Oh the Places Y’all’ll Go: Park City, UtahPosted: December 18, 2012
A recent ski trip to Park City, Utah ended up being a few days filled with nannying wisdom! Snow skiing is a sport a gal from south Texas would not ordinarily be exposed to, except that in Miss Cheryl’s case my family went skiing several years during childhood, then in high school I took a few trips with my youth group, and in college took a couple of trips with friends and family. Still, by this year it had been at least six years since I last stepped on the slopes. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it all came back to me; just like riding a bike! Instead of relearning how to ski I was free to reflect on the many parallels between life and…well, paralleling on skis!
Go at your own pace. As a supernanny, I try to encourage a sense of self in my charges. Part of the development of one’s skills and confidence is the ability to move at your own pace. Whether you’re at green (“easy”), blue (“more difficult”), or black (“most difficult”) level, be true to your own abilities and be proud of your level of expertise. I will never master the black diamond slopes of morning wakefulness. I will always require coffee, little to no conversation, and an easy (green) transition (trail) into my day. And so I understand that my charges may not be able to read/respond/walk/color/comprehend on a black level from the get-go, and it is up to me to walk them through the ski school of life skills with patience and understanding.
Don’t be afraid of a challenge. After skiing some greens, then mostly blues, I knew I wanted to ski at least one black before the trip was over, my only hesitation being that they are, of course, much more difficult. Once out on the slopes with my “Mr.” Luke and our pal Jordan at the crossroads of another blue or a black, I was excited when the guys and I opted for the latter. Though it was a lot more work, and at first glance over the edge, pretty darn steep, the thrill of conquering a more challenging run was one I’d waited the whole trip for. Once at the bottom, legs on fire, short of breath, temperature raised, I glanced back at the surmounted slope and felt proud and invigorated. I get the same satisfaction when I win over the affections of a new charge. Some kiddos are greens, others blues, others are blacks. Doc and Rebel were my Mount Everest. It took months and months to win them over to the point of joy at my arrival and I’ll be the first to say that while it was exhausting, the thrill of earning their love, makes everything feel as if it’s all downhill from here, in the best way!
Don’t be ashamed to fall. Jordan made another good point, that if you’re not falling, you’re not learning, or perhaps not pushing yourself enough. And though I didn’t fall this trip (an obvious point of pride, haha.) I have taken plenty of spills in the past. Just as in nannying, after every fall(mistake) a muscle memory (knowledge) develops to prevent the same mistake from happening again.
Be safe. Ski in control, know how to slow down. Whether you’re making the pizza wedge, or can parallel traverse, always be able to control your speed on the slopes; just as I encourage the kiddos to slow their rolls in life, and catch themselves if bad behavior is running away with them.
Be aware of others. This direction is included in every list of posted ski rules, and is a good code to live by, on and off the slopes. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Leave plenty of distance between you and other skiers, just as at times, kiddos need to leave siblings/playmates be at times.
Look at the scenery. Don’t forget to appreciate the majestic mountains, shimmering snow, and evergreen trees. “Mr.” Luke and I spotted a squirrel rushing from tree to tree in between skiers! The wonders of nature should always be appreciated and pointed out to the kiddos in your life.
Enjoy being active. The great outdoors does wonders for the spirit, and skiing is a great way to get ants out of your pants whilst having a great time with friends. I try to get the kiddos outside as much as possible, and enjoy the outdoors with them.
Enjoy relaxing too. Once the skiing day is done, enjoy a soak in the hot tub, and a cup of hot cocoa, you’ve earned it! My pal Heather knows how to do this better than most and never missed the chance to rest her legs, or warm her tummy with some hot chocolate, after a few hours on the cold mountainside. Similarly after the kiddos have had a long day running errands with me, playing in the heat, cold, or just exhausted from the day’s activities, I love to reward them with an appropriately relaxing beverage/treat/chillax time.