01 January 2010
harder, better, faster, stronger
We just returned from our family ski trip. My oldest, 12, is a great skier and now snowboarder - he started at 4. My middle son, nearly 9 and not yet crossed over to the board side, is now flying over high ramps and sliding rails - he started at 3. My youngest, 5.5, made the biggest strides and graduated from the Magic Carpet up a baby hill to the rope tow to the lifts and even did some intermediate terrain - he started at 2 but took last year off. They all have a need for speed...I think they have that thrill-seeking gene.
I started as an adult in my late twenties. I didn't have the benefit of childhood fearlessness. I always skied very conservatively (read SLOWLY)! I thought I was in decent shape but until this year with the triathlon training and major slimming down, I was not. I used to sweat and huff and puff and felt sore and achy; I assumed this was just part of skiing and still loved it. But this year was amazing...I was truly a better skier and it all seemed effortless. I could ski more aggressively, mostly keep up with my oldest two kids, have much better form and I was never sore. My feet used to cramp from squeezing so much, out of stress and fear I think...no longer.
But the biggest revelation came on the last day, when I was once again waiting for my dad (whom we introduced to skiing the year after we started) and my husband to catch up.
I was waiting for them!
For all the years we have been skiing, they always waited for me, stopped for me, asked me if I wanted a rest. Amazing the difference a year makes. When my dad caught up, I thanked him for his patience all these years. It was a bit bittersweet, like a passing of the torch, but I'm cutting the guy some slack - he did have open-heart surgery eight months ago, so I may have to up my game next year if I want to beat him down the mountain.
So on this first day of a new year, a new decade, I will appreciate that today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. It feels good.
Happy new year!