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mini-resolution: try something new…for the kids

by Meagan Francis on January 26, 2012

Right now my family is on a “working” vacation at Shanty Creek Resort in northern Michigan. As a travel writer, every so often I have the opportunity to go check out great destinations for stories I’m writing, and locations in our home state of Michigan are my favorite to cover.

But if you knew me, you might think it kind of funny that I’m writing about a ski resort. For one thing, I’m sort of a klutz, and I’m not even close to being a thrill-seeker. I’m the nervous Nellie warning you to slow down, drive more carefully, keep both eyes on the road. I’m the one who stands back at least 10 feet from the ledge, even if there’s a three-foot titanium fence surrounding the perimeter.

And I’ve always insisted that I have no interest in downhill skiing. Hurtling down a hill with my feet attached to narrow sleds does not sound like my kind of fun. The probability of falling, of getting snow in my sleeves and down my neck, sounds awful. The possibility of falling and hurting myself sounds even worse. And let’s face it, one way or the other I’m gonna fall, and it’ll be embarrassing at least. Softly, slowly snowshoeing over quiet, soft terrain – or at least sledding, when my rear end is almost touching the ground – is much more my speed.

But. This year my son Jacob joined his school’s ski club and has been loving it. He’s really excited about hitting the slopes tomorrow. The other boys are looking forward to trying. My husband’s already studied the maps and planned his attack. With all this excitement, how can I refuse to get involved? Even if my only contribution is a funny story to pass around for decades about the day Mom face-planted on the hill.

I’ve written before about how sometimes, parenting means facing your fears and embracing things you aren’t sure you want to do. How motherhood can improve you, relax you, give you courage, or simply shove you head-first into something you otherwise would never try, if only because it would make the small people in your life really, really happy.

And so. Tomorrow, I ski.

Gulp.

But it’s never too late to try something new, right?

Please tell me I’m going to enjoy this.

I’m halfway through a four-week series of mini-resolutions: small, simple improvements I’m making in different areas of my life. This week I’m focusing on “family”. I hope you’ll join me!

Thanks to Shanty Creek for hosting my family this weekend!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kyran January 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Oh, Megan, I envy you! I wrote a series on a Quebec ski resort for Blogher a couple of years ago, and got to take the family. My southern brood still talk wistfully about the place with “all that snow.” Have a blast! Once you learn to parallel turn, you’ll realize you never have to go down the scary bits– you can just zigzag across. :-)

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Meagan Francis January 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

Kyran, I am just so excited you stopped by my blog! I have had a big writer-crush on you ever since I saw you read at Mom 2.0 last year…everybody, read Kyran’s blog and book! She’s amazing!

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Kyran January 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm

ooops…Meagan. I knew that didn’t look quite right.

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Kim January 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

You”ll love it! You won’t believe what a difference just one day makes, so don’t give up!

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Meagan Francis January 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

Thanks! I’m eating up all the encouragement – it’s making me feel a lot braver!

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Pam at Triple Threat Mommy January 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

You will love it! One thing i need to sugget is that you MUST sign up for lessons. Don’t think you or a friend can teach you. Learn from the pros. Skiing is SUCH great bonding time with your family. You are active, outdoors and with your kids. I was able to ski for the first time with my 8 yo daughter last year and it was a great bonding with her on the lift and coming down the hill all weekend. Enjoy it!!! (and don’t forget to turn!!)

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Meagan Francis January 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

Don’t forget to turn (madly scribbles notes) Thanks for the encouragement!

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Crunchy Con Mommy January 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

I’m terrified of skiing (I have terrible coordination), but I figure it wouldn’t be so popular if it weren’t pretty fun and reasonably easy, right? My brother used to go sometimes in high school and got the hang of it in just a couple hours, so it seems like one of those things that may take a long time to get really good at, but is pretty quick to be functional at. Your boys will be so proud of you for trying! Have fun!

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Kim January 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

Meagan, I just learned to ski last year at 38 because my son likes to snowboard. Your mileage may vary, my first day wasn’t ok – I could see improvement and learned a lot; but also fell quite a lot. And I knew I would have to give it a few tries before I knew if I liked it. And I did find quickly that I enjoyed the environment, the joy of a shared family activity, and a reason to be outside in winter. It has made me dislike the cold, dark months of winter much less and even look forward to snow. Best of all, it was amazing for my son to see me learn something. It was an ephiphany for him that everyone is a beginner at something, even grown-ups, and instructive to see me literally fall down and get back up and give it another shot with a smile on my face. I think it has changed his willingness to try and risk “being bad”. Now my husband and daughter are learning. And we actually got to ski a little together. So fun! Sharing a chairlift with my son is such a great time for catching up and shared togetherness. He loves having me to himself on the lift. Hope you have a good day on the slopes.

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Kim January 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

correction: my first day WAS ok – it wasn’t great, but it was good. I learned a lot and was surprised how much I could do by day’s end.

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Catwoman January 27, 2012 at 11:51 am

I’m sure you’re going to have a great time! YOu should give a try to snowboarding, too, there’s a lot of fun in t, or there are some special funny ways to get down from the hill (big foot, tires, small ski etc.) don’t be afraid of falling, it could be a kind of fun, too;)

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Pam@behealthybehappywellness.com February 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

Oh I LOVE to ski – we usually head up to Boyne at least once a year. I’m sure you had a blast – just relax!!!

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