today on the ski slopes in crested butte i skied past a child about the age of 5 who was face down in the snow, crying. his instructor and group mates had skied off down the green slope, unaware one of their members had taken a plunge. i was already below the child when i realized what had happened, but before i could even stop myself, i was duck-walking up the slope with my skis to try to help the poor kiddo in some way or another. now, i'm not a very good skier. i like to stay on the greens, enjoy the beautiful view of the colorado mountains, and go at my own pokie pace. i'm good with that. i'm not good enough to balance my way back up a ski slope, no matter what level it is, in order to help a child who has no idea who i am.
luckily, my encouraging 'you can do it! almost! one more step!' shouts as i pushed myself up helped and he got himself back up (or he was just terrified of the crazy lady on skis coming at him and decided it was better to get up and stop crying than stay there).
now i was stuck trying to turn around on my skis so i could go down hill forwards and not run backwards into the tree directly behind me.
i made it, but realized how ridiculous i was.
a few years ago i was running a road race in dc. i was winning for the women and doing pretty darn well up a killer hill when a small kid came up on my elbow. well, immediately my teacher ways overpowered my competitiveness. we chatted for awhile, up the wicked, wicked hill. i found out he was a first grader, this was his first race but he loved running. as i was going into 'wow, i teach first grade' i suddenly had to pull myself to the side to be sick. yes, the poor kid had a teacher throw up behind him on a nasty hill at the end of the race.
i recovered quickly, pulled myself together and told the kid he better beat me, so run faster! once he was sprinting up ahead of me i was able to get back into my competitive groove and finish the race (still beaten by this 6 year old, but i did win my age group).
i don't know if its a good sign that i go into teacher mode without thinking, or if it is worrisome. i should probably try to slip some logic in there somewhere before i end up skiing backwards into a tree.