…so you don’t have to make them yourself.
By S.A. Rowner
Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way.
Like the time I went skiing for the first time, when I was about nineteen or twenty years old and came down an entire frozen mountain, painfully on my posterior. Most of that pain was probably shame.
You see, I grew up in the era where roller skating was cool. Very cool, in fact. So cool, that it pushed you into the top tier of (perceived) advanced athleticism, at least in the eyes of the neighborhood kids.
A skinny, fast runner who loved active fun but hated structured sports, this was a really fun outlet for me to pursue.
So when my grandparents gifted each of us kids our own pair of roller skates, we were really quite thrilled!
They say you can’t forget how to ride a bike. I’ll conjecture that for most, it’s because it isn’t so simple to learn how to in the first place, and that is its long-term reward. I’d say that roller skating shares those similarities as well.
But hey, kids are resilient, particularly when our reputation is on the line!
Suffice it to say, my siblings and I became quite good at roller skating, and in many ways it was even preferable to our bikes, given the many smooth empty roadways in the Yeshiva complex in which we lived.
But to transfer that skill set to skiing required money and parents with the time and willingness to drive the distances needed to reach the ski resorts – neither of which were viable options in the large family I grew up in.
After Mesivta and a year in Beis Medrash, I began working my first job at 18, and bought my first car. Since I now had both the car and the means, (along with my now kind of obsolete roller skating skills), I was ready to join the exciting world of downhill skiing!
Should be quite a simple segue for such a talented, athletic guy like me, right?
With my younger brother, an avid roller-blader who was at least twice as athletic as I in tow, we headed one winter morning to Pennsylvania, home to many ski resorts, and only about an hour and a half drive from our Passaic home.
Arriving at the resort, my brother confidently rented the newest really cool toy, a snowboard and that was pretty much the last i saw him for the rest of the day.
I swaggered up to the rental counter, ready to proudly prove my fantastic skiing profess to the entire mountain. My cockiness must have impressed the guy choosing the skis, because he handed me a skinny, long, speedy set of expert skis, never intended for the beginner I really was.
Or maybe I didn’t actually impress him. Perhaps he saw right through my charade, and cunningly decided that a lesson in humility was due me, so he purposely selected me that particular set of skis.
I guess I’ll never really know his true intentions. But I do know the results.
Notwithstanding – no really, not-with-standing, – I carefully slipped and slid my precarious way to the hills to strut my stuff.
The bunny hill where everyone learns to ski, well that was for everyone, right? I wasn’t just anyone. I was a puffed-up, cocky, cool dude who’d master this skiing thing in the first three-seconds of moving, I assured my foolish self.
Bypassing the bunny slopes, I confidently attempted to remain upright as I slipped, slid, and jockeyed my way onto the lift to the highest intermediate level slope in the entire place.
Watching everyone cruise down the mountain underneath me, my assuredness grew. This was going to be a breeze – I could barely wait to get to the top to be those guys.
A ski lift doesn’t stop at the top. The slope begins immediately, as you raise the bar and slide off your seat into the slope, where you are supposed to make a quick one hundred and eighty degree turn to the main trail down the mountain.
I confidently slid off the seat and was off.
Where my skis promptly crossed one another, landing me in a heap on the snow.
Must’ve started wrong. No big deal. Up we go. Left ski pole up, right foot up, right ski slip, owch!
I didn’t know I could do a forward split.
Painfully getting to my feet, my way down the mountain was downhill from there. No, really!
Soon completely numb bottom, skis tucked uncomfortably under me, (figurative) tail between my legs, and head buried in shame, it took nearly thirty minutes (!) to make my frozen way down in shame.
It was both my first and last ski trip that season. A year later, I learned to ski from the ground up, and with effort and expense, was cruising black diamond expert trails by the end of the day. But it was worth every penny!
When people spend their hard-earned time off on a vacation, there are some who like I did, feel confident and capable of pulling it all off on their own. They never anticipate that failure is an option, and do you really want to fail at your vacation?
Wintertime is prime season for a kosher Florida vacation. Sure, you can try it yourself, pressing your luck with an AirBnB and hoping for the best, but what if things go wrong? Was it really worth trying to skimp?
Because your vacation time is precious. And making the mistake of trying it on your own, could land you in a pile of uncomfortable snow.
Learn from my mistakes. Don’t waste your time trying to find the options.
With more than thirteen years of kosher villas in Florida, make the right choice the first time, and truly enjoy the experience.