Thursday, January 21

Peer Pressure

Put me in Coach! I'm ready!

McKay loves the ski goggles and can't wait for his turn on the slopes!

Not me. I had a stomach FULL of butterflies. All last week. Last year when we arrived in Germany, I had just had Morgan so I was free from making excuses of why to not join Ryan skiing. Ryan loves to ski! He grew up skiing quite a bit and worked a couple seasons on the slopes in Utah. No excuses this year. Easton even said he'd teach me how! Morgan's a year old and we had my fun, cute niece Camilla on hand to watch the two little ones in our hotel. No excuses.

I can't even recall the last time I skied, but it was in my mid-teen years I think. I have siblings who weren't even born yet, that's how long ago it was! Since I've only skied a handful of times in my life, I never quite got my legs under me but enjoyed it minus the sore aches and pains afterward. Growing up, just about every adventure with Dad required a bit of bravery. His zest for life made you not want to miss out and skiing was one of those things that I braved because of him! I love seeing my Dad proud of me for trying! Or at least being a part of his stories we tell over and over!

Since Easton was joining Ryan and I on the slopes, at least I had an excuse to stick to the bunny hills and that gave me a minor sense of peace. That is, until we got off the ski lift and I saw the degree of the slope to get to the bunny hill! HOLY COW!!! And I didn't see anyone walkin' on down it carrying all their equipment. For heaven's sakes, three year olds where gliding on down that hill with no poles, and that's no joke!

Ryan was excited to get Easton back on skis and he was the most patient and sweet man anywhere to be found. Easton had taken ski school last winter, but as we've now determined, he really only got used to being on skis and how to step into position to sail straight down the hill. No ability to turn or stop yet and he didn't really care to learn - just point him down hill and let 'er rip!

Back to being at the top of the hill leading from the main lift down to the various other areas like more lifts, the restaurants, and the beginner slopes. Getting down would be our initial ski experience. I was very terrified, uh . . . I mean concerned. After watching tons of people (decades younger than me) click into their skis and zoom off, it was our turn. Ryan had positioned Easton on skis between his own two skis to help guide Easton down. I was on my own. Thanks a lot, partner!

Easton was not too thrilled about going up the mountain in a huge lift. All the josteling at the lift (European style = no lines, no order), had him and I a bit shaken up. He thought we'd have to ski all the way down. At the top, he was near meltdown even though we kept reassuring him. I had to be brave, shakin' in my own boots, for him. Also, I didn't want Ryan to see me wimp out. Argh! Peer pressure!

Think of this area like an elongated >. We start skiing down and Easton freaks out which lands Ryan and Easton off the left bank which drops off five feet into a fence before we get to the turn. I was panicking on my own and just let myself come to a stop by drifting up the right bank before the turn. Whew! Cool, I'm alive and just about ready to call it a day! I'm exhausted! Oh darn, Easton's not happy? Do we need to go sit and drink some hot chocolate? Oh wait, we just paid and arm and a leg for our gear and lift tickets. We. Must. Have. Fun. Buck up, lil campers, we're in for a bumpy ride!

Ryan is mortified. He's a skier. Falling off the edge of the trail to the slopes doesn't happen to skiers apparently.

We finally get to the bunny hill and they've got this great little motorized ramp! We're gettin' lots of milage on this baby today! And it's so much easier than those rope tows once you get your balance.

The first handful of times down, Ryan takes Easton. They're having a good time! But I know Easton can do it on his own. He's brave enough, I know it!

Since I'm such a great observer, and less a doer, I note to Ryan that I think Easton would do better not holding on to Ryan because it'll make him be brave and not lean on dad.

Scarecrow coming through! Timid at first, smiling by the end each time!

View of our bunny hill and the tubed motorized ramp. Those hoops have bells on them for the kiddies to ring as they adeptly glide on through.

I take a long pause each time at the top (after almost falling over getting off the ramp and chuckling to myself at what the operator must think). I gotta psyche myself up for each run. I can do this. I'm a big girl. Oh wait, that's why I'm worried. More parts to ache and bruise! Wait! Be brave. Ryan and Easton and other three year olds and little Asian ski school 6 year olds bobbing through the hoops, ringing bells are watching! I go down. I'm gingerly turning right and left then gradually coming to a stop at the bottom with my trusty "pizza slice" snow plow move. Phew!

After conquering the bunny hill I'm ready for a new challenge. Getting over to the next hill is the challenge. This was taken at the bottom of the bunny hill and we had to get ourselves over to the other tow you may be able to distinguish in this picture.

Catching the rope tow just about yanks my arm out of its socket! Then baby steps up to the next rope tow around the corner to the left and a more formidable beginner slope. I rode all the way to the top of it wondering what in world possessed me to think this was a good idea?! What am I trying to prove?! I get off at the top and Ryan's all excited for me. I'm now muttering to myself, trying not to hyperventilate. I can't even distinguish Easton at the bottom waiting, he's that far down and I have SKI there?!

Ryan asks if I want to follow him. No way, man! Then I'll probably freak out thinking I'll crash into you! Better just bite the bullet and do it myself so I start off and am doing okay until the second turn. YIKES! I panic in a half attempt to turn and don't commit enough. I fall. I slide myself down to a friendlier angle to get back up. Ryan can tell I'm a bit stuck so he comes on up to the rescue. He tells me he'd been so impressed I went all the way to the top and not gotten off at the half-way "exit". Are you crazy?! I didn't realize there were options! There was a half-way point up the rope pull with a gentler slope down. Oh well! Skiing down the gentler half went off with much more grace.

After a few runs down this bigger hill (the friendlier bottom half, mind you) Easton didn't want to try this one so we ended up heading back down to the initial run for the rest of the half day after some refreshment: apfel strudel with vanilla cream sauce and a big 14 inch long, fat bratwurst covered in BBQ sauce dusted with curry powder plus fries. So local!

In the end, I was proud of myself for trying and am even open to doing it again. I could have done more, but was also so close to chickening out so many times. I was so exhausted from all the internal pep talks! I'm in this personal spot right now where I'm realizing how much I let fear enter into the details of my life and keep me from moving forward. This challenge solidified some things for me.

I am beyond proud of my husband and his mad skills skiing backwards while helping Easton! I always love seeing Ryan doing something he loves which is the biggest reason I agreed to do this in the first place. And again, the highest applause to his patience with his two beginners! I can only imagine how boring that bunny hill must have been to him! He totally rocks my world! And so do fearless three year old skiers all decked out in their cute gear!