Sunday, February 12, 2012

From the Slopes

I have recently come to realize that adventure and travel are secondary family values of ours. I attribute this at least partially to the fact that it takes getting out of town for my hubby to truly escape his job. It is also because we both really enjoy it.

When we got the opportunity to meet up with some friends in Colorado for Winter Break, we seized it. Our little Georgians love being in 'real snow' and my husband is a big fan of skiing.Snow skiing, however, honestly pushes me to my limit. My husband's loving but honest assessment is that it is the perfect storm of things that push my buttons.
1. Cold
2. The necessity of a bunch of stuff &
3. Him attempting to 'teach me' how to be better at something

The first hour of the day was certainly hairy...but once we had accounted for 10 liners, 10 gloves, 10 ski socks, 10 pieces of long underwear, 5 goggles, chapstick, sunscreen, ski suits, boots, helmets, lift tickets and skis...the rest of the day was a breeze. The children were happily engaged in ski school...which just left US. The problem is that skiing is probably one of the more stressful things we do as a couple. As a rule, being cold, frightened and physically challenged are not a recipe for the best me. The biggest argument we have ever had started on a ski slope in Winter Park 12 years ago when I was scared out of my gourd on a run that was far beyond my ability. I wound up taking off my skis and hiking all the way down the mountain with frozen tears on my face.

The first day we were here, we each had ski buddies at our skill level. The second day I didn't ski while my husband spent the day skiing challenging runs with old friends. But today was our final day--our date on the slopes.

He is much better at skiing than I am, so when he forgoes the black diamonds to ski blues with cautious me, I feel like I am holding him back. (Which is true, for the record.) Knowing that while I don't hate to ski, I also don't exactly love it, he feels like I am only skiing to be with him. (Which is also kind of true.) We are both sacrificing. It's like our own little version of The Gift of the Magi.

It is also one of the last frontiers where I have a hard time letting go and letting him lead me. Frankly, I want to be as good as he is without the hard work. When he tries to help, my independent streak rises up causing me to just want to work it all out myself.
Like I said, not my best me.

But I really enjoy time with him, the beauty of the views is unparalleled and he loves this sport. So after a lot of prayer about my attitude and a semi-tearful admission of the above paragraph at an elevation of 11,000 feet we tried to use what ten years of marriage has taught us--patience, understanding, teamwork and laughter.

And it turned out to be a very good day. I got a bit better at skiing and marriage.

As I was thinking about writing this post I asked myself: Wouldn't it be easier if we didn't ski together anymore? It is an 'extra' in life, not a have to...why don't we just let this go?

But the truth is, I am really glad we didn't. We had a great time together and I learned something. I might even be looking forward to doing this again.

We are better for pushing through the difficulty. By the grace of God--and with a mutual commitment--we CAN do hard things. (And sometimes it even turns out to be fun!)


davec777 said...

Been there on the skiing front with kids and hubbie! Good for you for pushing thru!

Sara said...

Cute post! After living in the mountains for years, I can say the "spouse ski instructor" plan pretty much ends in tears for everyone! :) Keep it up, because you will want to try to hang with those kiddos, they get good fast!

Tara said...

You and your husband sound just like my parents when it comes to skiing! My mom and I decided skiing is a great family activity and lots of fun- but not exactly a vacation! haha

Diane Tohline said...

Loved this post and your assesment of yourself. It was a refreshing and great perspective.

Glad you are pressing through - once the kids learn and you all ski together - you will be glad you hung in there!

Rosemary Clark said...

Love this post!! Thanks for sharing. : )

La Familia Garcia said...

Ok so those pictures of your kiddos are precious but what an AMAZING picture of you and your hubby!!!! WOW! Who knew skiing and the cold could be so good for a marriage! ;)


such a neat perspective...i enjoy your blog, thank you!

Tales of a Peanut said...

I love Beaver Creek! My husband and I went there with friends last year and loved it and can't wait for our kids to get a little older so that we can take them. Do you mind me asking where you stayed? We stayed in a friends condo last year and while it was close, it was still a walk to the slopes and I'm wondering if, with younger kids, that walk would be worth it or if there would be somewhere closer to stay. Thanks for sharing if you want to, if not I totally understand that too!