Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter in New England

What a difference a day can make in New England weather. We got the whole family out for a ski on Saturday. The conditions were perfect for classic skiing and the girls did some team work to ski together.

We also got our family Christmas photo taken, which was a bonus.

Yesterday, Tom skied in blizzard conditions at the Bolton Opener and the girls and I spent an hour in the pool at the Nordic Center. Today, it is full on rain, but the switch to snow comes this afternoon. The forecast looks promising heading into the week and for Thursday's ski program at Trapps.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Annual Tree Trek

This year's Christmas tree trek took place a day or two earlier than our usual ritual. We went scouting for a tree in Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest the same day that we returned from New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest, where we spend Thanksgiving with my family.

Unlike my dad, who can get a tree permit and go cut his tree practically down the road on national forest land, we have to drive about 25 miles to reach our national forest.

We started off across the river from the access road where we park since Tom had seen a good tree there last year. The girls were thrilled to cross the river with Dad's help.

Unfortunately, the tree that looked good last year, did not look so good this year. We had to keep on looking. You would think that there would be a ton of possibilities for Christmas trees in the forest, but once you start looking, you see why most people get a tree that's grown on a tree farm.

Pickings were looking slim, daylight was fading, and Julia was fading, too. All this driving and we're not going to find a tree today, I thought. Then Tom and Ava motioned for Julia and I to come up a hillside. We bushwacked our way to them and there was our tree. Sweet and dainty.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Double Session

It took me a while to recover from last weekend's fit family adventures. For me, it started out with a 10-mile solo run. I couldn't get myself up to join my friends at 7:30 a.m. so waited until 10 a.m. when it was bright, sunny and warm. The solitude and warmth reminded me of spring training for last year's Vermont City Marathon.

In the afternoon, we had planned that Tom would take Ava on the Stowe Bike Path. She would bike while he roller skied. But Julia wanted to go too. She has not taken to biking much and the roundtrip would be 10 miles, so it was up to me and the tag-along to include Julia.

I had trouble keeping up with Tom and Ava. The many narrow bridges slowed me down. Plus, my attire was poorly chosen. I wore yoga pants that were too wide at the bottom and they kept getting pulled in by my chain guard. Fortunately, it was mild enough that I finally rolled the pants up above my knees.

I hadn't been on the bike in a while so my bum was sore and my shoulders, too, but I was proud of getting in two 10-mile activities and for getting out as a whole family even if Julia wasn't always pedaling.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Ski

When the mountaintops become snowy in the fall, my family gets thinking about ski season. My husband, especially, likes to go in search of skiing. The search takes place at Mt. Mansfield and hiking is usually required.

After watching her dad get dressed in ski clothes and disappear for a few hours, our six-year-old asked if she could go skiing, too. I think it intrigued her to think of skiing when our yard was still all green.

We explained that we'd have to hike to get up to snow, but Ava was up for the task. We arranged for a play date for our four-year-old and off went Mom, Dad, and Ava.

Ava was running around in circles in the ski area parking lot. She was excited and invigorated by the cold air. About five steps up the ski slope she asked how far it would be to snow. About a minute after that she said that her legs hurt because it was so steep. Then she asked how far again. And, when are we going to eat? So, we chatted and answered questions for a half mile or so until we reached the snow. Then the world transformed into a winter wonderland.

The snow stuck to the bottom of my skis at first and Ava's binding kept undoing itself. It wasn't perfect skiing, but it was a gorgeous day. The sun was out. There was no wind or precipitation. Even though we stopped a lot, we did not get cold.

When we saw our friends coming down, Ava got really excited. She zoomed up to meet them. Then, when we turned around, she skied between Daddy's legs as the cover was unpredictable for coming downhill.

Ava has chosen the experience for what she will talk about at school tomorrow for her Share Day. I'd say that means she was proud of her ski adventure.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Wish I Brought the Camera

The blog hiatus was a result of writing my Nordic Family columns for Cross Country Skier magazine. The columns are done and the first one of the season is now online at:

Back to Fit Family. This fall has seemed especially busy as Ava is now in school all day as a first grader. We still manage to get some walks in during the late afternoon. We've been frequenting the local farmer's market where we've gotten great apples and bread. We walk back home through town or along a path in the woods. The girls like changing our routes.

