Nordic skiing wrap up
And they giggled…and there were peals of laughter. People stared from the Nordic Center at these kids having a great time. Kids who really didn’t want to come to the free kids Nordic lessons were suddenly having fun and didn’t want to stop! We skied down slopes sitting down, kneeling on the skis, acting like a monkey, marching like a soldier or got a dog ride back up the hill, steered around the slalom cones racing each other and more crazy things like chasing a soccer ball on skis. Who said you have to be serious and learn this sport school style? These kids didn’t even realize they were learning – learning control of their skis, learning control of their bodies for balance, learning how to open up your coat when you are too hot so the sweat doesn’t freeze or jump up and down and swing your arms when you are cold, drink when you are thirsty, and eat snacks when you are hungry. So much to learn but we can have fun doing it.
The new kids programs started this year have been very successful as evidenced by the big smiles on the front of Wednesday’s Sky-Hi News. Greta Fosha and her volunteers have done a great job getting the Granby Elementary-Granby Rec Department Kids Nordic program rolling. They might need to have two programs next year as currently exist at the long-standing Fraser Elementary-Fraser Valley Rec district program. Even the East Grand Middle School Nordic Team had another 30 kids show up for the Nordic Team. This is a tribute to the parents and coaches helping at all these programs. We can teach but let’s make it fun.
The attitude of the adults teaching is so crucial. We can laugh and be crazy too. We can lay on our backs and show kids how to raise their feet and skis into the air to straighten them out (when they seemed so impossibly tangled up!) and lay them neatly on the ground on the downhill side pointed across the slope so they can stand up. Try explaining that to a kid! Or can you just get down and show them! And if someone falls down, we can all go down to practice getting up again. Games like scootering on one ski teach how to commit to your weight on one ski and we have glide contests with the winner enjoying their choice of bite sized candy. We throw or kick a soccer ball ahead and ski to it – the first one there gets to be the one to kick or thrown it again. These kids (and adults too) use up lots of energy and most need to replenish part way through a lesson so I always keep miniature candy bars in my pack. Yes, we have healthier things available like granola bars or licorice or fruit chews. Kids march like soldiers up the hill so their heads are up and tiger paws (the pattern on the bottom of their no-wax skis) grab the snow. The monkey stance lets them go down hills secure in being lower to the ground with their legs apart, knees bent (your shock absorbers) and hands forward pointing where they want to go. All these things are really pretty silly but they work and everyone has fun. And the parent’s jaws drop when they watch their kid for the first time going all the way down a steep slope without falling, a slope even the parent was a bit afraid to tackle!
Our kids learn as we teach. If we are too serious, most kids get turned off. If we are afraid to let them try, they will be afraid to try anything. If they don’t fall, they aren’t trying hard enough. We need to laugh with them, not at them. The best teachers are often a bit unorthodox, a bit crazy, but always encouraging. When your kid tells you I want to stay out and ski more or I want to go back and do that again, Please listen.
Go to events like the Foxy Freestyle Nordic Race in Grand Lake Feb. 27 where there is not only a 15k freestyle Race starting at 10:30 a.m. but a 5km intermediate race open to adaptive skiers or a 2km kids race. Let the kids see the adaptive skiers in action. These people missing legs and arms amaze adults and kids alike. This is a benefit for the WP Disabled Competitive Nordic Program and all proceeds go to NSCD. And it’s family pricing at $40.00 per family. Another family event is the Snow Mountain Ranch Stampede on Saturday March 5 with both freestyle and classic events. Start times: 42K Classic 9:30am, 21K Classic 9:40am, 42K Skate 10:00am, 21K Skate 10:10am, 10K Skate and Classic 10:20am. There will also be a FREE 2km Kids Fun Race starting at 9 am with a big ole dalmation stuffed dog waiting for the winner.
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