Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Steep Learning Curve

I took Emma skiing on Saturday and had one of those days that you remember for the rest of your life. I am actually irritated trying to put it down in text because I can not capture how much fun it was to spend the day with her one-on-one, watching her excel at something new.


8:00 am – Emma’s 1st Ski Trip Ever
Pack up the ski gear and head off for Silver Mountain. Take world’s longest gondola to lodge at the top of the mountain.



10:00 am – Going to Ski School
Drop Emma off with beginning ski instructor. Hit the slopes w/ Jeff (ski-buddy, running-partner, friend, etc.)

12:00 pm – Ski School is out

Pick up Emma. Told by instructor that I have a “natural” skier on my hands (tip extra for unprovoked compliment … okay-- so we all know that I didn’t really tip him). Find out that she was bumped up to intermediate class to keep her from waiting around too much. Grab some burgers and fries in the lodge (mmmmm – that hot greasy stuff is even better after skiing all morning). Interrupted by 30-something fellow ski-schooler and told how good Emma was on the slopes. Apparently she was the 1st one at the bottom of the runs.

1:00 pm – First runs with Emma (GREEN CIRCLE)
Consciously try to exude confidence, despite nervousness about Emma slipping off the side of the mountain (She looks so dang small all of the sudden). Lots of falls (amazed how quick she bounces back up, smiling while professing “I’m okay”). We work our way through every green run on the mountain.

2:00 pm – Going to the top (BLUE SQUARE)

We stumble across a blue run that Emma’s instructor suggested I take her down, it’s a bit steep. Emma tackles it with vigor. It tackles her back a few times. Her instructor said that after going down that run she would be ready to ride Chair 2 (duh duh duh – suspense inducing music) to the top of the mountain – so we’re off. Emma is so tough. She cuts her way back and forth all the way down the mountain. Welling with pride at her work ethic and “No Fear” attitude. Reward her efforts with some hot chocolate in the lodge.

3:00 pm – It's Showtime (BLACK DIAMOND)

After getting a little rest we head back out. Emma wants to see how she will do now on the green runs she started the day with. She blows through them with ease, falling only a couple times. She even tries a rail slide. While telling her to stay off the ski park she hits and lands a small jump! Start laughing because watching her ski is so much fun. On a cat track, I show her how tucking makes her go a bit faster. We hit the blue run she battled earlier. This time she speeds down it and starts tucking because apparently she isn’t getting enough speed. She no longer cuts across the run, just barrels straight down. The run is short enough that, as I start to get nervous for her, it is pretty much over. I laugh and tell her she is a mad-woman. We now go back up Chair 2. After getting off the lift, Emma makes a beeline STRAIGHT down the mountain. I start yelling for her to cut across the face of the run to slow down. She continues to plunge. I throw myself down after her. I can’t catch her because she is not cutting at all and her skis are actually waxed. I finally catch up with her at the bottom. I scold her and tell her it isn’t safe to just go straight down. She argues that “its easier if you don’t cut.” I am seriously impressed, but I persist to avoid future hospital visits. She agrees to comply next time.

4:00 pm – Joining the Snow Patrol


We take some more runs down the mountain. We unwittingly go down a run that has been shut down for the night. We realize this as we get to the immobile lift at the bottom. Snap some pics while we wait for ski patrol to rescue us. Get a stern reprimand and a free ride back to the lodge. What a fantastic day.


While spending the day skiing and joking and playing with Emma, I got this glimpse of her and I on the slopes over the next ten years or so. The whole day just made me excited for the many ski days with her to come.

30 comments:

Bridget said...

Wow, I am first to comment. Sorry I always have to congratulate myself for this.

That looks like so much fun. I love getting those glimpses into my children- seeing them excel and looking forward to so many years of fun together.

Can Emma teach me to ski? That girl has some serious skills.

Annie said...

What a natural! Isn't amazing the latent talents that are just waiting in there for the opportunity to try? I worry I don't give my kids enough chances to try those new things.

And what a nice dad...the goggles you start the day with ended up on Emma's head on the rest of the pictures. Made me smile.

bloggingchristy said...

That looks like so much fun (except that it looks cold)!
Emma, it sounds like you did an awesome job!

Shally said...

That sounds like a great day! I love it when you get one on one time with any of your children.

My son is five, and we need to get him started on skiing. Neither of us have been skiing FOREVER! (He had a contract that said if he did ski, they would fire him)

Anyway-- hope he takes to it as well as Emma did!

Tammy said...

