Growing up in a small California beach town was idyllic, especially since I loved life on the shore. But there’ve been consequences. I’m not talking skin cancer. I’m talking about my marriage to one of the ski (not surfing) greats and trying to keep up. And now that our son out-skis us both, the challenge is even greater. Admittedly, my skiing has improved immensely over the decades, but the progress has been slow.
One reason might be that my husband has a theory that it is troublesome to ski coach your love interest. Better to hire someone, and since I’d rather buy snazzy new ski outfit than pay an instructor, the lessons have been few. Nonetheless, I can usually wring a few tips out of Lou by asking for them on special occasions, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. But then another problem arises: the tips themselves.
It could well be Lou is from Mars and I am from Venus, because his tips are so obtuse they might as well be spoken in Wookie.
His favorite tip when I ask for help: “You need to stand on your skis.” Stand on my skis? As opposed to riding with them on my head? Another: “Be more aggressive.” What does that mean exactly? Go faster? Don’t turn? Hit you with a ski pole? And of course: “Ski the inside edge.” Is that a yoga move? “Put your weight into the turn.” Are you saying I look fat?
Then we have: “Drive the bus.” That’s clear. And the ever specific: “Don’t think, just ski.” Another favorite: “Feel the turn in your big toe.” Zen?
And there’s the whole other game of skiing powder. “Move like you are doing it.” Doesn’t he ever think of anything else?
And finally, the weird, the beyond, the paranormal: “Do stone monkey.” Do you know what he is talking about? I don’t. Maybe he said the “stoned monkey”. Perhaps he was the stoned monkey? Was it back in his days as a dish washer in Aspen? Does this have anything to do with the powder skiing trick he promulgates…?
Perplexity aside, I must say I love a day out on the planks. And the best of Lou’s tips, “Just have fun,” rings true. Hiking up in the early morning and carving a big arc in fresh groom or sailing down a backcountry slope is heavenly. When everything clicks it really is glisse, a wondrous feeling. And on those other days when it’s more of a struggle, I’ll let the boys go ahead as I try to crack what the heck the tipster is talking about.