I heard a story from my mom the other day that I’d never heard before, and it connected a lot of dots for me in terms of how I came to love skiing. Turns out, my mom planted the seed that made our family’s love of skiing blossom.
The story went like this…When my parents were very first married, it was my mom who decided she and my dad would learn to ski, having both grown up in Ohio, skiing was not nearly as accessible as it is today for my kids growing up in Colorado.
So, as the story went, my mom said she went out and bought some really expensive boots for my dad, a really expensive jacket, really expensive pants, and really expensive bindings, and for skis, she bought some El cheepos out of a barrel of random mismatched skis, because she had been told to invest in boots and everything else, but don’t invest in skis until you know you’ll like the sport.
And sure enough, my dad took to skiing like a fish to water. He picked it up quick, mastered the skills, and actually skied on those old mismatched sticks for years. My mom, on the other hand, took to skiing more like a cat to water, timid, sketchy, jumpy, but yet she looked every bit the part, which to her was mission accomplished.
Upon hearing this story, it occurred to me that if it wasn’t for my mom, my parents probably wouldn’t have learned to ski. And if my parents never learned to ski, my brother and I likely wouldn’t have learned to ski. Arguably, more than any other sport, skiing and snowboarding are largely introduced to kids by their parents.
My parents left Ohio and moved to Minnesota. Living in Minnesota, skiing was only slightly more accessible than when they lived in Ohio. I don’t know what came first, the friends or the ski trips, but my parents became part of this group we now refer to as the Minnesota Crowd. Probably 8-10 couples, who each year would organize a ski trip somewhere. Now this was in the 70s mind you, so skiing was booming, especially out west in places like Colorado, and my parents were right there riding the wave all the way in the mid-west.
Thanks to my mom, my parents were skiers, and thanks to my parents, I became a skier, and as a parent, I have introduced our kids to skiing. A couple years ago, my parents came with us on a ski trip to Crested Butte. On the slopes one day I realized we had three generations of female skiers together, all thanks to mom.
Jennifer Rudolph lives in Denver and works at Colorado Ski Country USA, the state ski resort trade association. She has been skiing her whole life and blames her mother for her addiction to the sport, an addiction that she hopes is hereditary as Jennifer’s goal is to keep skiing with her family as long as she can.