By Sammi Johnson

As the last article went to print, my daughter had a legitimate breakthrough on skis. As in, she just started skiing! Turning, stopping, having fun and asking for more.

I had to pinch myself. Was I dreaming?

If you recall, my last column was about my debate over how much we should push our children into activities they might despise, although as parents we love! The example was skiing.

Turns out, our perseverance worked out. She skis! This needs a little bit of explanation.

Go back to the last article: I write it, it goes to print, we go skiing. After our token two runs, we head into the lodge to partake in some sugary beverages, and in our conversation about doing just that, I casually say, “You go have hot chocolate with Dad. I’m going to go give away your skis if you’re not going to use them. We might as well give them to someone who will love them, ski them, use them.”

And that was it. A little white lie and it turned my girl into a skier. She put on her skis, got on the chair and did it. Turned. Stopped. Smiled. Got back on the chair for more. Simple as that.

First off, I was ecstatic to witness my girl skiing. I had tears in my eyes! Second, she loved it. Third, it was clear that she had this in her the entire time. Wow. She is smart and stubborn, and she held the key to her own ability on two skis this whole time.

Don’t we all do that? We think we can’t do something, are convinced we don’t like it, and “know” our limitations until – lo and behold – we actually get the job, land the client, run the marathon, save the money, mend the relationships, make more, do more, thrive more and shatter our own expectations. Empowering stuff.

She worked us a bit, that’s for sure. Also, as with most people, an idea isn’t good until it’s our own, and then it’s the best idea.

I want her to know that I would never, ever, introduce something like skiing, swimming, or any other activity, trip or experience in which I know she won’t at least find some joy or learn something new. I just have to know that the transition period for her from loathing to loving (this includes her little brother) could be MONTHS-long for acceptance.

Reflecting on my own adolescence, transitioning into young adulthood, entering careers and relationships, and other experiences, many were diminished by a bit of the imposter syndrome, low(er) self esteem and wasted brain cells on a million things that didn’t matter because of my own self-doubt, concerns of perceptions and basically my own self-inflicted barriers. Those aren’t good habits. As we’re raising small versions of ourselves, striving to make them better, bigger and more empowered than us is our goal. Self-limiting habits are ones I’d like to help her avoid.

As I’m slowly peeling those layers away and shedding the ridiculousness of my own bad habits, THIS is my lesson and foundational quote response to her, when asked.

“What if I fall?”

“Oh but, my darling, what if you fly?”

Please trust yourself. You (and I) got this.

Sammi is a mother, wife, business owner and marketing director at the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell. Contact her at