Melting Before Our Eyes.

This past Saturday and Sunday comprised Mighty Mite Weekend, two days of races that signal the end of our program's season. With the way the bottom of the mountain looks right now and the electrical fire that damaged the lift that services the upper mountain, we were fortunate to pull it off.
 
Saturday's race was a giant slalom on the lower mountain. The fastest girl in my group was throwing it down until she skied through the wrong finish sensor (parallel courses) and was disqualified. My daughter found an extra gear that had thus far gone unused. A quick check of the results told me she was up there on the podium for her group. During the awards ceremony, she didn't hear her name being called to stand on the top step, and I told her to get up there and get her medal. "Me?" was her surprised response. She's never won a medal at Alyeska, and only gotten a couple for skiing during the last four years. This was the girl that told the other kids in her group that she didn't care about medals as long as she was having fun and doing her best. She made sure to shake hands later with the other two medal winners in the category, because "that's what good sports do."
 
I'm very proud, because obviously I'm an incredible dad.
 
Sunday's race was moved up the mountain to better snow that reduced the chances of legs being pulled out of their sockets. It was a little on the "firm side" (some kids mistakenly referred to it as ice), but at least the course didn't fall apart. We were faced with 45 minute waits to get up the hill because of the chairlift issues, but blue skies and the realization that the season was coming to an end kept the mood light. My daughter skied more conservatively, but still ended up fourth in the group. The girl who skied through the wrong finish the day previous charged the course, topping the podium and beating several older, more experienced racers.
 
I'm very proud, because obviously I'm an incredible coach.
 
Today my legs are shot from pushing around all of that slush. Aches bounce from muscle to muscle. I'm done skiing. There was a time, not too long ago, when stopping skiing after the first weekend in April would have been inconceivable- especially when you have a season pass. Unfortunately, the snow line is retreating up the mountain faster than the chairlift moves, and rocks and other obstacles are hidden everywhere in the slush. In the morning, the snow skis like coral, so that's not much fun either. Yep, I'm done. Time to move on.
 
The road racing season starts soon, and I'm nowhere near ready to be competitive. A physique honed by a steady diet of Chocolate Donut Gems means climbing will not be listed among my strong characteristics (as if it ever was). I'll just have to lower my expectations to "not getting dropped before the first turn". I'll get over it. Maybe I'll ride myself into shape this year. Maybe I won't. Either way, I'll ride as much as I can and try to have as much fun as possible.
 
Maybe I won't hear my name called either.
 
"Me?"

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