By: Tanya Ward Goodman
I don’t ski. Never have. Though I grew up in a house in New Mexico less than six miles from a ski area I never skied. My stepmother was a ski instructor, but did I ever think about letting her teach me? Not a chance. My brother skied. That was natural. He drove fast cars and dated beautiful girls and wrote awesome songs that he later sang with his band. I sat on my bed and ate ice cream straight from the carton, my nose buried in a book. I didn’t ski.
But my husband wanted to go to Mammoth and the kids wanted to see snow. And I thought, “Well, I’ll go and I’ll bring all those unread New Yorkers and I’ll sit in the lodge or the cabin or wherever and I’ll drink cocoa and it’ll be fine.” And then, about a week before we left, I said, “Why the heck aren’t we going to Palm Springs?”
But we went anyway. And I decided to take a lesson. Just one. To see for sure that I don’t ski.
And it was awesome.
“You will fall a lot,” my husband said. “But that’s okay.”
“Go in strong,” my friend said. “Go in like you mean it.”
And I did.
I went in smiling and ready for anything. It helped that the sun was shining and my instructor was a kind of cool drill sergeant and I’m a kind of people pleaser. I went in strong. I held my own. I felt fear, but I kicked it in the butt. When my instructor said we should go down the extremely steep hill, I went down it. I kept my knees bent, my legs forward and I found my balance. The sky was blue, blue and the snow was sparkling as far as I could see.
I went back the next day and rode the big lift and kept myself upright all the way down the mountain. I would do it again in a minute.
Yes, sitting on my bed with my nose in a book is one of my favorite things to do, but I am pleased to report that there is a wide world beyond the page. Shin deep into my forties, I find that with each passing year, I want to do more — try more. The energy of my children is infectious. I want to follow them on all their adventures and set a good example by heading out on a few of my own.
I want to go in strong before it’s time to go out.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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