My son and I are taking ski lessons this year. Ober Gatlinburg offers a special program to homeschoolers in January and February. The age minimum is seven.
Oh, the lessons we learned as we went to our first lessons last Sunday! In no particular order, we learned how to:
- pick up skis, poles, and helmets
- rent a locker for our own boots
- return said rentals
- “park” said rentals so we could go have lunch
- fall the right way
- get up the right way
- get into skis the right way
- turn left and right
- stop on a bunny hill
- come to a stop on an intermediate hill
- get back up a hill when there is no chair lift
- persevere through the fear and discouragement
- stop laughing at people who fall
- help those who ask for help
- make a phone call without cell signal
I can’t say enough about this first powder day. The fears we faced and overcame probably rank highest on my list of accomplishments so far this year. Many thanks to my son who was my teacher in the subject of Perseverance. At seven, he knows how to persevere. He kept falling and could not even get back up. He got so tangled in his skis and poles, the teacher had to walk over to help him many times. And he got up. Again, and again, and again.
It was just the two of us in the class, so it helped. But that meant I was left to my own devices, which are not many on a ski slope. Thankfully, it was a bunny hill. After falling a couple of times, I managed to stay in control and learned to apply the advice the teacher gave us.
Here’s the tricky part in today’s lesson: the teacher showed us how to turn left and right, but nothing appeared to be moving in her body. And yet, she was turning. She was doing something invisible with her toes… Lifting the right toe if she wanted to turn left and viceversa. The body remained the same, except sometimes she showed us the technique of looking briefly in the direction of the turn.
Anyway, #tryJanuary means skiing lessons for me and my son because I despise cold weather. I decided that if we were to spend any time in nature it was going to have to be doing a winter sport, like skiing. Ice skating can be done year round at Ober Gatlinburg – so we can always do that another time. Plus I have been waiting for these ski lessons since last year, when I first heard about them, but my son was still only six. And I really did not want another #dryJanuary…
Even though it has been warm – 57 F or 13 C – they managed to have three slopes opened at Ober that day, just enough for beginners to go out there and have some fun in the open air. Needless to say, my son did not want to leave. After the lesson, we stayed on for another four hours, trying our best to rehearse the moves we learned.
I so look forward to Lesson nr. 2, next Sunday. See you on the slopes!