|Seth and I at the top of Poley Mountain.|
NOTE: This is a column I had published in a local Sussex, NB paper. I was truly impressed with the way people didn't make me feel like the amateur I truly was. I'm sure I got in the way of a few faster skiers but not one said anything and all were very courteous. For me, a non-skier, it may have convinced me to ski more frequently.
“Dad, I want to go skiing!”
“Hey Dad, it’s snowing out. Let’s go skiing.”
I heard a lot of this through the first part of winter. My son, Seth, was pushing my limits with his insistence that we go skiing. It wasn’t the fact that he wanted to go skiing that bothered me. It was the fact I’d have to go with him.
The day came when I couldn’t say no any longer and my sister and I took Seth and my nephew Cole to the hill for a Saturday afternoon of skiing. With some promotional lift tickets and buddy passes our costs would be minimal and we were prepared to make the most of our day. Seth would be using borrowed gear but I had to go through the process of renting equipment. This process was much quicker than I anticipated as the staff at Poley quickly took my height and weight and used that to provide the properly sized gear I needed and adjusted my bindings so I could head out worry free.
Mother Nature hadn’t been kind to the hill the previous days and that meant two first timers would have to deal with fast and icy conditions. With some trepidation I took my first steps in my ski boots and my confidence grew slightly as I didn’t fall over. The next task was to find my way to the bunny hill. Seth had already joined a couple of his cousins and had already made a few runs down the hill. Now the pressure was on me to make my first run down the bunny hill.
|Seth quickly adapted to his new sport and was eager to move from the bunny hill to the big hill.|
As John McNair, from Poley stated in a column recently, it turned out to be “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.” I was able to manage my speed and stay upright, granted I snow plowed for most of that first trip. As I got comfortable I practiced some parallel turns and slowly built up more speed. I was just getting truly comfortable when the moment came. “Dad can we try the big hill?” At that point I was glad my sister, Becki, and my brother’s girlfriend, Lindsay were there. If we had been on our own there would have been no way I would have taken him to the “big” hill.
My nerves went to another level. Now I was not only worried about coming down the hill but also getting up the hill. As we made our way over to “Some Easy” to descend to the chair lift, our challenge became real. It was super icy, or at least to me and Seth it was. Poor Seth fell over trying to avoid an ice patch and I didn’t know if he was going to be able to get back up. He struggled but got his skis where he needed them and pushed himself on his feet again. When we got to the chairlift I thought he might hesitate but I needn’t worry as he stepped up and jumped on.
Getting off would be a different story. Three of the four of us on the chair collapsed in a heap as we tried to glide off the smooth ride. As better skiers easily disembarked the lift, they patiently made their way around us and thankfully no body poked fun.
We made four runs that afternoon and surprisingly I only fell once. Seth struggled a few times but showed no inclination of quitting or any dislike of what he was doing. On one occasion he took a long time to get up after falling and I thought that would be it and we’d head to the lodge. I was proud when he looked at me and said “No way, Dad, let’s do one more.”
Supper time came and we enjoyed some live entertainment while we enjoyed burgers and fries at the lodge. The atmosphere was very friendly and I found myself feeling extremely relaxed despite being in a new setting. Just when I was ready to call it a day, Seth asked to go back out and hit the bunny hill. Since snow started to fall, I couldn’t say no and we spent another couple of hours taking trips down the bunny hill with the lights showing the way.
I never pushed myself beyond my limits, matter of fact, I never came close. It was great to see that we could ski and not over do it. No one made us feel like we were holding them up or we were in their way. Honestly, I think that the next time we get a chance to go skiing, Seth and I will jump all over it.