Who else has Ski Week in their school district? Every year we get mid-winter break in February. My kids heard me refer to it as Ski Week once and the name has stuck. Funny part is, we have never actually been skiing. This year, my kids decided they really wanted to try it. We did not make it during February break (thank you COVID scare) but we did make it a few weeks later and the kids got to experience skiing for the first time. I interviewed my kids on their first-time skiing experience and am sharing their thoughts with you.
The Setup: Thanks to my best friend R, we went up to Mount Shasta and stayed with her family to try skiing. She was part of her school’s ski team in Jackson, Wyoming. She, her husband, and their two children AL and T have been skiing all pandemic long at Mount Shasta Ski Park. The Ski Park has excellent rates and package deals that include lessons, rentals, and an all-day pass that can be booked online. We stayed at her vacation home which was about 30 minutes from the ski park. Neither of my children had skied before. My son was the one who had initially wanted to try. My daughter was talked into it by AL who was desperate to ski with her friend. Both kids took lessons in the morning (My son, 11, with the junior/adults and my daughter, 8, had a child lesson), and then skied the bunny slopes with my friend R and her husband in the afternoon.
Why did you want to try skiing in the first place?
Son – “One reason was because it was ski week. We had never actually skied during ski week. I wanted to see if this was something worth doing. I wanted to make sure I was into it. The name ski week definitely attracted me to it.”
Daughter – “Because it was ski week. Once someone who knows skiing told me it wouldn’t be so bad, I thought, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe I’ll try it.”
What was your favorite part of skiing?
Son – “My favorite part was when I was on the slow slopes in my skiing lesson, and I was able to go up without falling down. I made 7 attempts. 2 of my first attempts started with falling down. The last one of my attempts was also falling down. It was my favorite part because all the other times I need to be helped up and I had a soaring pain whenever I fell down.”
Daughter – “My favorite part of skiing was getting to ski with AL and T on the bunny hill. I got to ski with someone I know, and I got to get lessons on how to get better from someone I know.”
What was the most frustrating part?
Son – “The parts where I couldn’t get up when I fell down and I needed help. I found a way, it was pretty easy, but still every time I moved my hips it hurt a lot. [To get up] I would push down on the hooks [on the skis] and took the skis off, then I stood up, then I put back on the skis.
Daughter – “When I fell back and hit my head when I was trying to do a zig zag. All the other kids could do a zig zag and I wanted to do one too.”
What surprised you the most about skiing?
Son – “What surprised me was how easy it is to get out of control. But I shouldn’t have been surprised by it. I saw people doing it so effortlessly. I thought it was easy to learn. How mistaken I was. “
Daughter – “What surprised me the most about skiing is that it could be really hard to understand. And you are not skiing on snow, you are skiing on ice, just soft ice that looks like snow. The hard kind of snow.”
What would you do differently if you had to do it again?
Son – “I would listen to my teacher more. I would try and try and try to get up his way until I just could not. If I could do the whole experience differently, I would try and do the duck walk more. I would try a little bit more to turn to the side when I fall over deliberately.”
Daughter – “I would not go do the zig zag. It was a thing where we were trying our turns out. Everyone was doing it, so I wanted to do that. I had the hoop and I started to do my balance. I started to lean backwards and fell back and hit my head. I would not even try it.”
Do you want to try it again? Why or why not?
Son – “Yes. It feels so fun, sometimes. It feels fun and when you are in control going down fast speeds, you should feel it, it’s amazing!”
Daughter – “Maybe. Because the experience was really bad for my first time, but it still seems like fun or something that I would want to do. It was fun because I got to try something new, I got to embrace the snow, I got to have fun with some of my friends, and I got to just have fun.”
I am not coordinated, I never did well skiing. After two knee surgeries I was not going to try in my 40s. But I wanted to encourage my kids, so when they asked, I jumped on it. I watched my son in his lesson, and I was very worried. He has his father’s caution and I saw he was not really progressing through the lesson. But once he got out on the bunny slope with his godfather, in a few runs, he had him learning how to zig zag down the hill and enjoying it. My son did way better with his godfather than he did in the two-hour lesson. He still had trouble stopping but he did not panic as much near the end.
My daughter at the lesson quickly got the hang of going up the magic carpet and skiing down the hill. She honestly looked great, and I thought she would enjoy the longer bunny hill.
But on her very last run down in the class, she fell backwards and hit her head. She was wearing a helmet and was perfectly fine, but it scared her. It was a shame because after that she was clinging to her godmother the whole way down the bunny slope. She did much better by her last run and I think if I asked her to go again next year, she would do it and have forgotten about the fall.
Final Thoughts I would say that interview ending surprised me. The kids seemed to focus on all the bad things that happened skiing, I was worried they would never want to try again. But even given all the setbacks, my son really wants to try again. He now realizes that it is something that is learned and not as easy as it looks but is still interested in the challenge. My daughter said maybe, but I have a feeling if AL asked her, she would do it again. It is March, so I do not foresee skiing again this winter, but I expect that we may try and make it again next ski week. Because if at first you don’t succeed, try try again!