“Again!” I would squeal as my plastic skis, velcro’d to the bottom of tiny snow boots came to a slow stop at the bottom of our shady, snow-covered driveway. I look back over my shoulder, smiling pigtail to pigtail and there he would be, beaming proudly, running down to pull me back up to the top for another lap… No doubt that driveway is where a lot of who I am today began to grow.
The term “daddy’s girl” is a phrase often used and one that many women, if they’re lucky, can call themselves. In my world, daddy’s girl doesn’t even begin to describe it. My father is my best friend, my travel partner, my colleague, my repairman, my therapist and most important, my favorite ski partner.
From a young age, we were inseparable. I adored my dad. He was, and is, my hero. I have always wanted to be like him (excluding his soda habit) and I always wanted to be doing whatever it was that he was doing. When I was dropped off for my Mighty Mite sessions at Squaw Valley, I would literally kick and scream because all I wanted to do was go ski with my dad! He ignited the spark for becoming a pro-skier myself.
My dad had followed his hotdog dreams and had become a professional skier, with lines named after him at Squaw and countless images in ski magazines. He appeared in some of the first ski movies and even graced a few snowboard flicks. As a young girl, I thought this was cool; now, I think it’s really cool! From there he worked his way behind the camera, learning from some of the industry’s greats, and continues to travel the world and explore in the mountains. Today, my dad is a ski photographer and a cinematographer who skis and films all over the world. When I have a project, he is my first call.
My relationship with my dad, both personal and professional, is what led me to be a skier and has been an integral part of my life. Watching him in his successes and in his failures has been one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever shared with me. He is there to test me, to tell me the cliff isn’t that big, to teach me how to love, and to pick me up when I fall down - or at least scoop the ice-cream after knee surgery. He suffered through every princess movie, every Spice Girls song, and ridiculous meltdown after meltdown, never deciding it was too much and opting out. You think these things will pass, that as I get older, I will no longer be his kid… but they don’t pass. He still endures and loves, day in, day out.
Fathers are amazing, and I know many people are grateful for their dads. In my opinion, mine is, hands down, the raddest dad out and I am so grateful I get to ski down many mountains with him again and again and again. Love you, Dad! Thank you for giving me my start!