This week was the first time that any of our kids were on a ski mountain. Before they could go down the beginner hill, I taught them to fall over sideways when they felt out of control. After that, Alden and Jasher weren’t interested in any of the other lessons. They don’t want to snow plow or turn or stop. They point down the mountain so they can bomb it until they get uncomfortable. Then they fall right over and use their hips as breaks. Jasher only went about ten feet one time and then he wiped out. He looked up from the ground and said, “I’m GREAT at this!”

Eden figured out her turns well enough to go to the “platter” run. I only had her take three runs though. She was going straight down, barely in control. At the bottom she said, “I thought about turning, but I was having so much fun going fast.” So next we went on the regular lift, where I could teach her some respect for the mountain. On the second regular run, we traversed near a “blue square” run. I told Eden she could choose to go that way if she wanted. She thought it sounded fun. Soon, the steep part got her worried. She asked whether she could take off her skis and walk down. We had another lesson on traversing. She decided to keep at it. She started concentrating on her snow plow turns. Then when she got to the bottom, she had a happy memory of conquering the run. After that she didn’t bomb the bunny hill.

I’m trying to remember that everyone has different learning techniques. I like to push myself past my comfort zone to learn new things. So that’s how I taught Eden, too. It made sense to bring her to a hard area of the mountain where her existing techniques would not be enough. Elisa learns the opposite way though. Elisa and I went on the regular lift together to get her to the next level. She did fine but she never really started enjoying it that much. She had a lot of reminders of her first day skiing at Courmayeur, when she thought she wasn’t going to make it to the bottom safely. The next day, she convinced me that we should spend an hour on the platter run. It wasn’t as challenging. Elisa felt comfortable and her form looked really good. She learns better when she is inside her comfort zone. Part of it is that she has a longer memory, and bad experiences haunt her for years. Eden has a shorter memory, so she already forgot most of her fear. Jasher has the shortest memory of all. Right after he skidded to a stop in front of me, he looked up, and apparently with no recollection of why he was laying on his back in the snow, bragged, “I didn’t even fall that time!”

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