Day 210: Coach Tim

2 Nov

When my daughter Alexandra was a young girl we lived in Portland.  On a few occasions we took her skiing on Mt. Hood.  It was really just an introduction to skiing but it was a great ski area and we wanted her to feel comfortable on the mountain.  A few years later, we were back in Ashland but Alex still had little skiing experience.

One day I read a story in the  Ashland Daily Tidings that stated if you brought 5 cans of food the next day you would get a day pass for Mt. Ashland; and for another 5 cans you could rent gear.  This was such a great opportunity that I kept Alexandra out of school for the day and took her skiing.

As luck would have it, when we arrived at the ski area, the Mt. Ashland employee told us that the newspaper had made a mistake and that “special” was for Mt. Shasta.  Perhaps it was my disappointed look, or maybe it was divine intervention, who knows, but  that same employee said, “Since you came for the special, we will honor it.”  In no time at all,  Alexandra and I were outfitted with skis and went out onto the mountain on a perfect blue sky day.

Later when Alexandra and I were on the bunny hill, I was desperately trying to explain the “pizza wedge” to Alex and she was becoming more and more frustrated with me.  At one point I told Alex that I would leave her alone to think about what I’d said and meet up with her in a few minutes.  As I was riding the chair above Alex a few moments later I overheard a teenaged girl explaining to Alex how to make a wedge wtih her skis.  For some reason the light that would not go on for me was flashing with this young gal, and Alex finally understood how to position her skis to get down the hill!

Fast forward to a few years later.  By this time Alexandra has been involved in the Mt. Ashland Racing Association... and the tables have been turned.  I am still a tentative skier and Alex wants me to ski with her.  When she tells me where she wants me to go, I tell her that I am not sure I can handle that slope and she says,”Don’t worry Mom, I’ll ski with you. ” And she did…. downhill and backwards, coaching me all the way.

To do this she had to have had some good coaches… one of whom was Tim.   I am so grateful that he was able to encourage her to be the fearless person she was… because I don’t know that I could have ever done that.  It certainly was not something that I learned, for my Mom had already lost one child; and there was too much fear that she might lose another.  She could not be fearless because she was always aware of the dangers.   If only for that reason, I wanted my daughter to be brave.

Tonight I made an Onion, Bacon and Cheddar Quiche and brought it to Tim and his wife to thank him for giving Alexandra the permission to be as fearless as she could be.  It was an important trait for her to learn and I am very grateful for his part in her development.

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