On the weekends, we've done many short hikes. All of them have been local and some of them have been new territory for us. Every time I say, "Oh, I wish I brought the camera." This was the case when the girls were eating their apples on a bench by the reservoir with all the foliage in bloom. It was beautiful, almost peaceful, except that our dog kept barking for me to throw the tiny piece of tennis ball that she'd found in the grass.

I finally remembered the camera when we went on a short hike with a friend in a nearby state park. We walked all through the campground and the girls pretended the cabins were their houses. It was a great way for them to get in a lot of walking without thinking about it. The cabins looked good to me since I've never liked pitching a tent.

The photo below is of a cabin for kids to play in -- complete with washer and dryer.

The girls decided to wash rocks. I'll make sure they stay away from my new drier in case they think that rocks are going in there, too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to the Wheels

With fall in the air, at last, the girls have gotten back into riding bikes and scooters. Tom tried taking Julia's training wheels off last night as she is uncomfortable when the wheels tip, but she was apprehensive. She's a daredevil on the diving board or flipping off the jungle gym, yet she is very cautious on her bike. Today, I may try taking her to a street that is flat and quiet for some practice. We'll go when her older sister is in school to cut down on distractions. I'm hopeful that if Julia can make some headway, she'll be able to bike while I run. Pretty soon, Ava is going to be too fast to be my partner.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still Swimming

School has begun here and yet we're still swimming. It's the first fair weather summer we've had in New England in years and the hot weather is sticking around.

Today the girls and I headed to the brook with our dog to cool off. Our summer goal has been to stay cool so we've been in the water rather than out on the hiking trail. Even our bike rides have been connected to in-town transportation rather than long, scenic outings.

I usually like to mix up our exercise routines, but this summer has been the summer for swimming. Our neighbor's pool closed on Tuesday (the day before school started here) and we went for our last hoorah. Ava jumped in and swam the length of the pool using her crawl stroke (stopping once for a breath), and Julia swam underwater.

I'm already looking forward to the day that the girls pass their deep water test, which may be next year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer Vacation

I can't say that our family vacation to the NH seacoast was relaxing, but it was filled with a lot of new experiences for the girls. We stayed at a hotel in downtown Portsmouth and got to walk to dinner and around the city streets.

We hit the beach with friends in York, Maine and Rye, New Hampshire and I even let the girls indulge in a big, sweet slurpy from the beach snack bar. Boy, were they surprised and happy.

The walk back from the snack bar across the hot, dry sand was torturous.

Though I prefer the lake over the beach, I appreciate the vastness of the ocean and the beach and how much you walk to explore without even realizing it. Tom and Ava walked way out to a crop of rocks that jutted out into the ocean and joined a family in a cliff jumping adventure. Ava came back with her teeth chattering. The "cliff jumping" was the highlight of Ava's trip.

I think Julia was happy just playing in the sand and filling her pail with water time and time again.

As much as I felt guilty about not getting much running in, the rest was needed. I returned home to run my usual 10-mile hilly loop with friends and seem to have aggravated a case of tendonitis in my foot. If only I could keep that relaxed vacation mindset at home....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Peaks Island Road Race

Last weekend, we went to Peaks Island, Maine to visit my sister, to run a road race, and to have a mini-vacation. We accomplished all three things. Though the 5-mile race was prefaced by a kids' 1K race, my husband and I opted to have the race event to ourselves while my sister and her husband watched our kids. That was a good choice. The kids' run was only 15 minutes before our race and with 600 runners warming-up and lining up in small, island downtown, it was quite a scene. I was very happy to focus on my own warm-up rather than my children's finish.

Every once in a while my husband and I run a road race together. That is, we both run in the same race. In this particular event, I was at the mile 3 marker when my husband was heading to the finish line. Though we didn't race together, Tom and I ran to the race together, waited together in the long registration line, and ran home together. It's kind of like going to movies together. You don't talk during the movie, but you both experience it then share opinions afterwards.

