I should probably start by saying, skiing isn’t my favorite thing in the world to do, but I enjoy it. Part of the reason I don’t love it, other than the freezing temperatures and the feeling of constant imminent danger, is I didn’t learn to ski until I was an adult. In fact, I’m still not a super good skier, I may fall getting off a chair lift occasionally, and I definitely had a couple of minor crashes on my latest trip, one of them I was told could be classified as a “yard sale” where my skis and body were spread out all over the snow.
But this story isn’t about me and my ability to ski, it’s about my kids, and how quickly they’re able to learn (and try) something new. Middle Man learned to ski earlier this year when we went to Boyne, Michigan for a weekend. He spent two days in ski school, learned to put on his equipment, get on a magic carpet, and do pizza and french fries with his skis. He basically knew the bare minimum about skiing before we headed out on this trip. But, after only a day of ski school in Colorado, I was amazed at how well this little guy was skiing.
After his day at ski school, he begged me to go skiing with him. I agreed, and almost instantly wished I hadn’t. We started at the top of a run and within seconds he was off…down the mountain. I seriously tried as hard as I could to keep up. Then he threw me a major curve ball, he was taking me over bumps, through trees, and finally over a narrow wooden bridge. I was freaked out, not that I could show any of this emotion to my son, but holy cow, where did this kid get the nerves to do all this?
I guess the take home point of all this is, get your kids out doing/learning as much as possible at a young age. The fact that I didn’t learn to ski until I was into my thirties made it much harder for me to learn the basic skills, and my fears of going fast still won’t allow me to be as good/competent of a skier as I potentially could have been.
Just simply exposing my kids to this (admittedly, 100% at my wife’s encouragement) gives them a huge advantage to it carrying over in their adult life.
In addition to learning a new skill, skiing has also built up my kids confidence tremendously. Think about it, if you can launch yourself down a 12,000 ft mountain, at the age of five, is there anything in life you can’t accomplish?