I haven’t written anything in a while. I’ve been busy, working, skiing, training… Last time I wrote about taking my group of four year-olds up the mountain for the first time and now, two weeks later, it was my three year-olds’ turn. The moment I thought would never happen.
It did end up with lots of tears, screaming like someone was in excruciating pain actually, but that’s not until the end. The day started with me planning to take the kids up a smaller gondola, but that didn’t work out since the run we would do was not groomed. And as one of my kids said when he came in that morning: “Andrea, it’s a powder day!”
At least this little ripper was ready to ski some pow. Every one of my skiers was ready for something more challenging than the magic carpet, but unfortunately they didn’t all believe it. No matter how excited they were to journey up the mountain in the big gondola, the first words of doubt came out at the top. “Uhm, Andrea, why are we going this way? This is quite high.”
After a little bit of skiing most of them realised that it might be high, but it doesn’t mean it is much more difficult. Besides, there was so much to be excited about; the snowmobiles, the other skiers and snowboarders, the ‘roads’ on the mountain. One of them wasn’t so sure though and was very hesitant to ski at all. He kept to his ‘safe’ pizza wedge, even on the flat bits where we needed the speed. So in the morning we did a lot of walking on the mountain in our skis like we were a, very slow, cross country group.
Lunch gave everyone a bit of a breather and a much needed rest. The next gondola took us all the way up the mountain to a bit more challenging terrain. And this is where the stress came in. At first all was fine, but at the steeper pitch my tiny people lost confidence. One of the girls announced she needed the toilet and made it very obvious so I wouldn’t forget. I could already see the restaurant we could go in, but one of the boys decided this hill was too steep and thought going straight in a massive breaking wedge was the way to tackle the challenge. He kept falling over.
So in this moment I was dealing with a screaming kid that kept falling over and thereby lost the last bit of confidence in him. Another was crossing her legs, crying about having to use the toilet. The others kept falling over because they couldn’t stand still waiting for the boy to get up. In the meantime my heartbeat and frustration was rising. I don’t remember how we got down, but we made it to the toilets.
This is the part of the day where the kids start to get tired and distracted. Following in a line became harder and harder. On another cat track we shuffled slowly along, which made their little legs even more tired. We were also running late, so didn’t have time for a big break. On we went until the last slope of the day. One of my little guys bursts into tears. “My legs hurt!”, he repeated over and over again. Tears and snot were running down his face. But even a tissue and some calming words wouldn’t work. Nothing would work.
So this is where I almost lost it. I just wanted to get my guys down safely and give them their well deserved rest. I took the little guy in between my skis and he hung in my arms like a sack of potatoes. “Are you standing up? On your own legs?” “Yes”, he answered, but I could feel him getting up. I had to say this about every 3 minutes. Slowly we made out way down, with a few falls and awkward moments. I was so happy when we were back in the gondola and I asked my group what they thought about skiing on the big mountain. They loved it! All four of them! it was like everything was forgotten. I just wish I could forget like that.