Friday, March 29, 2013


As a college student in Salt Lake City, I probably got as many days of skiing in as I did going to classes.  And my undergrad transcript showed it, too.  That 5 year program I was on somehow worked out: I got a college degree and I developed a pretty deep base for skiing all kinds of terrain.  In anticipation of moving to the Midwest, I didn't really struggle leaving behind much of anything - I was ready for a change and open to new possibilities.  But when it came to what I would miss the most, it wasn't mountain biking or hiking, nor river running or backpacking - it was leaving behind a sport I loved to the bone in a place I loved just as deeply.  It was a gradual grieving process though, one I started a year prior to the move and a process that included as many days of skiing as I could manage.  It would turn out to be the perfect exit.  For my last season, I skied until I dropped and when it was over, it was over.

That didn't mean I wasn't tempted to find out what the Midwest hills had to offer.  After checking them out, I decided that it'd be my chance to take up snowboarding or I thought I'd volunteer to be the club advisor for a ski-school group.  Or best of all, I might perfect a snowplow.  All of those were acceptable options, but then I found a rock climbing class listed on one of those UW-Madison catalogues and from that class on, skiing became secondary.

It was just as well, too.  I spent some years establishing myself with all the basics to be a decent climber indoors and out, and then had Misa.  Then John-Pio.  We had already started Emma on skis just as she turned 5, and just as quickly as she became proficient on her own skis, Misa turned 2, John-Pio turned 1 and there was more time to snowplow.  Both kids were on skis as soon as they could walk and now all three of them are coming into their own as skiers.

And it's all happening as I feel a conflicting surge of re-dedication to the sport I love a lot, and the one I now realize I just set aside for 17 years.  It's all very timely, too.  Each kid is self-sufficient with their clothing, gloves, boots, and skis and they're even skate skiing on the flat parts.  Not only that, but they're bombing down the hills which now makes it possible for me to do some real turns and get in some real ski time.   I really should be relishing in this new freedom, the kind that releases my responsibility from ski-caretaker.  But instead I feel like it's too soon, like I still want these kids to need my pole to pull them around and need my help buckling their boots and putting on their gloves.  Not to need me for the sake of needing their mama . . . No, it's not that at all.  It has more to do with what I will be leaving behind once again as they point their skis straighter and straighter down the hill.

It's really that I still want to SNOWPLOW!

Ask Brad.  He can vouch for my love of snowplowing.

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