Skiing is one of the most popular outdoor adventure activities in any place in the world where there’s snow and a hill! And here in North America we’re deep into the season. But skiing isn’t just about the rush you feel when you’re tackling that slope. Families that ski together get benefits that are a whole lot deeper than that.
Emma Wilson, a ski mum from Sydney Australia tells us why skiing really isn’t about the snow! Here’s Emma….
All-age Inclusive Activity
Skiing is not just about going up a chairlift and skiing down at top speed. It’s an opportunity to get together outdoors. It’s in a minority of activities you can do as an all-age activity, from your 90 year grandfather right down to your 2 year old daughter. It’s a chance to have one-on-one time to discuss the issues of life, ask curly questions about bullies at school, relationship woes or the health concerns
Fresh Air Can be a Fresh Perspective
Away in clean mountain air the grind of everyday life seems very far away. It gives you a chance to get fresh perspective about how you live daily life at home, the people in your life, the actions you choose that reflect your routine and your values. Fueled by serotonin, (nature’s happy drug), when you ski with people you love or just plain like, everything you need to do becomes crystal clear.
Skiing together as a family is the space for everyone to encourage each other. It’s not just mum on the soccer sidelines with the boys as the superstars, now it’s mum showing the kids how to navigate powder or chutes. It reminds kids their parents are human and capable and worthy of trust. Mutual respect and admiration has a chance to flourish out on the ski hills. It’s a great level playing field. Catch dad if you can! He doesn’t just pay the bills and yell at you to clean your room. He’s actually a fun guy and hey, you might just want to be like him some day.
Every aspect of the human spirit is on display on the ski fields. When a skier falls over, others come to help. Strangers stop to ask if you’re ok. Chairlift time starts conversations and makes new friends from far off lands. Views are explained and perspectives are considered. Lives are compared and people are inspired. People have time to drop everything and TALK. Hopefully not a ski pole, though!
Observing skiers missing a leg, arm or without sight whizz past at great speed is a wonderful thing. It shows kids that disabilities should not hold you back, the playing field is level, it engenders respect and promotes good will. The next time they see someone with disability in the street or have opportunity to employ them as adults they won’t think twice to treat them as equals. It puts all walks of life in touch with other humans they don’t always get a chance to meet. It’s a great place to meet an Olympian, see Grandma rip it up or make a friend from New Zealand.
Skiing with friends brings you closer. Sharing experiences, taking turns leading the way down the mountain, helping each other with ski gear or ski school pick up rebuilds that ‘village’ that is under threat from being lost forever to ‘the individual as King’. How much of everyday life is a great chance to laugh? Laughing good naturedly at each other’s face plants or the comedy show under the chairlift is well worth the day ticket!
Skiing reminds us we are good people at our very core, surrounded by other good people. For the most part it renews our hope in the human race that kindness and common courtesies have not gone the way of the dinosaur. Skiing provides each family member an opportunity to demonstrate and that’s something you just can’t experience watching TV together back home.
Emma Wilson is a Sydney based freelance writer and avid ski mum to three young kids.When they aren’t enjoying the beautiful weather in Sydney they’re likely skiing the slopes in Japan and North America. Emma has a ski blog at www.lifeloveandski.com where she shares her passion and publishes great tips for families get the most out of their ski experiences.