“Exactly one day in your life your kid will ski as good as you do. The next day he’ll ski better than you.”
Just the other day I was admiring the January image of snow covered ski trails in my Vermont Life Calendar. I then noticed this Warren Miller quote and chuckled to myself, thinking “ain’t that the truth”. After last week’s Ski Cubs program at Bolton Valley this quote couldn’t hit any closer to home. As soon as we began skiing around, practicing balance while clicked into only one ski I could see that this day would represent a tipping point. Kids zipped down the hill, full of confidence, seeking ways to make the ride a little more difficult. They were improving at amazing rates, challenging instructors and parents to keep up with them and seizing every opportunity to better their elders.
They no longer struggled to click into bindings, nor shuffled around the flats, cautiously figuring out the mechanics of movement. This past week they took to the trails with determination. The Bolton Valley Nordic trail system isn’t an easy place to learn how to ski. Where sustained flats are few, and fast,winding hills are the norm, terrain does not take it easy on beginners. We ventured into some new areas — steep trails with sharp turns, trails I expected to cause many crashes. Watching them navigate these tough sections with skill I soon realized I was underestimating them. For many kids this was that exact day they would ski as well as their parents and for others that day had likely already passed.
So now that they’ve successfully tackled hills where do we go from here? I think that if it were up to these guys we’d be building jumps to launch off of or heading off-trail into untracked snow. Although there might be some budding backcountry skiers in Ski Cubs we will make sure they remain on the trail with both skis! We’ll continue to hone skills, practice hills, and just have some good old fashioned fun out there. And to all you parents out there….watch out. That day when you are no longer a better skier than your kids is just around the corner.