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Lesson Learned --- Be More Like My Kids!

Kelly Woolfe

Wow. We did it. I did it. I survived another one of our yearly snowboarding trips over the holidays! Wahoo! Honestly, I would really love to get to the point where I look forward to these trips each year with absolute excitement, but I wasn't there yet when we took off this year. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE these trips -- for the relaxation, for the shopping, for the time spent with family --- but I've never been confident on my board. As I told my husband when he asked me if I was excited before we left for the trip, "I'd be way more excited if I could actually snowboard!" And as an after thought, muttered to myself, "Maybe I should try skiing." But guess what?? My kids made huge progress this year on their boards --- and I did, too!!!! I was FORCED to get down the mountain all on my own because my "confident on her board" daughter took off like a shot down the mountain and I was left all on my own to attempt to keep up with her. There is nothing like learning to do something because you have absolutely no other choice! :) But honesty, I think that was the absolute best thing for me -- I learn by doing --- and if I'm too scared to try, I'll never learn. I have a newfound confidence on my snowboard, and its all thanks for my dare-devilish kiddos!

Did you grow up skiing or snowboarding? Born and raised in the Midwest, snow sports just weren't our thing. If we did take trips to the mountains, it was always in the summer time, and boy oh boy, I really CAN dig that! Snow sports are new to me, and were introduced to me by my snowboarding husband (who has been a snowboard instructor and will pretty much try anything -- hence, he's good). He seems to think that I should just be able to pick up snowboarding easily, but man on man, its tough -- it has taken me many years of trying to get to the point of getting down that mountain. You know how when you don't start trying to learn something until you're an adult, and its SO much harder? I didn't strap a board on for the first time until I was 31 years old!

Here's a little story for you, when I DID first strap on my board at 31 years old. Since I was a newbie, we decided some lessons were in order. I did one full day of lessons, and it was seriously rough, but I learned some things and gained some confidence in a few skills -- and amazingly, some of these skills have actually stuck with me.  After that first day, it was more about our kids, who at the time, were super young. Our daughter was 2 and our 2nd born was just a baby. We spent the rest of that trip sledding, painting pottery when we got cold, eating out, working around the kiddos naps, and snow tubing! Finally, on the last day, I decided to make one more go of it. I even was able to go up the lift on my own -- score!!! On my final run down (the small, training slope), I hit a hard, icy patch and went down. Hard. I knew immediately it wasn't good. Turns out, I broke my elbow, AND found out I was pregnant, all in the same day --- oops. Pregnant mommas shouldn't be snowboarding -- THAT was a shock (what a day) ! Anyway, that incident is always in the back of my mind and I'd have to say that it does shake my confidence a bit sometimes!

Now, it really is ALL about the kids when we go snowboarding. Each one of our kids has first stepped on a snowboard at age 2. So to them, its just natural. Its just what we do! (I SO wish that was me, too!). And you know how it is, as kids, they have no fear and will pretty much do anything. Already, our oldest 3 are boarding down the mountain, leaving me in the dust. :)

So this year, I learned a few things on our trip:

I need to be more like my kids.
That no fear thing that the kids have? Its actually pretty cool, as much as it scares the heck out of me when I know they're careening crazily down the mountain. If we all weren't so darn afraid, we sure would get a lot more out of life and really know what its like to live! We should all live so boldly! If we fear so much that we won't even try, well, then, that's not really living.

Have confidence in all I do.
A great way to tackle something that you don't really want to do and think you aren't good at is to just be confident. Even if you don't really feel that way, pretend you are so you can get it done! There's a lot to be said for accomplishing more in life if you do it with confidence. And be good to yourself. Our goal is not to make ourselves unhappy. As much as I don't want to get out on the slopes sometimes, being unhappy about it isn't going to get me anywhere. Instead, I embrace the fact that I am enjoying some pretty cool moments with my family! I'm witnessing my kids do something amazing!

Stay positive -- negativity doesn't get us anywhere.
As much as I want to get negative sometimes when I just can't get the skill and I just can't keep up with my kids (I mean, seriously, shouldn't I be able to keep up with my kids!?). But here's the thing, if I start getting frustrated or feeling negative, then I REALLY can't pick it up. Its all about the positive attitude. Tell yourself you CAN, and you'll go much further.

So, bottom line, I still am working on my snowboarding skills. I have a lot of improvements to make and skills to pick up. But honestly, I really DO look forward to our annual snow trip, for so many reasons ---- spending uninterrupted time with my family, eating out, sitting in front of the fire in our lodge watching movies with the kids, closing my computer and just taking a break from everything, drinking hot chocolate like its going out of style, dragging my parents along every year and seeing them delight in watching our kids on their boards, building snowmen with my kids, creating memories ---- there's so much I love about it and look forward to --- just not the snowboarding! :)

The family that boards together stays together.

The family that boards together stays together.

A great reason to love snow sports? They are an absolutely amazing workout! What's your snow sport of choice? Check out the hourly calorie burns!

So WOW! Traveling eating is finished up. Christmas is over. I think its TIME to put some focus back in on nutrition! I'm officially breaking up with the non stop treats and sweets and starting fresh January 4. Pick your focus -- are you going to work on nutrition, or fitness, or both in the New Year? Choose to take one small step forward and begin your journey. Let's chat about what is right for you!