in my 45 years of life, I've probably skied at least one day a year (if not many many more) in 40 of my 45 years. It was my father who introduced me and my brothers to skiing at a very young age (back when skiing was affordable and my father didn't realize what kind of debt this addiction would place on his children). Today my brothers and I are still into skiing (in varying degrees), and although I might not be the best skier in the family (yes, I'm giving that one to you Alex), I would argue that I was always a fan of the sport (unlike Alex when he was little).

When my daughters were old enough (I arbitrarily decided that was 4 years old), I introduced them to skiing. For both of my daughters it wasn't always their favorite activity. The west snow of the Pacific Northwest is not necessarily the best conditions to introduce a four year old to skiing, let alone anyone. Having taught skiing on and off over a period of 13 years, I knew that it was possible, with enough patience and perseverance, to take a four year old child with some degree of coordination, and have them confidently skiing down a beginner run in a single season. I also knew that the parent isn't always the best person to be the ski instructor (I'm also learning that the parent isn't always the best person to be the school teacher, but that's a story for another blog post).
Alex helping teach Siena learn to ski
A younger Nadia and Siena enjoying apr├Ęs-ski with uncle Nick
After a few weeks of skiing, first in New Mexico and now in Colorado, it really struck me how much of a family activity skiing has become for me. Both my daughters are now able to ski most any named ski run at any ski resort, and my oldest daughter can probably ski any run at any resort (I'm just afraid to take her on runs with 'no fall zones'). However, Purgatory was a different kind of resort than what we had previously skied. It had these super long, super steep, completely groomed runs. In some cases they were runs that I thought were too steep to be groomed (I would have loved to watch the cat try and groom a couple of these runs). These are the type of runs just beg to be flown down taking your skis to their limits. Skiing with my family, I have generally taken runs in sections, where I'd ski a ways, then wait for everyone to catch back up. By mid afternoon, I just needed to really open it up, so on a particular fun, long, steep, run I opened it up. I was enjoying myself so much that it took me a while to realize I need to stop and figure out if I still had a family somewhere on the mountain. I  quickly slowed to a stop, and not more than 10 seconds behind me was Siena, and not more than another 20 seconds behind her was Nadia. The two of them had been tearing down the mountain just on my heels, laughing and loving the run they had just finished. The only reason they hadn't passed me was because they weigh less, they have far shorter skies, and I asked them to follow me. This is when the thought popped in my head "My Daughters are Awesome". Sure it is always true that they are awesome (although sometimes I'm not necessarily thinking it), but at that moment, that was the one thing that popped in my head, and I made sure to tell them that.

Nadia at Ski Santa Fe
Brandon, Siena and I are about to explore the steeps at Taos Ski Valley
The girls ripping it up at Purgatory
Kathy is awesome too, but that is something else that will get it's own blog post.

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