Skip to content

the quitter

Saturday’s plans were dead in the water by 9:30. The long-awaited roller-skating playdate had been canceled.

While listening to the bored whines of my daughter, I perused the snow on the ground, considered the moderate temperature… and decided this would be the day to go cross-country skiing.

I had to practically drag Rada out the door. All she really wanted to do was to sit around and complain about not being able to roller skate.

But we made it to the ski place, and when she saw the big skis with poles, she got a little more interested. I signed her up for a beginning lesson and we put on our skis and poles and went out for a spin before the class started.

However her first minutes on the skis were a debacle. She could barely stand up, let alone propel herself forward. After 3 falls and a backward slide, she threw her poles on the ground and crying bitterly that she’d ‘sprained’ her ankle, wailed, “I quit! I’m never never ever coming back here EVER again. I QUIT.” She stood there with furrowed brow and crossed arms.

Cajoling and threatening, I brought her inside for a early lunch/snack… trying to keep her coherent until the lesson. My hope was that the lesson might illuminate the mysteries of skiing enough for her to stay with it. I’d made a hefty investment on rentals and passes and was damned if I was going to leave 45 minutes after arriving.

Through a series of threats, pleas, leveraged bargaining and downright coercion she arrived at the class. The instructor was a cheerful young skier who slid along pole-less. She relieved the three kids in the class of their poles and immediately started playing a game…where they fell down deliberately and waved their feet in the air liked capsized turtles. I sat watching for a few minutes, and realized with relief that my daughter was not tantruming and actually seemed to be enjoying it.

Quietly sliding off to ski on my own, I stayed within yelling distance of the class, keeping a watch for any meltdowns or catastrophes. There appeared to be none… just alot of laughing and lying in the snow with ones skis up in the air. A half an hour later I looked over and to my amazement saw my daughter ski down a small incline.

When the lesson was finished she came up to me breathless, wanting to show all the stuff she could do. We took a spin on the ski trail, and again she slid effortlessly down the gentle slopes.

Soon it was time to go, but she made me promise we would come back. She was hooked, hook, line and sinker.