The gentle art of skiing. For those who are contemplating taking up the sport, here’s a simple training exercise:
- Put two giant spring clamps on your bare feet (make ‘em hurt)
- Distribute pounds of ice in various parts of your clothing. Some should touch skin
- Stand outside at night in the middle of winter during a freezing wind storm
- Let $20 bills blow freely from your pockets
- Wait around a lot, than shuffle, than fall. About half way through, stack a bunch of hot food on a tray, and dump it on your lap.
If that’s enjoyable or bearable … you’re ready for the sport.
Interested in becoming an advanced, double diamond skier? Bring a kid or two.
Ah yes … the Indian Guides trip to the local mountains for skiing, boarding, and relaxation. A wonderful environment for wholesome bonding between father and son. It was a standard ski morning for those approaching midlife. Wake up around 8:30 a.m., breakfast, dress, shuffle stuff around, and hit the slopes by 10 a.m. First run will be around 11 a.m. Lunch should follow by noon, last runs in by 3:30 … no injuries, no tears, call it a success.
Jason was poised at the top of the stairs, wearing nearly everything required for top-notch boarding. Unfortunately no long underwear or socks, so we essentially disrobed and started from scratch. All the boys were eventually bundled, and we found two of the six missing boots which were caught up in last night’s pillow fight melee. Check lists were barked by the fathers and we jumped in the car for the slopes.
It was a beautiful weekend for skiing, sunny skies, plenty of snow. Seemed like all 8 million people from the greater Los Angeles Basin felt the same way. Parking was miles from the lift lines. Dropped the crew, battled for parking and the cattle car ride back to ground zero. What appeared to be an hour late finally hooked up with Jason as he patiently waited with the other dads and boys. “Okay Jay, put your gloves on.”
He gave me blank look, clearly indicating he didn’t know what a glove was or he simply didn’t have them. Please be the former.
“I put the gloves in your jacket before we left,” I pointed out.
“I took them out, so I could put my gummy worms in there,” as he pulled a stringy multicolored worm up to my face.
“So where are they now?”
“I dunno,” a common response.
“Jeez Jason, you have to keep track of your stuff. No gloves … another $20.”
“Ok, let’s go buy some. Where’s your hat?”
“With my gloves, he sheepishly replied. “It was making my head itch.” I muttered something and I think he heard the “F” word.
After standing in a long retail line of similarly distraught people (those who are forced to purchase at 300 percent over retail) we purchased the replacement gear and headed outside.
Jason was looking tight and warm again. But before we ski, this would be an opportunity to make one of those “parental life speeches”. For lasting impact, it’s best to allow a cooling off period from the inciting incident, than find a quiet place to chat. Get on your knees, because it’s important to be face to face with a six year old and besides it doesn’t hurt to pray a little. Keep your voice calm, consistent tone, and plenty of sympathy … we’re going in … we’re going for a life lesson … the one they will remember into adulthood … the one “my dad use to say … ”.
“Now Jason, you’re becoming a big boy, and you’ve got a lot more responsibilities, don’t you? His head nods, in full attention to my eyes. “I’m not mad you forgot your hat and gloves. I’m a little disappointed and sad. What if there were no store to buy these things? We couldn’t enjoy the day. I would have to coat your hands in tree sap, and wrap your head with toilet paper. I guess we just got lucky. Your mommy and I expect you’ll take these responsibilities seriously and continue to make us proud. “Come on pal, let’s hit the slopes,” as I gave him a big hug and walked towards our equipment hand in hand. I was feeling like a good dad. That point really hit home, never raised my voice … he’ll take that to heart.
We laughed and snapped into our skis and board. I looked skyward (to the lord) unzipped my jacket pocket and dug deep for my sunglasses … uh … oh.
Jason, can you scratch that last speech.
From the slopes, ltshamon