Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nuggets of knowledge: Lessons from the folks who know…

About  Skiing…
When can I start my kids on the snow? How do I make it less stressful for me, the parent?  What are the top things to remember before you even attempt to get on those damn mittens?  Here they are, answers from the parents of three-time Olympic alpine skier Erik Schlopy, my husband, and NCAA champion Keri Schlopy Crockett (my sis-in-law).

Marny and Kent's tips:

1. SMALLER RESORTS/MOUNTAINS can lead to MORE FUN for the whole family and keep more money in your wallet. We raised our kids on amazing small hills in Buffalo, NY.  We would drop them off in the morning and pick them up at 4 p.m.  This still a great option for families, and there are several around the country.  For families just starting out, this is less expensive and much more manageable.

2. Weather is by far the most important factor with small children!  Pick sunny and warm days! If you have chosen a week vacation and the weather is cold and cloudy, ski for short periods of time and take TONS of hot cocoa breaks.

3. Patience is KEY! Don't set your expectations too high and don't think it is a failure if you have to cut the day short.  Also, don't let your kids tell you what they are going to wear with regards to helmet and gloves.  Your policy should be no helmet/gloves, no skiing.  No exceptions.  And be prepared to sit in the lodge until they come around.

4. If this is your kids or your first time out, GET LESSONS!  For example, if your family is planning on being on snow for a week, commit to three consecutive days of lessons. (Note - during peak times you need to reserve lessons WELL in advance!!) After the 3 days, you can play it by ear and give the family ski day a try!

5. This one is from me, Summer.  CANDY is MAGIC! The last thing you want to do is make getting on all the gear super traumatic…so REWARD them with a little candy.  When the kids first started I would put some in a baggy in my ski jacket.  Honestly, they only needed a couple and the tears were gone!

6. COMFORT is MOST IMPORTANT.  When it comes to ski boots, make sure they are comfortable and to make that happen, rent from someone who knows what they are doing.  If your kid says their foot hurts…THEIR FOOT HURTS…trust them and try a different pair.  When they get better, then you can worry about performance! And whatever you do, DO NOT leave your boots in the car over-night! Cold boots are almost impossible to get on!

7.CREATE A LIST!  I have said this before.  Make a list of everything you will need…and check it several times. Also, pack each kid in a separate bag and check it before and after a day of skiing.  It is amazing how many single gloves I have in my house.

8. PACK A LUNCH!  Most resorts allow you to bring your own food.  Please take advantage of this if you are on a budget.  You can add to your meal with a hot or cold beverage or desert but if your main meal is from home, your wallet will thank you!

9. Dress in layers.  Think about the difference in temperature from the top of the hill compared to the bottom.  You can always take layers off…but if you are too cold, you are up a creek!

10. If you are heading to a major resort like Park City or Deer Valley during a major holiday, reserve your skis ahead of time.  We didn't even know this until the Peete family came to visit last year after Christmas.  All the skis in the major shops were reserved so we had to pull a favor to get them hooked up.  Go online or call to get the family set up with gear! And check to see if your resort will store them over-night for you…makes your ski life much less stressful.

Most importantly, Kent says to have fun and not to worry if your kids don't get it right away.  When you start them young, you are setting your family up for some amazing vacations and adventures in the future! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Summer&Schwinn: Beat the Brrr

Brrrr! I know how you’re feeling; you’re freezing, aren’t you? It’s winter people! The sun might be shining, but it’s still cold outside. That doesn't mean you need to ditch the bike completely. Find out how I Get creative and bike in my latest Schwinn Ambassador blog!

Like you, I prefer to workout outside. When I hop on my bike, I love to cruise by the scenery, feel the wind through my helmet and soak up some that fabulous vitamin D enriched sunshine. If you live in an area where you don’t have to worry about ice and tons of snow, gear up so you can get out and hit the trails! So many different companies make killer under-garments to keep your extremities toasty – just go for it.

Read the rest on the Ride Schwinn Facebook Page.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Positivity on purpose

“You can do anything you want to, as long as you put your mind to it.”“You are smart. You are beautiful. You are important.”

Hearing things like this from someone you love is important. So don't forget to continue to tell your kids their possibilities are endless…their dreams can come true…and that you believe in them.

What do you think you would hear if you listened to a recording what you say to your kids every day. I know what I would hear: Get your feet off the table, We need to put our PJ's on now, eat your breakfast please. Hurry, we're gonna be late!!! We all would But you’ll also hear me say the same thing my mom said to me every, single night, "You can do anything you want to as long as you put your mind to it."

Positive repetition. It’s important. What do you want your kids to hear?

After all is said and done in the day. No matter how their behavior was or your day went, end it on something positive. It will make all the difference. So say it, over and over and over again. In this time of year when it’s all about the “gifts”, be sure to remind them just how much their worth and capable of by just being themselves!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

'Tis the Holiday Season of YOU!

Why do we want to sleep at the same wake-up time just because it's dark outside? It's the same time just a bit darker. Do you realize it is all in your head? The sun makes us happy, I get that. In fact, there is actually the most unhappy day…it is Jan 21st, the darkest day of the year. Can we all just agree to get over it right now?! No more, "It's dark out" excuses. Ok? Ok. Now let's get a plan.

Eat what you want during the holidays, just don't stop working out. I know there is SO MUCH TO DO during the holidays, but can you put your name at the top of that list? Do it. I would prefer you to get in an hour of cardio over homemade pie crust. For the Seinfeld fans, "This is the Holiday Season of YOU!"

You just need to be honest with yourself. Me, I love to eat during the holidays. I love to snack on those damn peanut M&M's or whatever other snacks seem to be calling my name from those random bowls around the house. I try to control it, and do keep it in moderation but…oh how I love it. So, I work out. I give myself the gift of me time and indulgence during the holidays, by taking care of my health. It’s a great message to send to your kids, to give to your sanity. You will enjoy the holiday more guilt free!!

Happy Holidays!