Showing my kids how to study

Post three 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. This is how we teach our kids to do the same.

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  • Mel

    Mel on March 10, 2013, 5:45 p.m.

    Good for you for sticking with it. I tele skied for years, and just recently switched to an alpine set-up-- so much less work! So now I alpine the one or two times we go to a ski area, and spend my backcountry days on my Nordic skis (which I much prefer). I still miss dropping the knee now and again :)


  • Beth

    Beth on March 10, 2013, 7:08 p.m.

    Well, I for one have wanted to learn to telemark ski for a long time. When the AMC offered a telemark class at our local ski hill, it wasn't the right life season for our young family.

    Please do list the resources that you've been using. Thanks!


  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on March 10, 2013, 10:51 p.m.

    I had to look up what telemark skiing is and I admire your stick-to-it-ness, and your modeling for your children. I'd like to think the same for myself with all my reading. They see me reading (a lot) and loving it, and hopefully they will follow suit in the future.
    Sarah M


  • Heather

    Heather on March 11, 2013, 1:27 a.m.

    Exactly. Kiddos learn this skill by living it and seeing those they love live this way. BTW I had to google telemark skier - I live in sunny AZ where such thing is a rarity!


  • Brenda Anderson

    Brenda Anderson on March 11, 2013, 2:19 a.m.

    So inspiring - Blake and I just registered for a Tough Mudder race in September - not telemark skiing - but definitely something I need to train for. I've been tempted to pull out before I even begin as the amount of training seems huge - your post came at the perfect on those days that it seems insurmountable I'll remember that it's not just for me - it's also for my kids...


    • renee

      renee on March 11, 2013, 12:03 p.m.

      Fabulous. Exactly, we do this not just for ourselves but our kids - it's part of their education, to watch their parents and elders show how we apply ourselves and learn. Think of it as homeschooling, but you get to do the activity. You go you Tough Mudder.


  • Kyce

    Kyce on March 12, 2013, 3:42 a.m.

    Well I telemark ski, or did before I retired back to the cross country ski trails since having kids, and so I know very well what you are undertaking, how rewarding and challenging it is, and how sweet a new bit of gear is. Rock on, Mama.


  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on March 13, 2013, 5:19 a.m.

    You have all my admiration. JF did some telemark in the Yukon, but I hid behind the fact that someone had to stay home with the girls not to go... The truth is that telemark scares the hell out of me!

    However, I am totally with you on showing our kids how we study. When I did an online photo class in November, the girls were very interested in my weekly assignements and saw me work hard and practice for the class.


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