I stand at the top of a small ravine, my skis perched on the edge. “Hey,” I call out to my 11-year-old nephew behind me. “This looks way fun.” I push off, traversing the edge through a few trees before spotting a a stretch of of untracked powder. I make hard left straight down the ravine, through the powder, and up the other side, landing back on the run with a bit of a jump.
Two years ago, the words fun, ravine, jump, or trees would never have been said by me in the same sentence. Learning to ski as an adult meant I focused on one thing, getting from the top of the mountain to the bottom without leaving the run. Occasionally, I would see skiers dart off trail and I would venture to the edge. After staring down some trees, and giving it way too much thought I’d back right up to the well-trod groomer. Mostly I was oblivious to what awaited me off piste.
That was before I started skiing with kids. Kids never just go from point A to point B. For them, there are a thousand points in between. There’s trees to cut in and out of, jumps to go off of, they go up the side of the hill to race back down it. And being the cool aunt meant I have to go off everything they do but higher and faster.
To do that required me to shut off the part of my brain that way over thinks things and become eleven again. And not just eleven, because I still over thought things at that age, but an 11-year-old boy. I can’t believe how freeing it was. Every jump, every tree, every trail stopped being something to avoid but instead became an adventure.
It was totally liberating. Have you ever shut off your adult mind for a day? Was it a blast?
(Don’t worry though, I never completely shut down my adult mom brain with the kids. I only take them down things I know they can safely do.)