Celebration of Failure

We had another fantastic skiing weekend: Roundtop on Saturday and Whitetail on Sunday. I was surprised how well Roundtop kept their slopes powdery despite the warm weather. In contrast, Whitetail was very slushy. Nevertheless, we had great runs at both resorts.

As the season is winding down—March 20 is predicted to be the last day—the resorts have become less busy. I didn’t see long rental lines like before. The lift lines moved fast, especially the lifts for the expert terrains. In retrospect, Đạo, Đán, Xuân, and I made tremendous progress this season because of our Epic passes. We are incredibly grateful to our lovely lady who bought us the passes. She is such a caring mother. Of course, she had to buy me the pass as well so I could take the kids. I think I held up my end of the bargain.

We started out at the green slopes at the beginning of the season and now we can take on the double-black slopes. I did not take any skiing lessons this season because they always sold out. Everything I learned, I learned from watching YouTube videos. Then I would share what I learned with Đạo and Xuân. Đán is on his own because he does snowboarding. With Đạo, I just gave him some tips and he figured them out on his own. I helped him make the transition from plow to parallel. When we sat together on the lift, I pointed out to him the difference between the two from watching other skiers. It didn’t take him very long to break his plow habit.

Xuân is such a fast learner. He picked up hockey stops simply from watching me practice. He also picked up side-slipping from a ski patrol when he got stuck on the blue slope. With these two skills, he could maneuver his way around the double-black slopes. When we skied together, I just needed to remind him to parallel his skis. Because he had mastered his hockey stops, he had a much easier time making the transition to short turns. He wanted to learn hop turns, which I used quite a bit on steep slopes to control my speed and to feel the adrenaline rush of hopping down the slopes.

I don’t consider myself an expert, but I jumped to the gun like I am deaf (điếc không sợ súng). I know nothing; therefore, I doubt nothing. What I love about skiing is the celebration of failure as part of growth. I fell countless times, but I found the skiing community to be very supportive. Advanced skiers always helped out novice skiers. My skis popped off plenty of times and other skiers always stopped to help pick up my skis for me. Even Đạo and Đán had picked that up; therefore, they helped out when others fell and dropped their skis. On Saturday, Đạo, Đán, Xuân, and I attempted the Gunbarrel, which is the steepest slope at Roundtop. Đạo and Đán went down first. Xuân made it halfway, but he was intimidated by the moguls. I was still on top, but I was not sure if I could stop at his spot. As I was attempting to, someone else offered to help. He got to Xuân and carried him down the steep slope. Xuân enjoyed it. I made myself down to Xuân and all of us continued to the lifts.

Because I have done ice skating as well as aggressive rollerblading, skiing seems more like a natural extension of those two sports. Falling on snow is nothing compared to falling on ice and concrete. Falling off the concrete bowls will guarantee to scrape your skins.

I am a bit sad to see the skiing season is ending, but I am definitely looking forward to next year.