Monday, December 22, 2014

Skiing For Parents, or How I Torched My Legs

Thankfully, the kids are all old enough so that the Mrs. and I decided it was a good year to finally bring skiing to the Fisher family. We committed fully, renting kit for the entire season and buying season passes to the closest decent mountain, where I had skied many a time as a kid myself. Winter weekends with a family of 5 are too much to make it through without an activity that everyone can really get behind - we'd tried ice skating with no real success, and there really wasn't a good alternative than skiing since you can't rely on there being snow on the ground, which would allow sledding, snowball fights, etc.

The oldest one took to it immediately, and was safely turning and stopping within an hour. No worries. The middle one needs a bit of work on slowing down and gaining control, but after a couple of weeks seems like she'll get it no problem after an hour or so of concerted teaching on my part. No confidence issues, just some technical stuff to get through. The littlest one is actually pretty good, but being that he's little it made sense to get something we could control him with - a pair of straps that attach to a chest harness, allowing a parent to 'steer' him from about 10 feet behind. Looks like this (not mine, but a good idea of the image):

The system works pretty well - he gets to ski without me holding him between my legs, but he's still got a safety device so he knows I'm near. The only problem is that it requires the parent to ski a wedge not just for themselves (you can't ski slow any other way really)  but also on behalf of the child's weight, enhanced by the force of the slope and gravity. The short summary - after two runs on the most gradual long trail we could find, Daddy's quads were en fuego. I didn't do the smartest thing by knocking out an interval set on the bike that morning, but regardless....ouch. When I climbed out of the car later that day, it felt just like I had run over 15 miles...clearly very tired legs. It forced my hand on an easy session the next day, but I keep telling myself it all just fits inside a well-planned polarized training plan. Riiight.