Sunday, August 20, 2017

Life’s Lessons on the Sun Valley Ice

February 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Pick My Brain

Premiere destination ski resort, glamorous playground for the well-to-do, stomping grounds of celebrities and stars…. These are all things that Sun Valley, Idaho is known for. To me, it is the ultimate home away from home and the greatest gift I could have ever given my child.

Back in the “hey day” of skating, few arenas could remain open during the summer months due to the lack of highly efficient compressors and machinery that would keep the ice from melting. Many athletes would travel to specific camps, to go “summer skating”, where they would gather new perspectives on coaching and off- ice training methods.

It wasn’t uncommon for these athletes and their families to return to the same destination year after year building a connection with a community and its residents. This was a tradition we value and hoped to keep up as my daughter began her skating career.

We wanted her to have the opportunity to experience many different coaches and classes and to develop interests and pass times that we couldn’t find the time for at home.

In 1999 we took our first trip to Sun Valley. We signed her up for every class, such as edges, spins, jumps, creative movement, and a rather unique theater on ice class. She couldn’t get enough of skating outside in the summer. The highlight of the week was the annual Saturday night ice show which is held at dusk, outside and under the stars. We were convinced she had learned a lot and had enhanced her basic skills.

One week led to three the following year, then to five, six,  eight and finally the entire summer when she had the opportunity to perform in the weekly ice show.

When our daughter graduated high school I worried that our lengthy stays in Sun Valley would come to an end. I was pleased to find that, all through college and beyond, our daughter continued to ask us to keep Sun Valley in our travel plans. That’s when I realized that we all got something more than skating out of our time spent in the valley. Our daughter especially, took away an appreciation of family ties, quality time with extended family, and an understanding of what it means to nurture friendships.

She was fortunate to have had some great coaches and strong role models that have become colleagues and friends.

It is a special and peaceful place where we can kick back with our family and friends, recharge our energies and hold on to our tradition.

Ilona

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