Thursday, January 27, 2011

Big Air 2011

In my last post I mentioned the Big Air competition that my 12 year old son did prior to my husband's birthday party. Here are a few photos:


FANS, Marissa, Mr. A, Mr. Jman and Miss J:

Rich & I on the right and our bestest, supergreat, ski & boating buddies on the left:

Miss J (our friend) with Marissa and Ana:

FLYING taken during the competition, this is Foster (12 years old):

My son over the years has told me that he wishes he could fly.  Maybe I exposed him too much to Jimmy Neutron or the Snowman movie where the snowman flies while holding the boy's hand, all over town (The Snowman by Raymond Briggs). There aren't any words in that movie and I loved the soft music as it would lull my kids to sleep. Guess it didn't work on my son, though.

All of our  children started skiing by the time they were 3. We knew it was something that we could enjoy in the winter and so we made a commitment to teach them very early. It has been a lot of long winters with blood, sweat and many tears, as it is no easy feat teaching children to ski. Our children have always worn helmets. If you are considering teaching your kids to ski or snowboard, always require them to wear a helmet. They are very comfortable & warm. It is a critical component of ski gear.

As our kids have progressed through the years, they continue to challenge themselves with more difficult terrain and jumps. This is not easy on a mother. There are a couple of things that make it easier. I do know that my children have years of ski experience, as my husband or I have always been by their side, until just recently. We have taught them the etiquette of taking turns in line. We have stressed the safety measure in getting on, riding & getting off the lift.

I am afraid to say, there are many parents that won't invest the time and energy into teaching their kids or providing them with lessons. Unfortunately, there are times on our slopes where beginners with no training and no one by their side, make our slopes dangerous. Too often, kids are let loose on the slopes with no training. It breaks my heart that the parents do not realize the danger they are putting their kids in, as well as others. Skiing is a dangerous sport with inherent risks and we stress the risks to our kids.

To be completely truthful, I really did not want my son to compete in the Big Air contest. He had a fall about a week before the contest and injured his shoulder. I was secretly hoping that God was answering my prayer by allowing him a minor injury, so he could not compete. The shoulder healed quickly. In the days leading up to the contest, I couldn't talk about "BIG AIR" as my stomach would clench and I had a hard time breathing.

As luck would have it, my husband and I ran into a coach that my son trained with this past summer. He was very confident that Foster was ready for the competition and explained in detail how he was ready. I tuned it out and kept saying over and over to my self, "but his mother is not ready".  (The coach just had one of his skiers place 3rd in the Mountain Dew Tour in Vermont!!)

The day of the competition was busy with me finalizing all of the party details. As my husband & son were departing for the ski practice runs, I had a run-in with my oldest daughter, Ana. As thirteen year olds tend to do, she was disrespectful and non-compliant in things I had asked her to do hours earlier. We had a doozy of an afternoon that was filled with tears and frustration and an exchange of hurtful words (both of us). I stuck to my guns and punished her the best way I knew how. Instead of going skiing for the afternoon, she had to study and stick by my side with the party errands. I did let her go to the competition, but she had to be with me (instead of her friends) as my shadow. As you know, 13 year olds do not prefer to hang out with their mother in public places. Perfect punishment.

My emotions were running high as I hit the slopes to watch Foster compete. I rode the lift with a 16 year old boy from a city an hour away. He told me how tough the jump was and that he had crashed in practice a few times. He was pulling out of the competition. I asked where his mom was and he said  at home (an hour away). My stomach was clenching very tight by now. I told him who my son was and he said, "That little kid with the orange boots. Yeah, he is shredding it!"

The competition was very exciting. Watching and waiting and praying that I have not made a huge mistake in letting my son compete. It did ease my nerves a lot when my husband explained that Foster had completed 3 practice runs and had done them well.

We cheered Foster on and his first run he did lose a ski, but was able to ski down the steep slope on one ski. I could barely watch the second run, so I just stood slopeside praying for no injuries. My prayers were answered and then everything was over. Of course I was thrilled that he was fine, but my emotions were still jangled. It took me awhile to recover.

In my mind I knew that Foster had trained for the event. He was ready. It was me who wasn't ready. Here is proof that of his training from last summer. If you are a friend of Facebook, you may have already watched this:

Week One Highlighted Skier from Ohio Dreams on Vimeo.

I know there will be more competitions. I need the Training Manual for Mothers of Freestyle Skiers. Anyone have a copy that they can loan me?


  1. I agree, I love watching Thomas board, he has so much fun, but I'm always the one reminding him to take it easy! I've done well so far, but I can see that very soon he will be trying stuff that will make me much more nervous! It's hard to let them do it! Looks like Foster did great at BIG AIR and sounds like a great day! Julie H

  2. You guys are so adventurous and amazing! Those are really neat pictures.

  3. Oh my goodness Cathy! My boy would give anything to do this! I think it would give me heart failure. He started BMX when he was five and tore up the track but I was sick every run. A few years in, we pulled him from the sport because he was so fast and furious, all I could see were broken bones in his future at such a young age. But with great training, ski jumping would be a boys dream -- especially mine!

  4. AMAZING, Cathy - he has such talent!! We have close friends whose son (13yo) does this with a team at Sugarloaf (in Maine) - like your son, he's been doing it his entire life. We've watched him compete and I know exactly what you mean about the nerves - and he's not even my son!!

    BTW, I think you're a great mom - how you've worked w/ your kids on ski etiquette (couldn't agree more with your comments about that!), how you let your son compete despite your reservations, and how you handled your daughter that day (the shadow punishment) ... you GO, girl!!

  5. oh my gosh cathy- that was amazing...

    i am quite emotional after watching your little guy on that film...
    he is just gorgeous...a whole wonderful life time of this ahead of him!

    i know just how you feel...our son Sol used to ride the half pipe on his scooter in australia and it would just kill he has discovered football i am soo just takes way more commitment from us as a you with Foster i'm sure...i spend 6 days a week driving him to one elite squad or another...
    but if they know what they want to focus on...and their school work is great...then thats what us mums do....

    support it all with our fingers crossed and a huge proud smile on our face!!

    i think Foster's brilliant!!

    melissa xx

    p.s love your discipline tactics too...i'm there with you!!

  6. HOLY COW, Cathy! I grew up on skis also but that is one part of the sport that I NEVER attempted. SCARY! I don't think I could watch my kids do that.

    I totally agree w/you about the helmets. But it's funny b/c I never wore one growing up or in the years of ski school. It just wasn't done back then. But there weren't snowboarders and a zillion people on the mountain back then either.

    Your kids are so lucky to have such easy access to a mountain. We will be going to my parents place in Colorado in March to celebrate their lives. It will be bittersweet to get back out on the mountain without them.

    Oh, and so glad you liked the broccoli soup. I was amazed at how good it is. And how easy! I plan to make another pot today. :)

  7. p.s.....thought i'd better let you know by football i mean soccer....
    i couldn't even let sol play football i'd be too worried!!

    good ol' fast but safe soccer here!!
    can't wait to show Sol your video though!!

    m x


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