These last few days have taken me back in time to family ski vacations every spring break with our children (Paige and Joshua) since they were 6 and 3. I fondly remember the convoy of families travelling together as we left the prairies and headed west to the mountains of British Columbia. A week of fresh mountain air, loads of exercise, snow, sunshine, and lots of “apres skiing” dinners and time with friends. Wonderful memories!
Although we’ve fit in the odd ski vacation with our now adult children (who have become far better skiers than I am), this week Michael and I hit the slopes, just the 2 of us, to a location we’ve not skied before, Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia.
I must admit, it felt odd arriving at our rented ski condo, “just the 2 of us”. I caught myself a few times saying, “I wish the kids were here” or “the kids would love it here”…
Having said that, the morning of our first ski day, my attention soon began to focus on something else: Michael and I were actually a “young couple” here.
At this time of the year (especially during weekdays), lots of couples well into their fifties, sixties, and seventies are hitting the slopes either by themselves or with friends. Of course, some young families are still present, largely hailing from Australia and New Zealand. I loved watching the “little ones” zoom by – a flashback of times past with my own “little ones”.
I was inspired by riding the chairlift with those older than us; seeing their physical capability and enjoying the outdoors. By sitting beside an older gentleman (mid seventies!) well-versed on the hill and giving us guidance. By the moment we sat having a beer (in Adirondack chairs next to the hill), overhearing a group of women share stories of their grandchildren back home and also, of their own “new focuses for 2018”. Why was I so surprised? I realized then, that this moment is now: this is life, this is where I am, this is why I should celebrate being here.
At one point, Michael commented, “skiing is a life skill, like learning to drive a standard car: it’s something you should absolutely do – even better as a young family”. It’s true. In some ways, it’s a life skill (if your health permits) you can do with your family, as a couple, or with friends (as you age); it’s not about saying “we’re too old” to do that, or “I can’t do that”. Yesterday, I saw middle-aged “kids” on the hill that were taking lessons and just learning to ski. This is what it’s all about.
Looking forward, I hope and pray I’m skiing down the mountain with family and friends at 80 years old, or trying to keep up with my grandchildren (should I be fortunate to have some).
I felt good after our days of skiing. The “good” sore leg burn, the freedom of going down the hill, the beauty of nature, the views from the chairlift, and most of all, sharing the time with Michael. We ended our 3-day stay on the hill with a day of snowshoeing – magical! Everything in all those moments was an absolute privilege and luxury I felt grateful for.
Whether it’s downhill skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, golfing, tennis, cycling, or hiking: remember it doesn’t have to be major. If you have your health, get out and enjoy the friendship and family time exercising outdoors can bring and the connection with nature. Of course, I still miss my children and I’ve already let them know we will come back here together for a ski weekend next winter…… 🙂
Be kind to your body, but remember to challenge it when you can. As Lululemon says, do something that scares you each day. Why? Because (even if it’s in small bites), we can. And because at the end of the day, all you really have is your family, your close friends, your health, and the adventures you take.
Photography: My husband, Michael and me! 🙂
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