Thursday, October 25, 2007

A little background

It might be helpful to share a little bit about my daughter and myself, and how I reached the conclusion that I'm not crazy to try to teach her to ski, and that it might actually be a good activity for us to do this winter.

My daughter's name is Jordan. She was born in September 2005. She has very good balance:

This video was taken at 15 months. She is now 2 years old, has improved motor skills and speed. I have a feeling that she is ready for something new. If I can psych myself up to follow through with it, I could be the one to teach her how to ski.

As for me, I've started hitting the gym to get in shape because I know trekking up and down the bunny slope with a little kid isn't a cakewalk, and I'm sure to get a good workout each time we go. In my younger high school days I actually taught ski lessons to school age kids at the local ski hill (I say "hill" because we live in Eastern Massachusetts where there are no mountains), and I remember that even then, when I was in the best shape of my life, that I would be exhausted after a day of teaching. I know a lot has changed in the sport since my "straight ski" teaching days so I expect that there will be a steep learning curve for both of us.

At this time I think we're both capable of doing this. Although, talk to me about it again in a few months. Hopefully I'll have the same outlook.

Again, wish us luck!


jodi said...

I thought I would give you some encouragement. We taught our three year old son to ski last winter and am very excited to take him out this year now that he is older and more willing to be instructed. Also, his siter is now two and we are considering teaching her this winter because she is much more inclined to take direction that he ever was.

We bought him skis and boots on ebay for about $50. Nice little ~78cm Elans and used rear entry boots. The biggest problem you're going to have is finding boots that fit Jordan. In fact, that is what is keeping us from teaching our two year old. I fear that too big boots will result in torn up little ankles. (I raced slalom as a kid and now have loose and floppy ankles as a result of catching one too many gates). If I can find boots small enough (i.e., a size 7 because she has smallish feet to begin with), I will get her going in the back yard hill.

Can I also suggests you buy one of those ski handles that is sort of a vest that the kid wears and it puts a nice handle on her back so you can grab her one handed to get her up, on the tow rope, etc. The leashes weren't all that helpful and we tended to get tangled up.

We found that our son had natural ability and it was best that we didn't over instruct him. I think the thing that always cut our sessions short was the snow in the gap around the wrists. I suggest really good mittens with those extensions that keep the snow out.

We only taught him to go down hill last year. to stop him, we would grab the handle and slow him down. I think this year we will teach him to turn and stop (probably a really good idea).

I'll tell you that it's really cool to see the big grin when you let go and ski up beside him and he realizes that you aren't holding on.

We can't wait to take them on a ski vacation and ski the mountains together. Maybe next year! Best of luck.

laura said...

Hey Jodi!
I'm amazed that I already have a comment here since I just threw this thing together.

I found Jordan some tiny Dalbello boots (15.0 mondo which is about a 7). I'm going to post about my equipment finds hopefully this afternoon.

Thanks for the advice about the "handle". I've seen them before but have never used one. I definitely think it will be helpful. My mom used the tether on my brother and liked it, but I think he was 4 or 5 when she used it.

It is reassuring to know that there are other parents out there teaching their toddlers to ski. It helps me know that I'm not crazy!