I remember when I was a kid and my dad would take us skiing at Crystal Mountain, Washington. The resort was almost 2 hours from our home and we would have to wake up obscenely early to be there by nine in the morning. Rising early was never a problem for me because I could hardly sleep anyway and was always up long before the sun ever crested the tips of the trees. I remember how exciting those times were and how I could hardly stand the wait until I would be swooshing down the mountain.
I wondered this morning where those days had gone when my boys anxiously awoke me quite a bit before Rachael Standard Time allowed me to roll out of bed? I should have been jittery with anticipation. Solitude was opening early and it was the first day of the season! With Thanksgiving still weeks away and ski lifts cranking, I shouldn’t have been able to contain my excitement but I just lay there in bed wishing my boys would go back to sleep.
Not that I was thrilled that Solitude decided to open early and that my kiddos just happened to have the day off and could enjoy the first turns of the season with me. I was, I promise, I just couldn’t feel it…not like I used too. Why the lack of enthusiasm? Maybe I am just spoiled rotten with solid, long winter ski seasons or maybe, just maybe, I am turning into a real grown-up? You know the ones who finally back away from the trampoline after years of showing off to let their kids have all the fun. Real grown-ups do that. They sit around and are fine watching instead of participating. Was I becoming one of those?
Hey, it’s me talking, what am I saying?! I think I just stayed up too late. Whatever the matter, I was okay catching a natural high from my kid’s excitement and I finally rallied and made it up shortly after 9:00 am.
The boys were bouncing from the roof of the car and I had to lay down the game plan at least four times before they caught on that they were going to have to get their season passes BEFORE they could actually put their skis on. The groans and moans and wired up energy found their way into the ticket office where they continued to drive Solitude’s employees crazy until the passes were secured in their pockets and they were free to go.
By the time I was ready (and let’s be clear, I am no girly girl slow poke), the boys were already at the lift chattering it up with the lifties and yelling at me to hurry. I clicked into my bindings and felt a surge of happiness course through my veins. Finally, the excitement hit. I couldn’t wait to break in a new pair of skis and make some turns! I also realized that for the very first time, I hadn’t helped either of my children put on, tighten or adjust any of their gear! No whining, no crying just sheer joy from my crew. I smiled and decided that I liked this new chapter of my life.
Utah locals were out in full force this morning along with many of Utah’s media outlets. Everyone was delirious with ski fever and excited about the early turns. Solitude was able to get three runs open and all had good coverage. All of our skis came home with zero dings so that says something. I did, however, lay some major ground rules. Too many people to rip, stay ON the trails and NO jumping and goofing off. For a couple of hours the runs were like being on the freeway during rush hour but eventually, people got their token first runs in and things quieted down. By 1:00 p.m., the mountain turned into a down right ghost town and the rules sort of went out the window as well as my late blooming enthusiasm. I kicked off my gear like a “real grown up” and sat back on the steps of Moonbeam Lodge to catch some rays and watch the boys lap run after run. I drank in their happiness and realized that life was definitely changing.
What a gorgeous afternoon and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season. I am truly grateful, once again, to Solitude Mountain Resort for giving me the opportunity to share my love of the sport, my family and our many days on the slopes with you. May the snow fall deep and hard and may each of you find your inner child and have a truly wonderful 2013/2014 ski season!