I don't have a picture of my mother that does her justice so here is a lake
All skiers have mothers. Some of us never met ours, some of us resent them, some of us tolerate them, the luckiest among us sometimes get to shred with them. Regardless of where you sit on the "mother spectrum" you have been or will be at some point impacted by "worried mother syndrome."
Maybe it's your mom telling you to wear a helmet, maybe it's a friend's mom telling you to buckle your seatbelt, Maybe it's MaryO telling you to watch your language in the forums, maybe it's you, telling your friends or in some cases your kids to be more careful. "Worried mother syndrome" affects everyone regardless of age or ability.
I know that I am blessed to have a mother who used to shred and supports what I do and I realized that much of skiing's community has been blessed by the same kind of people. From Deb Hillary (Sean and Callum Pettit's mother) to Glen McConkey to Darla Hall to Marry O to all the less famous but just as important women throughout the community, they all deal with the excitement and danger of skiing.
I'm not sure who this lady is but she sounds like a mom Thanks for heckling and motivating me when my own mom wasn't there to do it random lady!
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago as I attended the Inspired Movie Premier in Spokane. Tanner Hall made a guest appearance and offered a few words on the passing of JP Auclair. After the films were over groms swarmed him, stoked to talk to one of the most influential skiers of our time.
In the lobby I spotted another familiar face from a ski movie, Darla Hall, Tanner's mother. In Like a Lion her interviews had intrigued me. Her support and love for her son had reminded me of my own mother and her excitement and passion for the sport her son loved was evident.
I interviewed her in the crowded lobby, and discussed many of the same questions covered in Like a Lion. When I was finished I realized that even though her son is a famous professional athlete she faces the same fears and concerns as any other skier's parents.
In the wake of JP's passing I asked Darla how she dealt with the danger her son faces in the backcountry. She didn't skip a beat, she talked about how she loved to see how happy skiing makes her son. She said that she trusted him, if it was worth if for him it was worth it for her. I have seen this sentiment echoed across the community.
They might not get it when we spend cold nights in the car or drive hours for fresh snow. They might laugh at our tall tees and talk trash about their days shredding in jeans and a vest. They might worry about avalanches or concussions or whirlybirds but they love and support us anyway. Our happiness and excitement for skiing is infectious. Our stoke makes them happy even if they don't understand it.
Skiers do stuff that scares moms
If we are lucky they see the value of skiing, of spending time in the mountains. Darla talked about the impact skiing has had on her son, the opportunities it has given him and the lessons it has imparted. She made it clear in Like a Lion that she doesn't judge her son's success based on his medals or sponsorships. I know my mom is the same way, she doesn't really care that I landed a new trick or got a sick photo. She wants me to grow into a motivated, content and happy person and she sees that skiing is part of that journey.
As fall slips into winter and we get ready to take to the slopes once more remember those awesome ladies who helped make us. Give them a hug and thank them for the stoke we so often take for granted.