The race headed out along the perimeter of the island and offered ocean views. I took them in. Tom did not. This is something we talked about afterwards. We also agreed that we were both happy with our pace and overall time. That afternoon the girls had a chance to dip in the salt water, get buried in sand, and play at the water's edge. The whole family go to do something they wanted to.

When we left the next morning, my husband and I wore our green race shirts and khaki shorts. We looked like tourists on the ferry, but it was a good feeling. It meant that we were on vacation, even if it was just a quick one.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tag-Along Treks

We have been using a tag-along bike as our means of getting around town with our four-year-old lately. We take it to concerts in the park, to the dentist, and to the pool.

We recently acquired the Burley Piccolo model. On the weekend before swim lessons began, we got motivated to get it hooked up and get Julia accustomed to riding it. The town pool is too far for walking and a bit close for driving when we could bike. Given the time constrictions of making to a lesson on time, I didn't want to worry about Julia creeping down the hills on her training wheels with me alongside on foot. The tag-along was the perfect solution. Plus, big sister, Ava, didn't have to wait for her sister on what turned out to be 10 round trips to swim lessons.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Swim Lesson Season

The girls just started week two of swim lessons and their rapid progress amazes me. We come home from swim lessons, eat lunch, and then head to our neighbor's pool. Being in the water so much lends itself to big improvements in swim skills.

At the beginning of the summer, Ava could swim underwater a bit and that was it. Now, she demonstrates a good front crawl, back crawl and can tread water and float. She jumps off the diving board and swims to the ladder.

Julia has learned how to go underwater this season. She is so in awe of this concept that she dunks under just about every other minute. She has very curly hair and her new wet-head straight doo keeps me staring at her, looking for the girl I'm used to seeing.

It is often said that the second child learns skills quickly trying to keep up with child #1. Well Julia is already going off the diving board like her sister. Now, she can't swim so we have to be there when she bobs up. Sometimes she goes in with a lifejacket on so she can "swim" back to the ladder.

We have a neighbor who can do hand-stand flips off the diving board and I saw Julia putting her hands up and stepping as if she were getting ready for that flip. I think we have a dare devil on our hands.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Green Mountain Mile

We celebrated our "Fourth of July" in Waterbury on Saturday, June 26. Yes, we get our celebration taken care of early around here. The celebration consists of a parade, fireworks, and, in recent years, a mile run. My husband came up with the idea to have a mile race right before the parade. It works out well since Main Street is already closed to traffic and all the parade spectators are great fans.

My daughter, Ava, is a veteran racer, having run the mile at ages four, five, and six. I told Julia that she could run when she was four and so this was her race debut. I was curious if she'd be up for the run as she does not always have the same motivation as her older sister. Boy, did she impress me. She moved along well. I kept pointing out people and attractions up ahead to motivate her until she said, "Stop talking, Mommy."

A bunch of young kids ran the race, with 200 participants in all. It's a great family event and the money funds cross country skiing at our local elementary school. I think the race has become as much of a highlight of the day as the parade. A fire truck doesn't look so exciting after you've seen two or three.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

School Ends, Summer Begins

This time of year I have no trouble getting the family out and being fit, it's most everything else that gets neglected - the blog, house cleaning, bills, and general household organization. We have so many things to do and places to go that before we've unpacked from one event, we're ready for another. But, we're having a good time. A couple of highlights lately - joining friends for swimming and staying at a camp on Lake Champlain. The dads braved the high dives.

And the girls and I just took a leisurely walk/run and played in a brook not far from our house.

This weekend we head to NH for daddy to run in the Mt. Washington Hill Climb.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Marathon Mom and Dad

Our six-year-old told us that it was okay to have an ice cream last night since we were done with the marathon. Tom and I both ran the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday and we'd been limiting sweets and other processed foods to stay light on our feet for the 26.2 miles.

We had a great marathon day. The daunting forecast of 80-something degrees didn't prevail. Instead we had an overcast sky with temps in the 60s and a cross-breeze from Lake Champlain -- perfect. I was lucky to have a good friend to run with and the miles actually flew by (with the help of some bands along the way) until mile 20. Yup, I tightened up some and the 8-minute pace, or thereabouts, slowed to 8:50, but I didn't crash and still made it to the finish under 3:40 (Boston qualifying time for me) with a 3:37. Tom blazed through earlier at 2:53 making him the 5th finisher in Vermont. That's why when people ask if we train together, I laugh.

