As kids, I was heartily encouraged in one specific sport (which I quit) and John played lots of sports well, but not at a pro or scholarship level. When we had children we were well aware of our competitive natures and wanted to stay in the gray zone, of not pushing to hard versus not hard enough, when it came to our children and athletic endeavors. But we were both certain that one of our offspring would be an Olympic ski racer.
Evidently we didn't give them enough direction and presented them with too many options. Plus, they now have ideas of their own. I'll admit that neither child was as excited about the prospect of Olympic competition as us, but they humored our dreams to a point.
That all changed when I took them to the 2010 Winter Outdoor Retailer trade show.
It was sensory overload as usual, but the girls thought it was amazing. Between powering blenders with bikes, playing ping pong, slacklining, going to parties, meeting people, skiing and getting swag, they jointly decided to work in the outdoor industry.
"Taylor, you know what you do here?" said Adair. "You pick out the gear you need for your adventure and ask people to sponsor you--let's come up with our ideas!"
And they did.
Adair wants to become an ultrarunner and run around the world, while carrying a Gibbon slackline in her backpack. She thinks all children should know how to do tree pose on a slackline. Upon completion of her round the world odyssey, she wants to be a sponsored Ironman triathlete and work as a Cirque du Soleil performer. She can already unicycle, juggle, do acrobatics on hanging silks and recently landed her first back flip--I just never envisioned this as a career path.
Taylor is jumping onto the Keen Hybrid Life bandwagon with plans to sail around the world (no fossil fuels for this idealist) so she can swim with and document endangered aquatic animals. Once she finishes her adventure and, of course, sells the movie and music rights to a socially responsible indie film company, she's going to med school and become a doctor for Doctor's Without Borders.
Here's my favorite piece. When they are ready for a more relaxed lifestyle, they are kicking us to the curb, and turning our humble abode into a xc ski day lodge and restaurant. They were kind enough to offer us jobs at their skiing establishment--John gets to groom the trails and I can run the store.
I'm completely serious. This is what they discussed and planned the entire drive home from Salt Lake.
I know I should be proud of their ingenuity and creativeness, and I am--truly. But their proposed adventures are getting us no closer to front row seats at the Olympics or a Today Show interview with Matt Lauer.