Four months into meeting, Roger invited me to move with him to The Netherlands for his new job. New boyfriend, new apartment, living together, one bank account, new country, new continent. All in.
Roger had a few bucket list items he wanted to do while in Europe and one of them was ski in Italy. Roger played ice hockey and had skiing season passes with his family since he was a toddler. I had never even touched skis or been to any slopes to avoid breaking limbs. I only rode my bike to work, I was no athlete like him! He really wanted me to share in the thrill of the experience with him. I did like the idea of learning new talents, instead of sitting at the lodge just because I hadn’t learned how to do something.
This was a significant time in our dating because when someone else is learning something you already do well, you get to see his/her real personality. Rotterdam had indoor wet carpeted ski-simulation slopes for lessons. I went to all my sessions, and tried my best until my muscles ached so badly from the new position. Even though I had no confidence doing this new hard sport, I didn’t bail last minute. When he saw me get into the ski gear, and go up on the gondola with him the very first time in Italy, he was so happy already. He was happy I was overcoming a fear of ice and heights to share this bucket list dream with him. He was so happy before he even got to ski that day, he took this selfie! I did the easy slopes, and he stayed with me, going ahead a bit and watching me “pizza” over to him, and reassuring me that I was doing a good job. He didn’t try to correct me, he didn’t give up on me because I was slow and falling all the time, he didn’t ask me if I wanted to quit. I took a break at the lodge and told him to go enjoy and then we could go again together when he came back.
When he got back, he said the snow was perfect and I could go to the top with him to see the view but then take the easy slopes back down. Turned out that this lodge only had black diamonds to come down, and the gondolas had just closed by the time we got to the peak! After a few minutes of trying to go as carefully as possible, we both knew I couldn’t ski down. I started to walk holding my skiis in my arms, but Roger decided he would carry me. Roger piggybacked me on his back, holding my skis, I held on to dear life, and he took me halfway down the mountain before the rescue team got to us. I then piggybacked on the Lodge Ranger’s back, Roger took my skis and we made it down. Roger kept apologizing so much that he didn’t know. Happiness turned to thankfulness that the day ended safely. We went to dinner to celebrate our couple goal accomplishment, and on his way back from a “bathroom” stop he had a few roses. What a guy! He wanted me to overcome fears, and feel adventure but still wanted to protect me from everything. My trust in his care for me was locked down. This started the important aspect of making new goals to grow & experience things together.
Since then, I’ve been able to share skiing with Roger in Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands, Spain and California.