Even though, Tom and I have very different speeds, our training has been pretty much the same. We had a lot to talk about after the marathon: How were your allergies? Did you see all that white stuff on Pine Street? Do you think anyone high-fived the eagle (radio mascot) on the Beltway? That last mile was brutal.

Part of us felt a little sad that our kids didn't see us cross the finish line, but with the way we were walking afterward I figure we had little chance of keeping up with our kids, especially our four-year-old who still likes to take off at times.

We've already got a tinge of interest in running next year, but for now we're letting the mileage log have an empty page and we're enjoying an occasional ice cream.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Marathon Training

My girls are getting excited for next weekend when they get to be with just Grammy and Grampy at the camp while Mommy and Daddy run a marathon. I'm starting to get excited about the night without kids but a little anxious about the run. The extended forecast looks like lots of 80-degree weather and I don't like running in the heat, though the girls would love it for swimming in the lake.

I know that I've trained well, I feel good, and I'll try to stay calm over the next week. My husband passed along 4 Tips from about preparing for your marathon day and the week leading up to it. I liked them. Here they are:

-Go With What the Day Brings – Don’t worry about the weather as you can't control it

-Don’t Try Anything New – Like drinking tons of water or eating different foods

-Review Your Log – Recognize that you’ve put in the time and now fuel and rest

-Have a Mental Plan for Race Day – "Training is 90 percent physical and 10 percent mental and race day is the opposite." Keep your mind in the race and have some power words to keep you going.

A more complete description of these tips is available on the website , and naturally the tips work for shorter races, too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Woods Walk

The girls and I took to the nearby woods to explore today given that the skies were changing from rain to sunshine about every five minutes. The leaves are just coming out and the bright green from the forest shoots to tree tops was amazing.

The girls found a fallen tree for us to use as a bench for snack time. We brought along a few candies from Easter and the sun actually made its way through the trees for a few minutes. It felt like we were very far away with no houses in sight when really we were just a stone's throw away from the neighborhood.

I was reminded of the magic of exploring the woods and paths behind my house as a kid as well as my husband's comment that he loves New England for its' thousand shades of green.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Riding Warm-Up

I just took Julia for her four-year-old doctor's check-up. It's hard to believe that she's not a baby or a toddler anymore (though she looks like one when she sucks her thumb and holds her blankie).

We just switched her to a bigger bike and she loves it. She's timid on the hills but the school parking lot is a perfect warm-up before we head to the sidewalks in the village. Big sister, Ava, gets a little bored biking in the parking lot, but put her on a scooter and she has a blast while getting some good exercise cruising along.

It's April school vacation for us. Though it hasn't been balmy spring weather, it has been drier than predicted and so we've taken advantage of a dry and empty school parking lot.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Excitement

We hosted my husband's side of the family for Easter this year. The last time we were hosts was 8 years ago when we bought our house. We usually travel to New Hampshire or Mass. for the holiday but thought we would mix things up this year and avoid the sugar-crash, cousin-deprivation, whiney-drive home by having everyone come to us.

The event came with its ups and downs. The biggest downside was having to get the house presentable. Our guest room only gets clean when we have overnight guests and it's been awhile. One of the big upsides: some of the family stayed over at a nearby hotel with a pool and they invited the girls to go swimming there.

My girls sure love to be in the water. They aren't able to do swim strokes yet, but I have a feeling that this summer's swim lessons will help them make some great progress and this pre-season water time is a bonus.

As for the Easter dinner, my husband and I pulled it off. The huge ham took a little longer than anticipated to warm through, but folks simply enjoyed the warm weather outside while we cooked. The kids spent most of the day chasing each other with squirt guns so they didn't get to much candy consumption. Yes, the candy requests were frequent today, but I stick to the one or two-a-day rule and in a week's time they forgot about the candy, it somehow disappears, and we wait for the next holiday or birthday-party pinata to replenish the supply.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Change of Seasons

We've been changing our family fitness routine with the change in the weather and in the process I've neglected my blog. Tom and I have both managed to make a quick transition from skiing to running. We're already logging 4o-mile weeks in preparation for the Vermont City Marathon on May 30.

