Sunday, March 3, 2013

French Fries, Pizza and Hockey Stops

There are really only three things to learn in skiing:  how to put on your skis, how to slide downhill, and how to walk along the hospital corridor.  
~Lord Mancroft, A Chinaman in the Bath, 1974



I took a step out of my comfort box again yesterday to go skiing with some of the staff at work.  I can't say I'm absolutely brand new to skiing. I have now skied (downhill) a total of 4 times over the past twenty years and, while in high school, I was on the Nordic Ski team.  Some if the techniques came back to me fairly quickly. What was incredibly uplifting about the experience I had lastnight was watching my staff that had never skied before.  

Let me go back a little bit here.  My manager and I were trying to come up with some different options for our branch Holiday gathering.  Every year since I have been there (8 now), we have gone bowling.  We threw in ideas of going to Medieval Times, going to a dinner theatre, a comedy club, a concert.  But come on, it's Winter in Wisconsin.  How about doing something outside.  So I threw in the idea of going downhill skiing and Chuck jumped at it.  

I later found out that all of us were inexperienced skiers or brand new to the sport, having never strapped into a pair of ski boots.  I knew this would be interesting if staff was into trying it.  They did want to try it! Yesterday afternoon, we pulled into the parking lot at Tyrol Basin, bought our lift tickets and picked up our rented equipment.  Then came the hill.  

It seems it was easy to take for granted those three previous experiences on the hills.  It took me a moment to remember how to skate, how to make a pizza shape with my skis and snow plow to stop.   I picked up these things easily, my coworkers did not.  We initially did not plan to get lessons for the staff but within moments, it was obvious they were needed.  My hubby, being the most experienced skier, was being gracious in his attempt to teach four newbies how to stay upright on their skis.  

It was exciting to watch them attempted the bunny hill for the first time.  I was impressed with the range of emotions that crossed their faces.  There was nervousness, fear, excitement, embarrassment from falling, and determination to get back up on their skis and do it all over again. There were multiple falls and helping hands to get them back on their feet.  I remember smiles, patience, and words of encouragement.  I remember team building.  This was team building I just didn't expect.  

There will be stories to recall at work come Monday.  I'm hopeful that all of those new skiers will go back for more in the future.  Maybe this will become a new tradition?

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