She wasn’t always skilled and fast. She didn’t always have a winning attitude. This whole experiment was on a path to the bottom. She should have given up. I should have given up. For reasons I’ll never know, I pushed. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed. Hour after hour, day after day, year after year. It went nowhere, in fact I think we went backwards for huge chunks of time. She totally sucked, and finally I told her so. That was the turning point.
Now skiing is our life. The whole family skis. It’s what we do, and it’s great. The memories we make wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t push. It was a blind act, but somewhere deep in my soul I could not give up. It just felt right.
This week we make our annual pilgrimage to Mount Hood for summer training. My daughter is ten years old and will be coached by some US Ski Team Members and coaches from the World Cup Team. We’ve come a long way from the little girl who was starfished on the snow, kicking and screaming and yelling at her dad. Today, while having coffee and packing gear she said that she wanted today to end, so that it could be tomorrow and we could be driving toward the mountain. She said it felt just like the day before Christmas, when she could barely stand another moment of waiting.
We are here to GUIDE our children. Parenting is a nonstop event. It is a way of life, a way of being. Show and nudge, play and coax. Push and support, push and support. Teach them to ride the edge of their potential early on. Make it part of their being. Tell them the truth, that they suck at what they are doing, and that if they dive deeply into something, they can own it and take it to new levels. Levels of understanding about our potential, our relationships, our environment and the people in it. These are the years where the baseline is established, let’s set the bar high and launch a wiser more accomplished humanity that can brighten the future. It is our duty to prepare them so.
Wait, what’s that? She’s starfished on the tennis court? Ugh. Here we go again…