Giving Back: Cross Country Ski Lessons

I love to XC ski.  I love feeling warm while I’m outside in the winter; I love being outside in beautiful, snowy places; and I love how I feel afterward. For me, it’s a spiritual activity that gives me so much.  I learned how to XC ski as an adult and started by skiing on Lake Mendota. After college, I moved to Wausau and really learned to ski. I skied Nine-mile, Winter Park, Under Down and many northern trails.  I enjoyed citizen racing and even came home with a few medals from Badger State Games and the Birkie. Because of this passion, I was happy to offer kids XC ski lessons this winter.

Through a partnership with the Blackhawk Ski Club in Middleton, Goodman Community Center been able to offer XC ski lessons to 13 kids in grades Kindergarten to fifth grade. The club provided the lessons, volunteers and all the equipment. This allowed us to offer the lessons at no charge for kids. We are now in our 6th week of lessons and the kids are really looking good. They are going down hills without wiping out and are growing more confident as a result.  They are learning how to enjoy winter and love snow. For me, skiing is a gift that they will have all their lives.

It hasn’t always been easy for them. Their hands got cold. They had to walkdown and up some steep stairs to get to other trails. And of course, they have all wiped out and have had to learn how to get up. They have hung in there though and are now reaping the benefits.

So far, 3 kids have quit. This is sad to me, but I can’t force kids to go. The good news is that they didn’t quit because they didn’t like it. Two quit because they wanted to do other things at our Center’s after school. The other child quit because she had difficulty balancing on skis. Still, I am sad that they didn’t complete the course.

With two more weeks to go, I’m looking forward to giving these kids their certificates. They have really worked hard and I’m so proud of them.  Plus, spring will be right around the corner.

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