This is my favorite posting in so long!!! It makes me so excited to think of her becoming a skiier! I love snowboarding so much, that I only wish that I had gotten the chance to learn when I was young. She will remember this forever...you are making wonderful memories for her. Kudos to Ryan, dad of the year!

Erin said...

That is awesome! What an unforgettable day for both of you. It's so great that she has found a love (and a great skill) that she can share with you!

Elizabeth Caldwell said...

clearly zero fear and a love of speed... sure, you're impressed now... just wait till she's driving!!

I never learned to ski well. I didnt like the speed AT ALL.

G and G Nut said...

What a fun day! I feel like I was right there with you. Way to go, Emma!
xoxo

Ilene said...

Ah, wait until she is a teenager and she purposely leaves you in the dust to rendevous with some cute snowboarder.

Maybe that is why parents never took me skiing.

Emma is adorable, really and truly. There is nothing like Daddy-Daughter bonding. I always LOVED time alone with my dad.

Kara Jayne said...

That seriously looks like the best day!! I'm sure it will go down as one of Emma's all time favorites. It makes me excited for the ski trip we will be taking to Utah in a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing!

Lisa-Marie said...

I can feel the pride gushing out of you Ryan! Emma is going to re-read this someday in the future and really be able to feel the love of her daddy! That is special!

Way to go, Emma! YOU ROCK!

Lauren said...

That was seriously fantastic. Talk about the best Daddy-Daughter Date ever. I am so impressed with little Emma...not just because I broke my collar bone on a bunny hill the first time I skiied at age 16.

I love the way this was written...she is going to love reading this in years to come...how she looked, "so dang little all of a sudden" and how you had to "throw yourself" down the mountian to catch her...and how proud you were of her..seriously she is going to eat it up when she hears your feelings about how great the whole experience was :)

andrea said...

great writing for posterity. also for when she becomes a teenager and says spending time with you rots because you are stupid. you can pull this out and say, "WAS I STUPID THEN? HUH? WAS I?"

there is beauty all around...

Paige said...

Fantastic. Tender mercies like those is exactly why we have kids!

Penny said...

What a fun day! We have never been skiing...maybe Emma could earn some extra $$ teaching us.

That was precious!

gab said...

Oh wow! I am so jealous...what a fun day.

Laurie said...

Great post--great job Emma! We are all impressed!

Lorena said...

What a fun day! I love it when my kids are good at something, too!

Great job, Emma!

Celia Fae said...

Awesome. A natural skiier? I'm so jealous. My kids have been at least five times and they are still on the bunny hill. Ah well, we can't all be Romneys. Time to invest in a cabin!

Lindsey said...

Ohhhhh isn't it so much fun!?! How old is Emma, maybe she and Abby can hit the slopes together. Abby has been skiing for 3 years because we lived in Sandpoint for a year and a half! Let's hook up on the slopes!

stacyj said...

Hey Romneys!

I just tagged Jessica (Ryan, you can totally help) on my blog -- Have FUN!

Christie said...

She is ten times the skiier as a child than I will ever be as a full-grown adult person. Impressive.

Love the Daddy/Daughter day. What a good dad you are!

Adrianne said...

I have great memories of my dad teaching me how to ski...too bad for me it was a 16 instead of 9!!

Go Emma!

Carie said...

I have SO many great memories of skiing with my dad . . . what a great day!

We would love to take out kid's skiing . . . but alas we have no mountains in Missouri. We barely have hills.

Ashley said...

So glad for Emma that her first ski experience was so great in comparison to the life alterning embarrassing one I suffered as a high schooler thinking I was too cool for words. I'm excited for the both of you! She's a cute ski partner Ryan!

Meridith said...

Emma, way to go!! You're awesome. I want to learn how to ski as good as you next time I go skiing with you, okay? Love ya.

Mer

julie said...

I loved reading this post because it gave me something to look forward with my own little girls. It also reminded me of when I was little and would barrel straight down the mountain. My Mom would flip out, but she couldn't stop me. (Only the mountain could... and it did!) It was fun being a daredevil. Too bad age has turned me into my own mother and now I am the one screaming at everyone to "slow down."

Meghann said...

I just think Emma is the sweetest little girl in the whole wide world. And it's not just because she likes my beans! Gabe, Jane, and Seth are so lucky to have her for a big sister. Can't wait to see her in the Olympics some day!

elizabeth scott said...

Ryan you are such an awsome Daddy!! What a fun memory with your little girl!!!! You inspire me!!! Love ya Lots

Kirsten said...

Wow, that post makes me want to live in a snowy place again. And I don't even really ski!