“What matches with hot pink ski pants?” my husband Greg asks.
“Everything and anything,” replies my 16-year old daughter. “There are no ski fashion rules anymore. It’s not about matching; it’s about making your own statement.”
My daughter insisted upon the hot pink ski pants last year, but now she needs a new ski jacket to match (or not match - given the new style rules or lack thereof).
My daughter continues, “Oh, btw, there are still rules for you and Dad. You can’t wear fluorescent green or hot pink. OK?”
It’s that time of year. Our family of four gets in gear for the ensuing ski season. Each family member prioritizes and picks their one new item (necessity or nicety depending upon how much growth or wear and tear has occurred since last winter).
For Greg and I, and our 17-year old son, it was all about the hardware this year. Shiny new skis (that now come complete with bindings in an all-inclusive package) were too tempting to pass up. We had the opportunity to demo skis at Stratton last February and the longing had not subsided since. When we found last year’s models on sale, the prices were not so scary and the purchases were made.
Our daughter, however, wanted a swanky new ski jacket, hence our shopping excursion and fashion lesson.
This annual preparation for the alpine season is expensive, yes. It’s not just an expenditure, its also enthusiasm and excitement which you can’t put a price tag on. We have a whole procedure involving physical training, the mental psyching up, and the logistics when we open our planners and plot how often and where we can ski this season.
Our shared goal is to maximize our time on the mountains. You can imagine the groans from our home as we discover the formal school dance is smack in the middle of a three day winter weekend or a work obligation occurs during Sunday River’s no-bib jib my daughter wants to be at.
So we all bend, since the time we spend on the mountains is most precious to each of us. We have our various reasons for loving the sport of skiing. But the bottom line is we share this passion and a common goal – to get out on the slopes together. And a trinket or a new toy each year is part of the build up before going on our first ski trip of the season.
My son loves the challenge of skiing, constantly tweaking his technique and taking it to the next level. Especially since teaching skiing last year, he is all about mastering the mountain. So the choice of new skis was no surprise.
For my husband, skiing provides an outdoor outlet, and escape from the work and worry of day to day life. On the mountains he is surrounded by inspiring scenery, experiencing the pull of gravity and the sensation of sliding. My daughter, she loves looking good and feeling good on the slopes.
For me, it’s all of these things but mostly that skiing is the one sport that the four of us share without hesitation. I love that we can go to the mountains together and have our unique experiences, make our own tracks and therefore our own statement. But at the end of every satisfying ski day, we have lived, learned, and loved it together. In that moment, on that mountain, we share a deep appreciation of nature and of each other.
For whatever reason, this is our favorite season. The alpine adventures lay ahead like an untouched flank of mountain blanketed in fresh snow. Now, if we could just find that jacket to match the hot pink pants, or not.