Saturday, December 5, 2009

First Aspen Ski School Meeting!

Suddenly last night I got a text from Andy telling me to get my butt down to the Mountain Chalet, it was time for the Aspen Mountain Ski School Annual Meeting! I was excited for my first official mountain event, and I learned a lot at it, but most important, I learned that I have a LOT to learn! I have no idea how things work here, and I don't think they are used to having a total newbie to the Ski Co working on Aspen Mountain. I am the only new pro this year on Aspen Mountain (hired out of the Ski Co), and I was standing there looking around at this distinguished group of people and I sort of realized, maybe, what I've gotten myself into.

Its Andy's first year as ski school director there, and everyone is very excited to have him. He got up and said howdy, and in his short speech, he said that it was an honor, and honestly a little intimidating to be the new director of one of the oldest, most distinguished, most respected, and most tenured ski schools in the world. Gulp. A few minutes later, he welcomed the transfers in from the other schools, and then he introduced me. "And new this year from Bridger Bowl, Montana, Kate Howe."

It was really almost comical. I feel a little bit like a toddler who just learned how to run who is hanging out with a bunch of people that are training for a marathon. Like I'm running along with them, and the feeling of running is so awesomely fun that I don't really care that I just figured out how to do it.

Mike Caplain, the CEO of the Ski Co got up and talked to us, and it was great see the personal and deep investment that he has in the ski school. We heard some great statistics from the survey, every year, the Ski Co surveys 5000 guests through an independent company. While most other resort's numbers slipped, Aspen came in on the top in Value, and in Customer Satisfaction. I'm proud to work for a company that can kill it like that in the midst of a scary recession! Wooohaaa!

I walked around after the intros and met my fellow ski instructors, I've skied with many of them, and recognized a lot of them, but there are a LOT of people to remember! The thing that's been amazing is how incredibly HELPFUL everyone is offering to be! Its been amazing how many people are asking how I'm doing, how I'm adjusting and if they can help. Just knowing that this support is HERE makes me feel strong and raring to go, unafraid to keep walking and moving and working.

I'm really struck by the fact that three years ago I was a non skiing stay at home mom, sad, very lonely, overweight, and dead inside. Today, I am full cert, I play outside every day, I'm fit, I've graduated from school, I have energy to play with my kids, I have a wonderful relationship (and three more kids to go with it) and three amazing jobs, one of them teaching at the legendary Aspen Mountain.

HOW did this happen? I gotta say, its strange, and wonderful, and I feel very blessed.

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