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What Mom Taught Me About Skiing

My mom was no ski instructor, but she provided countless ski lessons.

While there are plenty of rad moms out there shredding it up, I have to be honest: my mother is not one of them. She loves to go for long walks on the beach and soaks up the sunshine any chance she gets, but she is not one for sliding on snow at any kind of speed.

mom sledding
Sledding is much more Mom’s speed.

She likes to be cozy. Skiing, while very rad, is not always cozy. Inside, drinking hot cocoa with a nice book— now that’s cozy. Nonetheless, when it came to weekend ski getaways with Dad and I, she was still game.

Rolling down the mountain, I’d follow Dad, and she’d follow me. My dad and I would post up at a good stopping point and patiently wait for Mom to make her way down. Once she arrived—out of breath and clearly uncomfortable—she’d smile at me and say “you looked so good!”

Even though she doesn’t hold a PSIA certification, my mom subtly taught me so many life lessons on our ski trips. Now that skiing encompasses my life, I see parallels like the day I learned how to French fry.

Support your loved ones passions (even if you don’t get them yourself)

I was pretty competitive when I took my annual ski lesson. I would try so hard to keep up with the boys in class. Taking a classic tuck-and-roll position, I would pull up close behind them like a race car, trying to draft off of their speed. I usually still didn’t catch them, and would feel incredibly frustrated with my performance afterwards.

Debriefing with my mom, she’d remind me that I was a rock star, no matter how hard I skied. She was always a little confused why it mattered so much to me to be the fastest one around, but she never judged. “After all, you’re skiing faster than me, so you’re doing okay!” she’d remind me.

mom skiing powder
Snow day = school’s cancelled. PHOTO: Sarah McLeod

I know my mom is still a little nervous about me skiing. These days, I send her photos of the lines I’ve skied or the mountains I travel to. She’ll respond with several scared face emojis, then tell me “looks beautiful! Be safe!”

She’d much rather if the thing that made me happy wasn’t skiing. If she didn’t have to stress about me risking injury to limbs, joints, or my head constantly. But, knowing how important it is to me, she keeps those wishes tempered and continues to be excited (or at least feign excitement) when I’m excited.

Confidence is contagious

“When I was a kid, my mom and I would go out to Winter Park with some of her friends. I remember watching her and her buddies ski so close to the edge on cat tracks. It looked like they could easily just fall off the other side. I remember thinking how cool and confident they seemed. Meanwhile, I was tucked on the inside edge to be as safe as possible.

Mikey, Pow7 Ski Tech Extraordinaire

Seeing our moms cruise around comfortably on the mountain is inspiring. Even something like a flat cat track seems like a massive undertaking when you’re just a few feet tall. To watch mom easily breeze down a cat track, gets us excited to try and get a little closer to the edge next time.

Even though my mom was probably more like little Mikey than Mikey’s mom, to me, she looked like the most confident person on the mountain. Watching her carefully link turns looked so smooth to me. Smooth and steady wins the race.

Occasionally, my parents would take a ski lesson together. I would hear all about it from Dad it afterwards, how my mom took so long to get down the black diamond run. Apparently the instructors would encourage her to go faster.

“No one is going to make me ski faster than I want to”, she’d say resolutely. I loved that attitude. Confident enough in herself, it didn’t matter how fast she skied. Her not ripping down the black diamond run didn’t matter at all, she was just proud she had made it out there.

Go skiing with your people

Back then, I could tell my mom wasn’t a fan of skiing deep down. Time after time though, she would still show up. I was a little confused as to why, but she just wanted to spend time with us. We wanted her there just as much too.

Smiles and laughs all around when skiing with your best buds.

I, of course, didn’t want her to do things she didn’t want to do (that would be a little rude of me as a daughter). But I did want to spend time with her in the mountains, and she knew that. So she pushed herself outside of her comfort zone a little.

I have incredible memories of solo summits and adventures I’ve been on, but there’s nothing like whooping and hollering with friends down the mountain. Mom’s commitment to keeping our little unit together showed me how much better an experience can be if you’re doing it all together.

My mom has officially hung up the ski boots in favor of fireside books and that hot cocoa, but she’s still my badass ski mom. She introduced me to the sport. Our family ski trips and weekend getaways are some the best family memories I have, and I know she feels the same.

Badass moms are not just the ones that can ski the steeps super hard and throw down. They are the ones who support you no matter what, even if it’s something that scares them a little. Badass moms are the glue that holds the crew together. While it would have been sick for Mom to teach me how to throw backflips, I think she taught me all I really needed to know.

Reminiscing about the season already? Take a peek at our top photos from the 2021-2022 season.


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