This past November our local 4-H Club announced this amazing program where kids (grades 3-12) and their parents could sign up to learn how to ski or snowboard for a fraction of the ski resort price. I jumped at this opportunity and signed Odin and myself up for a package that includes three full ski days at Brian head Resort, ski or board rentals, and lessons, for just $90 each! Such an awesome deal!
With Brian head being just 25 minutes away from our house I've really enjoyed getting myself up there each winter to play in the mountains. It's such a rejuvenating, exhilarating experience to be able to get away from my day-today responsibilities for a day and just feel the pure adrenaline and excitement of my favorite snow sport.
However, I've also been dying to get my kids up there with me because when you truly enjoy something it's natural to want to share it with your favorite little people. But so far, Odin is the only one that has showed any interest.
Our first ski day was February 3rd! Odin signed up to learn how to snowboard and I signed up to take lessons to improve my snowboarding technique (since I'm already a pretty experienced snowboarder I didn't need beginner lessons). It was so much fun heading up there with my boy! I was really hoping he could feel the excitement and energy of being on the mountain with me!
After everyone from the 4-H club arrived we split into our various lesson-groups until we met up later for lunch. The instructors took the beginners to this teeny little bunny slope where they got to ride a "magic carpet" to the top and then ride down while learning all the basics. Odin did pretty well in his lessons, but in true Odin fashion he got extremely frustrated that he didn't "get it" right away. He ended up staying on the bunny slope all day, not wanting to leave until he'd mastered how to stop his snowboard correctly. I tried to convince him that one of the fun parts of learning to snowboard is riding the ski lift to the top of the mountain and then figuring it out on the way down! Even with all the falls, fails, bumps, and bruises, it's still really fun!
He didn't buy my plan and so stayed on the bunny slope until he decided it was time to go home and call it a day.
I am so proud of him for trying, though. Snowboarding is a really hard sport to master and he gave it his best shot.
Meanwhile, I ended up spending my morning with one-on-one lessons from a private instructor. They didn't mean for it to happen that way but several people in my lesson-group didn't show up so I got the royal treatment.
The instructor and I took the ski lift to the top of the mountain together so he could follow me down and watch my technique then give me any tips on improvement.
I am happy so say that I got rave reviews on my snowboarding performance. haha. He told me my technique looked great and my skill level was admirable (probably for my age and life circumstances but anywho, It was a feel good moment!)
Then he asked me if I'd like to learn how to switch-stance. This is where you switch from having your dominant foot forward to having the other foot forward and back again. It can be a lot of fun to switch back and forth between the two feet as you zoom down the slopes, even though learning would take some new mental skills.
We spent the next half-hour trying to teach me to overcome my mental blocks with not much luck. I've been a regular-foot surfer and snowboarder for the past 20+ years who never attempted much with switching my stance. It was hard for me to switch in my mind and thus tell my brain to use the appropriate muscles to make it happen. I spent a good part of the morning tumbling down the mountain with many bruises, bumps, falls, and fails along the way. But it was all part of the fun, right?
Overall we had a great time. As part of the package we also got to do a tour of the facilities and learn more about the behind-the-scenes operations of the ski-resort. Here's O and his friends listening to ski-patrol give a quick briefing on safety.
Even though little O didn't want to go back up with me for the second ski-day on March 10th, I was proud of him for trying the first time.
So, this past Saturday I got to go up for a full ski-day by myself (and some friends), which was glorious!
I got so many runs in that by the end of the day I was exhausted from happy over-exertion. I haven't attempted to try switching stance since that last time, but I will try again another day. Probably on a more powdery soft day and possibly with a helmet on. :)
Our next ski club day is on March 31st. I'm hoping that between now and then I can convince at least one of my kids to come back up there with me and feel the pure joy of riding the snow waves. :)