I confess I had some selfish motivations for this trip. I haven't been on skis since taking a nasty spill and fracturing my tibial plateau (top of the tibia) three years ago. I definitely had/have some fear and trepidation about the whole business. Taking Nicky turned out to be a good way to ski a little and face a pretty major fear while keeping things light on the easy slopes.
I can't explain why exactly, because I'm perfectly fine being afraid of or just not doing some things
(skydiving, rock-climbing, running a marathon, attempting to knit again) but I really want to ski. I
want to have something our family can go and do all together, especially as the kiddos get older (even if they don't want to be seen with their nerdy parents).
It's an obvious metaphor of course, but this really is how I want to live my life. I want to figure out which things matter to me and face the fear, rational or otherwise, that would keep me from doing them.
So, we did it. I took it super easy, and the lifts still freak me out (I have a slightly irrational moment of sheer terror every time I have to get off of one, and have to give myself little pep talks. I think I might have actually said out loud "You'll be fine. Just lean forward and do your pizza," to myself at least once. Ha!) Nicky, however, sailed right through. He spent a few hours learning the basic balance stuff without poles, and got the hang of it much faster than we expected. I can really see the value of learning these types of things as a child. Oh, and being the oh-so-humble child he is, he pronounced himself a better skier than me about halfway through the day....this was after I gushed about how fast he was learning, and how much longer it had taken me to learn. This boy....
Toward the end of the day, we rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain. I loved seeing the less populated parts of the mountain, where it's quiet and foggy, and you just hear the sound of people's skis and snowboards in the snow. At the bottom, where so many people are learning, there's loud music playing and people falling everywhere, and you can sort of feel the anxiety in the air. Up at the top, it just feels peaceful. I got a small sense of the joy of skiing before I hurt myself. I crave that feeling again; that simple joy.
Nicky was predictably exhausted by the late afternoon. I'm so happy it was a fun experience for him, and I'm glad I stared down the fear monster. I still have some work to do in that department, but this was a huge first step.