Up Front Skiing

Busy Weekend

We all can brag about our fun weekends, but I think I can top it in today’s blog. I expected to talk about my time on the slopes around Denver, known for world-class skiing and many celebrity sightings. You can’t beat a Saturday night in J-Bar at the Jerome hotel. Many friends can be found resting after a hard day fighting the moguls. But last weekend, I took a break from the white stuff to party with friends.

Some of my best pals have young kids. Parents know that children are a magnet for other neighborhood tots. They love to get together in a welcoming backyard, perhaps for a game of youth soccer. During this particularly get-together, they were already at play when I arrived. They were so cute in their colorful team outfits. They represented the great American and Canadian teams, depending upon the father’s particular preference. The ball was bandied about with little, active feet. The kids ran, or should I say, stumbled about—more interested in cavorting than kicking the ball into these portable goals that one of the parents had bought.

These little ones are our soccer players of tomorrow. The game is fast gaining popularity in the US and Denver is no exception. All sports are healthy, even though football for boys is on the wane out of fear of injury and concussion. That comes later in one’s athletic career, but parents don’t want to start them out for no reason. I say, “Take them to the slopes.” Of course, in Denver, most parents do.

Soccer is a European and South American phenomenon that has surprised school coaches and parents alike. Americans always had their own sports, but for some reason they have gotten more sophisticated about appropriating those of other nations. Now, everything stops during the World Cup. Even though we don’t have a national team, fans are watching in record numbers. I wasn’t really one of them until I saw those budding soccer players during my friend’s party. I want to learn more so I can talk to the kids and egg them on. I may even learn Spanish because most games air on these networks.

I am told by the proud parents that soccer is a great team sport. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment and the game moves fast unlike, say, football that has multiple pauses between plays. The kids in school don’t need tremendous physical strength to do well and enjoy the sport. It is a great social experience and super exercise.