Last weekend for the first time in two seasons, my husband and I giddily chased each other down Vail's back bowls, starting with O.S. (far skier's right off Chair 7 ...easily one of the mountain's best powder stashes -- sorry, bros, for spoiling the secret).
We rode the lift talking smack ("I hope you can keep up!" "Are your legs ready for punishment?"), which used to be our version of lover's speak.
We skied hard and fast, alternating who got first tracks, and when we rode the lift with strangers we gushed about the powder we were slaying.
No, we weren't drunk or high on amphetamines (endorphins, yes). We'd stuck Henry in daycare for the day, and though the little dude would end up barely sleeping, eating or drinking, Jeff and I reconnected in a deep, meaningful, and extremely fun way.
(Spoiler alert: A review on Vail's daycare is forthcoming in January. Stay tuned.)
Why was it so awesome to shred with my sweetie?
Because that's how we fell in love.
Both skiers, we met at a pre-season "beacons and beer" party (yep, we're geeks who watched ski porn and hid our backcountry beacons in a snow-free meadow in November to practice finding them in anticipation of ski season). Our fifth date was a week-long winter camping and skiing trip in Wyoming's Tetons. We've traveled North America and Europe in search of powder.
Then we had Henry.
I missed last ski season because I was in my third trimester when the snow began falling. Jeff missed most of last season because he was working his tail off and then taking care of me and the new baby.
This winter we're both getting out, just not together. We're baby baton experts, each of us embracing the role of the day and enjoying both -- parent or player -- equally.
But the truth is I didn't realize how much I missed skiing together until we did it.
Skiing is centering and playful.
When you're skiing (especially when you're skiing 8 inches of fresh in a blizzard), the only thing you're thinking about is where to turn. On the lift, you're thinking about the run you just did, and as you drop in, you're not thinking. You're laughing, whooping, chasing, or being chased.
Jeff is a beautiful skier. Just watching him makes me better. Together we ski our brains out, and we hope Henry will join us soon (second birthday??).
In the meantime, we aim to ski together more this winter. It will cost us in daycare, but it's worth it. Even though we both love being parents and even consider (occasionally) having another baby, skiing together reminds us that there's more to life than the daily grind.
-- Rachel Odell Walker