Last weekend we ran a 5K and asked Ava if she wanted to participate in the kids' 1-mile run. She simply said, "No, thanks. It's not my running season yet."

As for ski season, boy, did it end well. Ava was racing the first and second grade boys in the after school ski program and Julia skied a little loop eagerly on our last outing.

Now, we're into walking downtown again. Yesterday, my parents visited and we all walked down to the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Cafe to get some treats and then Grampy pushed the girls on the swings, while Grammy and I took in some sunshine and her dog, Kiesha, watched the bustle of our small town.

It feels good to have spring here, though tonight's low is supposed to be 6 degrees. I'm sure we'll have the hats and mittens out for another month.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

School Vacation

We've had a surprisingly restful school vacation week with the exception of last night. Today is the much anticipated Stowe Derby race in which my husband always elects to do the Derbymeister -- two races instead of one, and the classic race, which takes off at noon, is typically a waxing nightmare causing racers to lose sleep the night before the big event. Check out the unusual race, which starts atop Mt. Mansfield and finishes down the rec path in Stowe Village at

Yes, we've had a crazy weather week -- nearly two feet of snow followed by rain and high winds and power outages, which provided us with a great opportunity for a candle-lit dinner. We've skied and shoveled paths around the house and through the yard. On an especially warm, wet day, we joined friends for swim time at a hotel pool. That was a great treat for the kids, although the recent power outage meant that the pool was cold and the hot tub was bath-tub temperature. The hot tub was huge and the kids actually swam a little in there, too.

But the best part of this vacation has been sleeping until about 7:30 a.m. every morning! My youngest daughter keeps asking where we are going -- Grampy's house, maybe? -- because she associates "vacation" with travel, a reasonable assumption. But, for once, we've focused as much on resting as doing this vacation, which is harder than it sounds.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day Race

Since we love to ski, it was appropriate that our whole family was at a ski race on Valentine's Day. Ava skied the 1K Lollipop race, her first race this season and Tom skied in the 10 K classic race. Julia and I were spectators. I expected that we'd watch and also ski, but when I realized that Ava's race had already started atop a big hill, I knew our only hope of seeing her was to ditch the skis and run. Good choice as we just caught her cruising up the last hill passing about four kids and finishing in second place.

Ava got a second place ribbon, but was disappointed that she did not get a lollipop. I'm not sure that she understands that the race gets its name for being a course for young kids that generally has a lollipop-shaped course.

As for Tom's race, I've never had so much fun being a spectator. The kids and I were able to watch the start and another lap from a little pond near the Nordic center. We "skated" on our boots while we watched. Then we headed back uphill to see the finish. I don't think that the girls had ever seen that much of Daddy's race. Now, Daddy probably would have been very happy with a second place ribbon, but he wasn't quite that fast. He did make the top ten, though, and he came home with a crazy hat from the prize table. He says that the spectators at the Olympic ski races are wearing them, but I've yet to spy one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ups and Downs

We had both girls crying on our family ski this weekend. We were at a different Nordic center, it was a little cold, and though we told the girls we were headed for cocoa at a trailside yurt, I don't think they knew what the heck a yurt was.

I wanted to bail from the tears and the whining and call it a day, but we decided to trek a bit further uphill to the yurt to warm-up and refuel rather than head down a longer distance to the car. It was a good call made by Daddy because the girls were enamored with the yurt. It was only a small tent, but it had a wood stove inside, benches to sit upon, and very rich hot chocolate. The girls figured that maybe the Big, Bad Wolf could blow this yurt down. And, when we tried blowing ourselves, the sides of the tent did billow a bit.

