Unusually warm weather this January has not led to prime conditions on the ski slopes. Mostly, I've been learning to snowboard on ice rather than snow, which means my body is covered now with bruises of every colour. Today was our third snowboard lesson, and Blue-eyed Instructor kept saying, "Look how great you are doing!" My daughter and I congratulated ourselves as we negotiated turns, hardly falling at all. We are both getting the hang of snowboarding, and the way it feels to carve across the slope. But the ice made each run somewhat terrifying. Even though I didn't fall very often, the falls that I did take – slamming my body against ice – really hurt.
By 3 pm, we had retreated to the lodge to eat a snack, compare bruises, and rest for a while. I know that ski lodges in movies have comfy furniture, and fireplaces, and hot tubs, and sometimes famous actors wearing tap shoes, but our ski lodge is nothing like that. The lodge is a big room filled with picnic tables piled with backpacks, coolers, brown paper bags, and wet clothing. You hardly ever see anyone burst spontaneously into song or tap dance across the floor. But sunlight does come in through the big windows, and the chaos of people constantly coming and going, peeling off clothes or putting them on again, makes it a friendly place.
Today the place was half empty because the bad conditions had kept many skiers and boarders home. I kept shifting around on the bench to get comfortable – after a few hard falls on the end of my spine, sitting on a hard bench was painful. Daughter was doing some work for her classes, and she entertained me by reading aloud bits of the book The Theory Toolbox by Nealon and Giroux. It felt good to rest my sore body and talk with my Wonderful Smart Beautiful Daughter. After the adrenaline rush of boarding down icy slopes and all the hard work of remembering how to position our bodies, it was nice to do something as simple as talk about theory.
"Read me some more," I said to her, "It feels great to be doing something we are good at."