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Nadworny: Learning To Ski

03/26/12 7:55AM By Rich Nadworny
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(Host) As someone who works in new media every day, commentator Rich Nadworny likes a challenge - and he firmly believes that it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. So this winter, despite a notable lack of cooperation from Mother Nature, he tried something that - for him - was completely different.

(Nadworny) We parents are a funny lot. We either want our kids to have exactly the same kind of experiences that we had when we were kids. Or, we want them to have completely different experiences than we had.

I want my kids to like a lot of the same things I did. I guess that's why I've made them watch the entire original Star Trek series. Twice. Or why I keep buying them Bit O Honey candy down at Charlie's Boathouse, even though I know it's terrible for their teeth.

On the other hand, one of my failures as a kid growing up in Vermont was that I never learned to downhill ski.

I grew up cross-country skiing instead, something I still love doing. When I lived in Stockholm, I could hop on the subway near my downtown apartment and 10 minutes later I'd be out in the woods on groomed and lit trails.

With my kids growing up in Vermont, though, I didn't want them to miss what I missed. So when they were younger, my wife and I took them to Cochran's where they learned to ski from our old Olympic stars. They loved it. They loved it so much, that I realized that the only thing holding them back from a lifelong hobby of skiing ... was me.

So last year, I went skiing at a ski resort with my kids. The only other time I'd been skiing at a resort was when I was six years old. This time, though, everyone had so much fun that we bought our passes for 2012 year right away. And I got ready for my first year of skiing, ever.

My rookie year was great. The weather didn't stop me from dragging my grumbling kids up to the mountain each weekend. Once they got there, they had a blast. But I think I'm had far more fun than the rest of the family. We're all still mostly beginner/intermediate, but we've gotten a lot better than we were a few months ago.

Of course, Vermont set a record, or close to it, for minimal snowfall this year. Thank god for man made snow! And by mid-march the season was effectively over.

We did time a great ski trip, however, up to Jay Peak right after they got hit with a 40-inch blizzard. Skiing in powder through the glades was so much fun that the kids grumbled even more when we went back to our regular mountain with man made snow.

So after all of these years growing up and living in Vermont, I get it. I get why people shlep up here from New York, New Jersey and beyond every weekend. I get why kids take the ski bus from school each week. My kids might not end up as Olympic skiers, but one thing I am sure of: their childhood in Vermont is already a lot different than mine was.

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