(Post five of the The Adventure of Learning series.)
Telemark skiing has not been easy to learn. I have practiced every week this winter. These practice sessions have been different than going skiing for the thrill of racing down the slopes, the way I did on alpine skis as a child.
This feels like work. It feels like effort. It feels like study. It is a study. There are telemark books, telemark video teaching, personal tutoring, and of course actual skiing in the mix of my life.
Telemark skiing is a mix of science and art. It reminds me a lot of the other physical and creative pursuits in our lives, the blending of function and beauty.
I got new skis a couple weeks ago. A great end-of-season sale. These beauties are an upgrade from the pair Damien bought me last winter.
It was a toss up - take the kids to the dentist for a check up and cleaning (their last visit was two years ago), or buy mommy new skis. Well, I guess you can see where our priorities lie this month. Ski season will end soon but our kids teeth will still need cleaning next month.
This week I scored a different pair of boots that I can borrow for the remainder of the season, and what a difference this new combination makes. Not only does my ski ensemble match - blue boots, blue skis and a blue jacket - but I now have the equipment I need to become a proficient and elegant telemark skier. (The matching ensemble part is a joke by the way. I'm not one to care much for that sort of thing.)
All those exercises and drills I've been doing each week that have been killing my legs (sore muscles and bruising) and trying my patience, "now do it again Renee", are paying off.
I am learning how to telemark ski.
I suspect this will have little significance to you, in terms of the actual skill I am learning. Not very many people telemark ski. (If you're curious about the resources we're using - books, videos, etc. please ask in comments and I'll give you the links.) The significance in sharing this is that I am studying telemark and in doing so I am showing my children how to study and how to learn.
I have a goal I want to achieve and I'm working towards it. The way we teach this to our kids is by doing it ourselves.