After reviving, we cruised downhill to the Nordic center and the girls played on the giant snow pile outside the lodge. And so, we had a happy ending -- always our ultimate goal, to end on a happy note.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hot Wheels

There's nothing like cruising on classic ride-on toys. The girls got a chance to take them out of our cluttered basement and do many laps in the school gym as part of Big Toy Night. The event always takes place in the beginning of February and is a nice change of pace given that the temp tonight is ten degrees not counting the wind chill. Maybe on February break, we'll clean up our basement to make a bigger riding area for the kids. That's something that has been on our to-do list for years and, admittedly, we don't get much done during ski season other than skiing (in our free time, that is.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ice Time

Our older daughter has been asking to go ice skating and we've been reluctant to meet her request. Our thoughts fast forward to a potential hockey player and the last thing we want to do is be up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning for ice time.

At the same time, we want to let our kids try new activities. So, Tom asked another family for hand-me-down skates and when I got back from my own ski at 5:30 last night, both Ava and Tom were ready to go.

"Now. Are you kidding?" said a cold and shocked me. They were headed to the outdoor rink after all.

Apparently, Ava had been going back and forth on her new skates on our rug runner for most of the time I had been out skiing, so Daddy seized the moment of inspiration.

Hats off to an accomodating Dad and a determined first child.

Here's proof of the first skate and proof that we can do something besides ski this winter.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Skiing With Gram, Grampy, and Aunts, Too

I've been spending too much time on the ski trails and too little time writing of late. I can think of worse problems. I did send off a handy little fit family list to the Oprah magazine before skiing yesterday, so that counted as a work day. My one day with both kids in school is my writing day so I wrote a cover letter and took a detour to the post office before hitting the trails at Trapps.

But what I've really meant to report was a chance to have the girls ski with their Grammy, Grampy and aunts. It was not a long affair, but we did some laps in the field and then my mom got to see the girls whiz downhill on their skinny skis and see them laugh upon crashing at the bottom. That was part of my mom's birthday present. At age 77, she doesn't need any more knick knacks, but time skiing with the grandkids, that's a good gift.

My husband took a Flip video of the extended family ski, but my old computer doesn't have that new software. Here's a shot from the back before Julia dropped the rope.

More updates on our three-year-old's ski progress to come soon!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Partied Out

I'm still recovering from hosting my daughter's birthday party on the weekend, but I'm proud to say that we pulled off a good one. I actually made the cake this year, searching far for pink food coloring for the requested pink frosting. I set up crafts at a separate table from the cake table so I didn't have to madly clean up foam stickers and candy necklace pieces before serving food, and my husband hung the pinata in the basement this year since the bike stand in the living room proved unsuccessful last year and a brave father had to hold the pinata for the last few whacks. (It was a drop-off party this year so Tom knew he'd be the one holding the pinata, if necessary, and some of these five and six year olds have gotten strong!)

So, what is the "Fit Family" element of this posting? The baseball bat swinging doesn't qualify, some of the crazy running through the house might, but thankfully we all got out sledding as the sun came out on an otherwise cold January day. Yes, you get a free ride down the hill, but hoofing it back up time and time again is a decent winter workout and a great way to warm up.

In an effort to cut down on collisions and keep kids from having to wait around for a turn, we brought out an old, foldable toboggan for the party. My husband managed to hold back the sled while getting 8 kids loaded. Impressive.

What a ride!
(For the kids and the parents behind the scene.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Family Ski (All Four of Us)

We had the best New Year's Day that I can remember thanks to our three-year-old's suggestion of a family ski. So far this ski season, we have been splitting up: Mommy skis with Ava for an hour and Daddy "skis" with Julia for about 15 minutes as she loses interest quickly.

Give a little sister her big sister as a companion and BINGO, there's some motivation. Thankfully, on our New Year's outing, big sister Ava was encouraging and patient and got Julia excited for the ski. Tom used his rope tow contraption to pull Julia along. (For Ava, we only used this device on the steep uphills, but Julia needed a little more motivation.)

We had a family train going along the tracks with Ava in the lead, then Tom with Julia in tow, and I was the caboose. We actually made it around a 2K loop and Julia didn't want the tow near the end. She zoomed down a hill near the end and stayed upright for quite a while, enjoying the thrill of the downhill like her big sister.

Best yet, the girls wanted to go back out after lunch and Julia got some good kicking and gliding going on her own initiative. We're hopeful that many more family skis will follow this breakthrough.