Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Toot - Dova is a natural skier

Dova skis (cropped)

Two years ago, I took Adam skiing for the first time when he was five. I had seen tiny tots fly down the hill and always imagined that I would have kids that would do that. Both Doug and I learned to ski as adults, so we didn't have the experience of learning to ski before we could even remember. But during Adam's first lesson, he fell so many times and I felt sorry for him and thought he hated it. Afterwards, to my surprise, he said he liked it. After a couple more lessons, he quickly got to the point where he could bop down the bunny hill with no problem. I began to think that he was already past the age of fearlessness at age five, and simply learned to overcome it.

This winter has gone by under the blur of illness for me and after finally recovering to the point of considering to ski, it was halfway through March. Oh no, ski season ends in a few weeks! I quickly signed both kids up for lessons (Dova's first) and hoped for good weather. At first the kids were excited about going, but by the day before, the unstoppable whining began. After spending $160 for half day lessons and rentals for both of them, they were going to go no matter what, barring high fevers and broken limbs. Even after getting the equipment, Dova was still whining that she didn't want to ski and didn't want to take the class. But we found something quite amazing after we put her in the skis. She didn't fall down. She started to slide around and kept her balance. She even slid backwards and thought it was fun. The girl has unbelievable balance. She still kept yelling at us that she didn't want us to help or hold her hand, as she can be extremely independent, but then again, she didn't need our help, only a little to pull her up the incline.

Dova was still tentative at the start of the lesson. But after the instructor took a shining to her, she quickly joined the class. We checked in on her near the end of the lesson and her instructor told us that she had never seen a first time skier like Dova. She said that she skied as if she had been doing it for years, turning in both directions and stopping. Unbelievable! Dova told her that she could ride the "magic carpet" all day long. We watched Dova take the magic carpet up and fly down to the bottom with a graceful turn. Her hands were always poised to keep her in perfect balance. When the lesson was over, she tried to convince the lift operator to "have one more run". So maybe four is the magic age to start kids skiing. I really don't think one year makes that much difference and it depends more on the child. Dova has also had several months of ice skating lessons, so that definitely helps. (Adam started skating after skiing and that first skating lesson was also painful to watch, but he has obviously become a great skater and hockey player since.)

Here is what Dova's instructor wrote on her evaluation card:
Oh my goodness! She is a complete natural. We worked on waking in boots/skis, we did duck walking, straight runs and turning. FABULOUS! Definitely level 2 next time. Thank you SO much!
Of course Adam did very well in his lesson as well and moved up to level 3. Here he is slaloming through the cones:
Slalom through the cones

Now Doug and I have the skiing bug and want to go again next weekend (the "I don't want to go skiing" whining has already started from the kids). The family that skis together stays together, right? Or simply goes broke in the process.


Anonymous said...

That is exciting - our family has never gone skiing - can you believe that? I am such a wimp but I am sure that if we asked our kids they would love to learn. Your kids look so adorable.

Melissa said...

that is so cool. I wish we could do stuff like that around here. There's always water skiing, but it's not quite the same.

But she looks like she's having a blast!

Unknown said...

They are braver than I am :)

Greetings, I am Mama Bear of The Cafe at the End of the Universe Blog (http://cafeendofuniverse.blogspot.com/) and I have stopped by today to let you know you have found your way onto the Magnificent Mamas of the Universe Blogroll, joining numerous moms from throughout the blogosphere. You were selected because I have popped into your blog numerous times and find you to be a great contribution to the mom blogosphere. Please feel free to take one of the 4 specialty tags from the sidebar to add to your site. Welcome.
~ Penelope Anne

Anonymous said...

That is so incredible! Our family has nover gone skiing either... my hubby is 6'5" and I honestly believe he doesn't want to take a tumble.

Good for you guys - I bet the kids had a wonderful time!!

latree said...

Hi. I saw you on Tuesdat Toots and stop by.

What your kid did is faboulous. Skiing is something I think I'll never do..

Bigqueue said...

I totally agree with the comment "The family that skis together, sticks together......this was the case with my wife Cheryl's family. The Merola's were one big skiing family, and went on ski vacations every winter. (They belonged to the Brockton Ski Club, which made it a little less expensive.....they did have 6 kids after all)

I learned to Ski at about 16, and went a fair amount while in High School and college.

But Cheryl could always ski circles around me....yup, her family just went skiing a lot more!

Our family did too.....and our girls started at about 5 I guess. Kim still likes it...Kristen goes, but I don't think she is as excited.

I myself have not been skiing for about 10 years now....i suppose it is time, huh?

Anonymous said...

Not taking anything away from your kids but the reason kids are so well able to ski is because their center of gravity is actually below the skis (skiis?). I started learning to ski when I was 16 and fell often, my two younger brothers (6 and 8 at the time) almost never fell over and when they did it was usually because they'd crossed the skiis accidentally.

Happy to say that after 25 years I'm still enjoying this wonderful sport and I wish you and your family many happy years of skiing fun.

For some real fun do what we do with our kids - take them out for some night time toboganning with torches, great fun, kind of scary as you can't see that far ahead but it really builds up confidence and as it's on tobogans/sledges you can just roll off if it gets to fast or scary :-) have fun.