Two days of skiing have left me feeling a bit beat up again. I just don't have my ski legs back yet and we skied some tougher terrain this weekend. It's impossible to describe how much I love this job. There are parts of it that are frustrating - mostly little things, things related to the constant change in management at the resort, small rule changes (they doubled the price of an employee cup of coffee this year), etc. But, it's really pretty simple. Between 9:00 and 9:15, girls start showing up with their parents. I have the only single-sex group - 10 girls including my own daughter.
At 9:30, we head for a chair lift - no parents, no bosses, and I essentially revert to being a 10 year old for the day. Yes, I am a very responsible 10 year old, but I feel like a kid when I hang out with these girls all day. I sing silly songs on the chairlift, primarily to embarrass the girls. We joke with each other. They call me the "fat kid" in the group - really referring to me being adult-sized rather than truly fat. Yesterday, they decided they needed a female coach, so I needed a new name. They started with Dana and then realized that could be a guy's name. So, I became Delilah for the day. I told them that I loved being Delilah, because Delilah conquered the world's strongest man with nothing but a pair of scissors.
We ski a run to warm up. Then, I teach a skill. We practice that skill explicitly for one run. Then, we use a second run to blend the skill into our skiing. And then, one or two more runs and it's lunch-time.
After lunch, we head to harder terrain. I want to spend part of every day taking the kids outside of their comfort zone. That's where they learn the fastest. But, too much time out of their comfort zone, and the risk of fatigue and injuries increases. So, after one or two tough runs, I start dialing it back. I'm constantly reinforcing the morning lesson, but I do it by either telling the entire group when someone does it right, or whispering recommendations in an ear when someone doesn't quite have it. By the end of the day, we are all tired. Six hours together is a great length for our daily play date.
I take the children back to their parents. I suddenly have to revert to being an adult again. I tell the parents what we worked on and where we skied. If the parents are going to ski with the kids before I see them again, I give the parents a few pointers to reinforce my teaching. Frequently, the parents are impressed enough that they say they are going to take a lesson with me. Sometimes it actually happens, but most of my teaching time is devoted to my little group of best friends.
The days seem to go by so fast and two weekends are gone already. But, it's early in the season and I have 28 more days to ski with my littlest best friends.
It's really an amazing way to spend my winters.