Sunday, March 18, 2007


Some friends and I went skiing and snow-boarding this last weekend. We brought along my ten year old niece for her first try at snow-boarding. Actually, she had never been near a downhill in her life, so skiing and snow-boarding were all new to her. I soon realized that something was familiar about all of this. She had to remember clothing, a pack, and food. Then questions about which foot she felt she should put forward. Shoe size. Her height and weight for the best size board. She had to learn about board parts and foot straps. Then finally, simply technique, from how to stand, to moving forward, hints of a turn...oh, and the important one, how to land a, stopping. And all this on a hill, where gravity is not your friend...yet.

It brought back the memory from some years ago when I first stretched on a spray skirt. Before we headed out on that first guided sea kayaking tour on the north atlantic. I was excited, but more than a little nervous too. All those things to remember, will I look foolish, will I tip this thing over...and that water is very cold. Well, of course, an hour later, I thought this was the greatest thing in the world.

Did my niece think many of the same things snow-boarding?....I'm sure she did, but she pushed though anyway...and at the end of the day, she was all smiles and thanking us for taking her. She said something about next time...and trying the skiing I was doing...Yes, girl, try it all. The main thing is that I'm certain that she now has another winter activity for fun, adventure and health. Maybe the best thing we can do for children...and adults introduce them to all manner of new things and let them see which they really take to. Oh, and it's nice to be reminded of the trepidation and excitement we all felt of first discovering something new...If we stay patient and remember that excitement...chances are, they'll of had a great day too.


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