When I was in middle school one of the field trips, they did was a ski trip to Brian Head Ski Resort. I went when I was in 6th grade and kind of learned to ski. The next year they did it for the school, and then again for kids on the school honor society, so I got to go twice. I learned a little bit more, but still not great. In eighth grade I got to go twice again. In high school I had a friend who loved to downhill ski, and her family had a small cabin near one of the slopes at Brian Head, so I went with her a couple of times. I have decided however that I never went skiing near enough. I never became super comfortable with much more than the bunny hill. However, I did enjoy getting out and trying, knowing that I was skiing for the enjoyment of others as I sped down the hills and crashed, most often under the chairlift for all to see! But I always enjoyed going, and fortunately never got seriously injured.

When I came to Alaska I learned about a different kind of skiing, cross country skiing. This seemed to be more my speed as there was no speed involved. My husband bought me skis when I first arrived here, and I tried it out a couple of times but never really got the intricacies of how to cross country ski efficiently but did enjoy the little bit I did. But when my kids were in Elementary School, they had an afterschool cross country ski club. This is where I also learned to cross country ski. Several winters in a row I had the opportunity to ski as it was open to any parents who wanted to help out. Even when the ski club was over a bunch of us would get together and ski with our kids. I learned to really enjoy cross country skiing.

We have had a good covering of snow this year so far, and today it is snowing heavily. I thought it looked like it might finally be deep enough to cover all the little bushes in our swamp so that we could easily ski around our swamp. I asked my older son if he wanted to, and he excitedly said yes! At that point however I got apprehensive. It had been a year since I skied last, and I only skied a couple of times last year, so I felt out of practice. But my son wouldn’t let me back out, so we headed out with my daughter’s dog bouncing all around, excited that we were outside playing in the snow with her!

Once we got going, I was so glad he had insisted I not back out. I love being outside and this was just what I needed today. Looking out the window at the snow falling, drinking hot chocolate is always nice, and having a day or two like that once in a while is great. But once in a while it’s great to get out and enjoy the snow as well. I came back in this afternoon feeling refreshed and exhilarated, and I got to enjoy my cup of hot chocolate as well! I am grateful for the beauty that each season brings, and grateful for the beautiful place I have to enjoy every day! I am also grateful to enjoy different outdoor activities, even when I’m not super comfortable with my abilities to participate. Sometimes it’s better to just get out, make mistakes, and enjoy yourself anyway.

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