Letters From The Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 Or visit www.TimHartJr.com ‘VIOLENT FALLS’ AT KEYSTONE RESORT Why Skiing Is My Mortal Enemy Corporate NMLS #3035 www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org
With the blazing heat beating down on Fort Myers, I’ve spent this morning thinking about a recent ski trip my family and I took to Keystone Resort in the mountains of Colorado. We Floridians didn’t handle the northern cold so well and needed humidifiers running constantly in our room. But when it gets muggy like this, I permit myself to look back on those icy temperatures with rose-tinted glasses. I’m not sure I can look back on the actual skiing with the same positivity, though — I spent most of my time there half-skidding, half-tumbling down the mountain. However, it gave me an opportunity to teach the kiddos more than a few lessons about perseverance. Skiing and I have a complicated history. The first time I hit the slopes nearly 13 years ago, when my wife and I first got engaged, I had absolutely no control or steering. I was like a 270-pound Scud missile barreling down the mountain. After that initial day, I remember everybody assuring me I was ready to take on a beginner trail that was about 3 miles long. I was falling over myself so often that — no lie — an old lady on foot in snowshoes passed my crumpled, snow-buried body two separate times. I have a distinct memory of lying buried in the snow, scrambling and slipping to get up, and thinking, “Oh, my God, that old lady is passing me again!” “I have a distinct visual memory of lying buried in the snow, scrambling and slipping to get up, and thinking, ‘Oh, my God, that old lady is passing me again!’” The second time we went skiing, which was years later, I drew a hard line; I watched the kids practice, but I did not ski. For our most recent trip, however, I was determined to suck it up and join my family on the mountain. I resolved that no matter how many times I fell, I wasn’t going to quit. I’d give it my best shot over and over, trying to be a good example for my kids. This determination may have been a mistake. For the four-day trip, we were joined by our own private instructor. He was often forced to say, “Hey Tim, just keep practicing over there,” then
moving off to help my 6-year-old daughter, Emerson, move on to the next step. It got so bad that on the third day, they all had to leave me behind to “practice my turns” while they went off on a trail that was definitely too difficult for me.
I talk to my kids a lot about failure, telling them that they’re going to trip up every once in a while, but the key is getting back up and trying again. As you can imagine, I got to demonstrate this principle a lot on this trip, especially for my oldest son, Mason. He was relearning to snowboard, and initially he struggled to stay upright almost as much as I did. By the second day, he was almost completely fed up, his pride damaged and his frustration at its peak. But along with me, he kept going. By the third day, something clicked, and he was zooming down the slope with the best of them — which was the exact opposite of me. From the top of a green trail called Scout, I wanted to take a video of Mason’s new skills. I told him I was going to go over the crest of the hill and asked him to wait two minutes before following me down so I could get a good shot. I fell the entire way down, stretching that two minutes to more like 10 or 15. When Mason made it down to me completely unscathed, he was eager to remind me of this fact. “Dad,” he said. “When you fall, it’s really violent .” So much for skiing, then. I’ll let the kids do all the slope-carving from now on. I will admit that the trip was a great time — though my poor, aching body might have begged to differ.
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