Chickadees on Sticks

My mom was one of those women who did not sweat, she glowed. And she never seemed to do that even in 114-degree heat in Las Vegas. So, she never really pushed me into athletics. It wasn’t the lady-like thing and I wasn’t naturally driven to sports. The idea of running appealed to me about as much as getting my teeth drilled at the dentist’s office. I did play a few team sports with my church and I did take a few dance classes (very lady-like). But most of my extracurricular activities were focused on music or theater. I never really saw myself as the athletic type

I didn’t want the same for my daughter. I wanted her to experience the world in all its glory. I wanted her to be an active verb, as George Bernard Shaw said. I especially wanted my daughter to feel the empowerment of her body in action.

Lessons at Sundance have been an integral part of my daughter’s active life. She sees herself as someone who has physical prowess and power. She is active all year around. She participates in a sport that takes guts as well as physical training. She feels her body responding to the challenge. She is an active verb.

But it has done more than get her active—it gets her out of her comfort zone. She feels the aggressive stance needed for skiing and that translates into her everyday life. She can face challenges the way she faces skiing down a black diamond.

It also gives her a chance to bond with other girls who are skiing. She and her best friend take lessons during ski season and it has been a great experience to ski together. Sometimes, I take a group of girls to ski together and they have such a fun time bonding and enjoying the challenge. There is no caddy conversation, no back-biting. The time is filled with encouragement for each other and challenge for each person.

I am lucky enough to be able to take my daughter out of school and have her in ski school during the Sundance Ladies Day that I participate in. Ski lessons are a very educational experience and worth the days she misses at school. We make sure she keeps up with her assignments and tests. But this makes her a more well-rounded person.

Last week, the girls spontaneously made up a song about their wonderful day skiing powder. Take a listen. They are amazingly cute. They are chickadees on sticks!


2 Replies to “Chickadees on Sticks”

  1. Hi, I was wondering about some skiing-related things lately and I hope it is alright I ask you, even if it is not exactly about this post …

    I was wondering what age your daughter started skiing, and whether you ever had to deal with her being scared while skiing (and if so, how you helped her) – the reason I am wondering is because I signed myself and my daughter up for a one week skiing-trip with an outdoor and climbing group we belong to – my daughter is supposed to join a course in the mornings, while I ski …

    And now I am wondering if it was a good idea, as she is currently very much in a mommy-phase (she just turned four), and also she is more of a careful person. I don’t want to push her into anything she might feel uncomfortable with, but of course I spent a lot of money on that trip – and since we live very far from any mountains, I only get to ski once every few years myself (and am much too bad at it to teach her myself) … I’d be very glad to read some tips how to help her prepare and not be scared (and not show her that I sometimes find it scary, too) …

    I love your podcasts, by the way!

    Best regards from Berlin (Germany),

  2. Each child is different. My daughter has anxiety and sometimes we struggle with her fears on the mountain. When they are younger, they are closer to the ground so falling is easier.

    If you are worried, I would get her an instructor so that she isn’t being taught by you. That helped a great deal with us. I also have a friend whose daughter suffers from severe anxiety and she found a teacher to be very helpful.

    Maybe wait a year until she is a bit more independent?

    Sorry it took me a bit to answer. I have been skiing myself.

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