Sunday, March 12, 2023

Generations of Skiers

    I had a delightful call from my son yesterday.  Nice to have him checking up on me as he exited his ski area to drive home ahead of the traffic down Little Cottonwood Canyon highway in Utah.  As one might expect he is the second generation skier for our family although we all started together in 1968 at Greek Peak.   As you might expect he was a fast learner along with his siblings and moved on to PSIA certification and working as an instructor.  He lives the grand life of Utah skiing in his retirement! 

    By the time they were out of diapers his children were getting ski instruction and became expert skiers over the years.  One sisters  children likewise have become expert skiers.  On that note in my conversation with my son I caught up on the ski journeys of some of these grandchildren.  One of his daughters is now instructing weekends at Bristol Mountain.  There was also exciting news of a nephew and my grandchild competing in what I would call extreme skiing taking gut wrenching lines down the mountain.  Scares the pants off me to watch the videos of some of his runs.  Obviously I am a proud grandparent and am delighted to hear that he placed as high as third recently.   He is a big kid.  Well over six feet so he has a big frame to work with but it may be a lot to move around as he negotiates some really gnarly terrain.

    As the next generation moves on to marriage and family the new spouses have a lot of pressure to become skiers.    So far those that are continuing to ski have had the good fortune of willing spouses prepared to pick up the sport if they have not already done so.  Thus the generations continue to have a pattern to continue engagement.   I do wonder if they will ever become geezer skiers!  

    I suspect that skiing is only one example of how families carry on certain traditions.   In terms of sports it can be a variety of activities.   It may be golf, tennis, running or something else.   And beyond the recreational activities there can the serious endeavors of different careers.   I am an engineer and have seen this career choice passed on to several of the children I have parented.   A son and one daughter have already spawned three engineers.    As a former college advisor I distinctly recall many of my students who decided to go to medical school came from families with generations of physicians.  

    I would conclude that generational influence can be both a blessing and a curse.  It is a blessing when it gives opportunity but can be a curse to those who march to a different drummer.   I say let everyone find their own bliss and it need not be the family tradition. 


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