Thursday, April 14, 2011

PSIA 50/50 was an historic event!

The Professional Ski Instructors of America hosted the National Academy this year is in Aspen instead
of in Snowbird.

Normally at this time of year everybody is packing up their cars and driving out to Snowbird and this year we're not. Its an interesting experience to be here rather than on the road, because when I go to Academy every year, its an opportunity to focus on skiing without worrying about other responsiblities. on the other hand, I'm kind of glad for my kids because I'm hoping be gone for the summer starting in June, and so I'm sort of glad that I'm not taking a trip right now.

Last night, we went to the opening welcoming banquet and got to see so many faces! It was dissapointing not to see many people who have been academy attendees over the years, but I understand the situation, this year's event, being the 50th, was much more expensive than the Snowbird even. I myself only went to the dinners and social events, which were quite expensive just on their own.

So we're down at the welcoming banquet and we're hanging around and everybody is saying hi to everybody and I turn around and all of a sudden, who do I see standing there, but
Michael Hickey!

Mike Hickey is my first coach.  I went to him as a, you know, pre-Level 1 and said,  "Will you train me to try out for the national team in five years?" I'm sure he thought I was insane, but he looked at me and he said okay.
Michael Hickey and Andy Hawk at the PSIA 50/50!

Of course, I had no idea what I was asking of him and I'm pretty sure that he knew exactly what I was in for, since he'd been through several tryouts at that level and been on a team himself.

He took me seriously enough and he unbuckled my boots andtook away my poles for three months and basically, forced me to learn balance.  He was the first person to teach me a patience turn and, and really to hold the level of accountability in training that I had not found in other areas.

It was wonderful to stand there and see Michael join all the past team members for his photo. It was amazing to see Weems, Michael, Kurt and Megan standing together, amongst a sea of other incredible teachers and mentors. What an amazing night to be present!

These folks, as well as POC and Elan, all believed in me before I had proved myself to anyone, and it is thier continued belief in me that helps me stay on track, not let go of my dreams, and not focus so hard on how impossible the task is, but just let every turn count, go skiing, be open, evolve, learn, play and connect. I'm so grateful!!

Its hard to believe in someone before they can show you the proof that they are worth your time, faith and energy. But that is when we need to be believed in. Just like raising kids, we don't wait for them to come home at 24 with a degree and a good job before we encourage and respect them. We believe in them preemptivly, and that's what these guys did for me. Its a lesson that I take to heart, understanding that one of the reasons I've been able to stick with my goals even when its scary or dark or lonely is that I'm really not alone.

Watching them mentor me has taught me a lot about how to be a better teacher, mentor, parent and friend myself.

For more info on the 50/50, other articles and photos, visit the PSIA website here.

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