This winter I decided to teach my 4-year old to ski.
One month ago I was lukewarm on the idea. The sport is fussy, expensive, and I just didn’t know what Edie would make of the mountain. I grew up skiing, thanks to my intrepid parents and the Ski Wednesday program offered through our public schools. It’s close to my heart. I’ve skied periodically throughout adulthood, though never had my own equipment (city-dwelling baby mama and all). Furthermore, Suze Orman, that good-sense financial advisor, suggests the young, fabulous, and broke refrain from expensive hobbies if we ever want to build up our retirement savings. So I spent many years veering away from the mountains, but loving a day on the slopes when I could.
The tides turned a few weeks ago after watching a documentary about a phenomenal skier named Shane McConkey. Once a teenage Olympic hopeful, he went astray after being cut from the team, delivering pizzas, couch-crashing, and embodying the ski bum lifestyle. He was an incredible athlete, though, and continued to perfect his technique. Over a decades-long career, he pushed the sport to the limit, popularized free skiing (think gymnastics on skis), and ultimately changed the design of modern skis.
At one point in the film, a young Shane says “I’m getting maximum enjoyment out of life and I’ll never stop”. He did everything for the thrill of it. He had no concern for status quo, and lived his life to the max.
I’m not an extreme or exceptionally passionate person, but his perspective struck a chord. Life is for living. Enjoy it. Yes, skiing is expensive but I can blow the cost of a lift ticket within twenty minutes at Target (sorry, Suze). After Christmas, my mom and I took Edie skiing. I figured we could build up the Frozen-snow-on-a-mountain thing, which is cool in her book. We rented gear, got suited up, and I brought Edie to her first lesson. Afterwards, we went up and down the bunny hill together until my legs were crying from hovering and squatting over her. She didn’t want to leave. This was the best outcome I could’ve imagined! I can’t wait to go back.
Skiing isn’t for everyone. Luckily, enjoyment and adventure can be found in so many places, not just on a mountain. We spend so much time caring for our homes, our jobs, our families, taking care of daily b.s. Channel your inner Shane and seek out the activities that bring a monster smile to your face.