Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Plays Well with Others

Break is being restful.

Yesterday, I got a call from a friend inviting me to come out to a ski area and either ski myself, or join her in helping out the local cross country group's little kid evening classes.  She said if I wanted to help to bring classic skis, since that's what they start the little kids on.  So I bundled up my skis (both pairs) and my boots (both pairs), and went, and decided to help with the little kids.

We went up this little slope to a level area, which is where we were going to be with the little kids, and there were a bunch of adult helpers and about 40 kids between say 4 and 7 or so.  And we helped the teacher (who has helped me with my skiing, too, and who is an incredibly good teacher!) keep the little kids attention, and keep them moving, and such.  She started with stretches and jumping and "pizza" (snow plow), and then choo chooing with the arms, and shuffling, and then we went back and forth across the table, no poles, but moving arms and legs.  And we practiced falling and getting up.

There was one kid who always seemed to get his one ski backwards when he fell, and it was so hard to get him to see that he needed to get them parallel to get up more easily.  So of course I had to fall on purpose and show him, and then help him get his feet parallel.  And then he could get up.  Until he fell again, and we went through the same thing, because he didn't seem to get it.  I'm sure he will with some practice.  In the meanwhile, he ate a lot of snow, as one of my friends says.

The kids were good.  The adults were careful to keep them moving and they were mostly pretty well wrapped up.  And they were pretty much happy to be there.  I didn't hear any whining, not even from the ones who fell fairly often.

The cool thing is that there are kids just a little bit older who are whizzing around skate skiing.  I'm guessing that the kids who do this little class and then start skiing regularly with their families get pretty good once they hit 8 or 9 and are a bit more coordinated, and then they ski like it's totally natural for them.  So very cool!

I hadn't been on my classic skis since maybe the second time after I skate skied.  I've pretty much just used the skate skis.  So my memory of being on the classic skis was that it was hard to do anything: hard to stand, to move, to anything.  And yesterday, it wasn't.  I'm not saying I was adept, or anything, but that I was much easier on the skis.  They felt less alien than I remembered them.

A couple of days ago, I took a new colleague out snow shoing near my house.  And then we had hot cocoa and chatted.  It was good, and I hope the new colleague enjoyed it.  I think it's hugely helpful to be able to get out and do something in the snow and cold, something that makes you not too cold.  It makes winter more tolerable.  And snowshoing is great because it's basically walking (at least it is when I do it).  It doesn't matter that I go fast, and it's fine that I'm not trying to make an escape from Donner Pass.  I just go and get some exercise, and feel way better after.

I've pretty much prepped one class's opening day materials, and I'm getting ready to start the next class.  And I've done some reading and am getting ready to start writing on my SAA paper.  So it's not all fun and play, but there's a lot of fun and play, too.


  1. My year-round sport is dog-walking, even if I'm down to one dog these days. But you're right - if you let the winter conquer you, it's hard to get through our winters!

  2. Shane in Utah5:10 PM

    I have only classic skis (I was just out on them this afternoon, in fact). How are the skate skis and boots different?