Sunday, February 14, 2010


There is a small park near us, North Hampton Park for you locals, which offers a learn to ski program for beginners.  It is a simple, almost primitive tiny bit of a hill with a rope pull along one side. We decided as a Valentines Day treat, we would take the girls for a one-time lesson to expand their horizons.  Adalyn was happily stashed at my parents house to allow us to be completely focused on the older two.

There were a few bits of knowledge I came away with.

1.  The giggles make it very hard to ski.
2.  4 is a bit young to handle a rope pull by oneself.
3.  Kids learn fast!

Both girls did great.  But you could definitely see the additional 2 1/2 years Denver has over Willa as far as gross and fine motor skills go.  Denver went down the hill 4 or 5 times and the last time only fell once.  Fall may not be the best word.  I had told her that if she felt out of control and was not able to regain it, to just sit down.  So she did.  And most impressive was that the last time up the rope pull, she only faltered once. 

The rope pull was challenging for me so I was very impressed she was able to do it by herself.  It is a heavy rope for one.  And two, it takes a bit to get the hang of hanging on.  You need to be in position and let the rope kinda move through your hands eventually tightening your grip so that you are then pulled along.  But you need to have a good sense of balance and keep your weight on your heels and be able to grip the rope tight enough to make it to the top and avoid taking a facial in the snow in the first second that it pulls you.  I'll admit my hands were sore from gripping so tight by the time we hit the top. 
Willa went down the whole hill the first time with our instructor who was VERY helpful with her.  He was also on skis and was able to sandwich her in front of his skis to get her up the hill with the rope. 

I was on a snowboard so when it came time to getting her back up the hill with only me to help...well, she was done at that point and in the end Daddy came to the rescue and marched down the hill to help Mommy walk her back to the top.  Considering her age, she did remarkably well.
Amazingly, I did not bite it once.  Muscle memory is a wonderful thing.  It was nice to be on a board again and made me wish I had the time and the money to do it more often.  I learned to snowboard while in college in Colorado, where it seemed everyone knew how to do something on a mountain.  My roommate, Talisha,  helped teach me and we had many a fun day trips to board our weekend away.  I remember the night before my first time out, I was all strapped into the snowboard, boots and all, and mentally pretended to carve, moving my board this way and that in the confines of our apartment.   I must say though that it did help.  Oh I fell tons for the first few days of my new hobby,   But I did really love doing it and remembered yesterday how much.  I also remembered how much it hurts my knees but what can you do.
Wayne was very smart and threw the sleds in the car 'just in case.'   Willa, by the end, preferred the ease of sledding to the trials of the rope pull, we were able to end on a really positive happy note since the sledding hill was right across the street.  What a very fun day!

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