What it Takes to be a Cool Ski Mom
For Mother’s Day, we wanted to recognize ski moms for their dedication to making time for their favorite winter sport while introducing their kids to skiing. Because getting geared up and on the mountain takes long enough when you’re flying solo and any parent that adds a couple kids to the mix must have some amazing tricks up their sleeve, along with an incredible amount of patience.
We chatted with two of our female ambassadors, Brooke Froelich & Wendy Fisher, to find out just what it takes to become a “Cool Ski Mom“.
Up first, Brooke talks about introducing her kids to skiing and shares a few tips on how she finds the time to ski so often. Then Wendy tells us how she sets her maternal fears aside to motivates her two teen boys to be the best skiers they can be.
“There is nothing I love more than seeing my kids get that first taste of adrenaline as they glide on the snow, or see how excited they get when the flakes fly…” – Brooke Froelich
Who are your little skiers?
I belong to two kiddos. Huck, who is 5, claimed me first. And Tatum who is 18 months old and loves to shout “MAMA” as she chases after me.
Did you have them in skis as soon as they could walk?
I started getting Huck in skis when he was 2, but didn’t really start teaching him until the next season, just before he turned 3. This year we started introducing Tatum to skiing (when she was about 15 months old). I don’t expect that my babies will be ripping skiers at a young age, I just want them to get used to spending the afternoon on the snow in their ski boots. Getting to glide on the snow from time to time is a major extra bonus!
Do they like it yet or are there a lot of tears involved?
We’ve been getting Huck out on the snow with us since he was a baby, but this is the first year that we have watched him truly FALL IN LOVE with skiing (like skiing away pretending he can’t hear me when I tell him it’s time to ski back to the parking lot). My favorite memories from this season are skinning up some avy safe roads in the backcountry, I love seeing Huck get so excited, click into his biddings and ski down next to me. It’s been the most rewarding season!
Any tips to continue getting your favorite action sports in as a mom of two?
There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family, but skiing was my first love before my husband and children came along! And honestly, I’m a much better mom when my needs are met.
Here are three tips to find time to keep skiing as a mother (or parent).
1. Find time for yourself. Every single time we go ski as a family, my husband and I have a pact that we each get at least 2 runs by ourselves. In between hanging out with the baby at the base of the resort, and patiently exploring the mountain with our oldest, getting a little time alone to ski helps us remember why all the work is worth it!
2. Build community. Shortly after Tatum was born, I put a decent amount of energy into finding and building my community of moms that want to go ski. Women that don’t mind nursing in the snow, hanging with fussy babies in the hut, or pumping in a shared hotel room on a mom’s ski weekend away.
3. Share the love of skiing with your kids! Honestly, skiing with kids feels… different haha. But there is nothing I love more than seeing my kids get that first taste of adrenaline as they glide on the snow, or see how excited they get when the flakes fly and they know we’ll be skiing soon!
Follow Brooke’s adventures on the gram at @brooke.froelich.
“I always want to protect my boys. It is definitely the motherly instinct, but I also know it does them a disservice by not believing in them.” – Wendy Fisher
Who are your two boys and when did you introduce them to your favorite sport?
Aksel is the oldest at 14 and Devin is 12. We had them on skis as early as we could, they were both under two at 17 and 18 months.
Being a pro skier and having been an Olympian, it must have been hard to slow down and incorporate the boys into all of your action sports. How were you able to do it?
It was a juggling act for sure! I didn’t want to loose my identity as a skier and athlete, but I also wanted to be an involved mom. My husband and I worked well supporting each other in order to get out and ski for ourselves. We would swap watching the kids and my parents moved to Crested Butte during the winters to help while I was traveling for skiing and building up my teaching business. They’ve been helping us for 14 winters and we can’t thank them enough for their support.
I also had to make sure my needs took a back seat. I wanted my kids to be active and athletic, but the main goal was to be able to ski anywhere with them when they got older, which meant I skipped many powder and epic skiing days in order to ski with them. I would remind myself that I’ve had plenty of great snow days in my life and now I had to help them catch up. My dream was for us to be able to travel the world and ski together and that dream finally happened two springs ago. We took a trip to Chamonix and Verbier and the boys loved it and were blown away by the mountains, which warmed my heart. Now, the boys can ski everywhere with us.
Did they follow in your footsteps and start competing?
Both boys love skiing and love living in the mountains. They’re currently ski racing, but they’re also interested in free skiing, hitting the park and working on tricks. When the boys hit a certain age, I decided when we played sports, I would not give in to just letting them beat me or win. They had to start earning it. Both boys are now very competitive with me, which I love. It makes it more fun and helps me motivate to stay in shape and on top of my game.
Any favorite memories skiing with the boys?
I remember two years ago, early season skiing with Aksel, we came up to an air that I didn’t feel quite right about. To me the landing didn’t look ideal. My son was looking over the edge and I was hoping he would NOT attempt it, yet he did and stuck it. I wasn’t ready to push and skied around. When I skied up to him the smile on my son’s face was priceless. It was a smile of victory.
Devin really wanted to get his back flip this year. I knew of a perfect jump for him to try it on here at Crested Butte. The opportunities to ski together with conditions just right were slipping away from us as I was traveling a lot and was starting to panic he wouldn’t reach his goal. I actually started marking days on my calendar to remind me that I needed to take him out of ski team or school, when the time was right, but the timing was not on our side. Then the coronavirus outbreak hit and the rest of my trips for the season were canceled. I was pretty bummed, but then I realized I would be home to help Devin get his back flip down. Just after I got home and had a positive attitude about the situation, the resorts closed. It broke my heart knowing Devin wasn’t going to have a chance to learn to backflip. And then Aksel and Devin motivated to build a jump in our neighbors back yard that has a perfect slope to build a jump. We all insisted he needs to go for it and it took a lot of positive encouragement, but he finally went for it and stuck it!
Both situations were very proud mom moments. Both times I fought from telling them “not to do it” because I was afraid they might get hurt. I knew I had to let them try. They both work hard and have great skills and I needed to dig deep and show I believed in them. To let them see or hear my fears or to doubt their ability was not going to do them any good, other than them thinking I didn’t feel they were good enough.
You can follow Wendy at @wendyfisher.