“How many times did you fall, Mom? 400,000?” asks Daley with a big 7-year-old-smile as we walk to the car together after our Nordic ski lessons.
Daley participated in the KidSki Program, which provides cross-country ski lessons to kids ages 4 to 12. The program is hosted by Snowflake Nordic Center and coordinated by the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club.
What makes the program unique is that a parent ski lesson is offered while the youth are frolicking in the woods.
Being 40ish, I was a little hesitant to learn a new sport, but living in a community where cross-country skiing opportunities abound, I signed up.
I had visions of serene skiing across the countryside on flat terrain; I grew up in North Dakota after all.
But Duluth is built on a hill. Gravity became my nemesis.
I fell while going down the “gentle” slopes.
I fell while traversing the flat areas.
I fell while standing still.
Despite spending much of the lessons on the ground, I thoroughly enjoyed those rare moments of flow as I glided across the snow…upright.
Most importantly, Daley and I were both outside, having active fun.
Plus, we had great conversations about why falling (or making mistakes) is okay as it means we are pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and learning something new.
Thank you to the patient parent instructors, Louise and Laurie, who are very skilled at working with “scaredy skiers,” as well as the teenagers from the area high school teams who made the KidSki lessons fun for Daley.
Lastly, Daley would like everyone to know that the free sweet buns after the lessons are yummy.
Do you Nordic ski? What has been your family’s experience? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!