I did a lot of golfing before I had kids. Like 50 rounds a year of golfing. And then we got pregnant and the time and money outlay of golfing took a back seat, fast.

Over the past nearly 10 years of being a father, I likely haven’t golfed 50 games total. The time, the cost, just don’t make it feasible. BUT .. now that they’re old enough to understand the game a bit, my sons have taken a liking golfing.


So we’ve started golfing as a family. Small courses, or places that let kids play free (because they really like riding in the cart and playing with the ball washers more than anything) is all we get up to. And that’s fine.

Before I played a lot. After I didn’t play so much. Now that I can play With my sons, I’m catching it up again.

The three phases of my golf life: Before. After. With.

Skiing is sort of the same thing for me. While I didn’t ski a lot before I had kids, we enjoyed skiing as a family in my teens and I did it some in my 20s.

I enjoy skiing, I’m good enough at it to have fun, but it always felt expensive, and wet. It wasn’t something you could “just do,” you needed to plan an entire day, sort out lots of gear, and then get very wet and stinky.

So the Before and After parts of my ski life were pretty much the same. I’d do it if it was cheaper and more convenient, I enjoyed it very much, but I didn’t go often at all.

Now comes the With stage. Our house in Calgary is 5 blocks from a family friendly ski hill. The boys do skiing (or snowboarding) lessons for a few days each year as part of their phys ed curriculum.

They like it. They want to do it more.

But the time, the wet, the cost, right? The boys have skied more with school since we moved here than we have as a family. Our time together has been limited to a total of 3 ski days in 7 years. That’s it.

ski family

Cost. Gear. Wet. Time. I just can’t seem to get it all together to flip the switch to make us a skiing family. But we’re getting there.

The boys love it, my wife and I have enjoyed it in the past, so we are dipping our toes back in and rediscovering our talent. The boys are learning quickly, and becoming more adept. The With phase, where we can all go together to a mountain and ski together as a family will likely fully come in the next 2 or 3 years.

That gives me plenty of time to gather the gear. Skiing ain’t cheap, gang. So each year I’ll get some equipment, build up the toolbox, and knock off that rental bill from each outing.

First up for me is the helmet. I recently grabbed an Oakley Mod 5 Factory Pilot helmet from Altitude Sports. I really can’t believe the 80s when my brother and I would bomb around Mt Baker in just a toque and sunglasses ripping down slopes and hitting jumps as often as we could. Helmet is first these days.


The Oakley Mod 5 Factory Pilot is comfortable and comes with a variety of brims to fit your goggle style. The only drawback is the clip for the goggles: it’s not a snapped in clip. There’s a tab to keep your strap in place, but you cannot hang your goggles off the back while you walk around, they’ll fall out. Mine did in the lodge and I didn’t notice for 5 minutes (almost lost ’em).


Tonight we got our 4th family ski night in. A free night put on by our Community Association.  I cut some runs with both my boys cursing the chaos of the rental lines and trying on all the gear, lugging it around, and getting all wet.

But then, watching my boys turn on their own, and following behind, pumping my knees like I was 25 again, I fully embraced the With.

z half pipe

Soon, when the boys are old enough, and I have all the gear, we will pop over those 5 blocks to the hill near our house, determine the seasons’ pass to be worth the bucks, and carve a few runs a few nights a week.

With each other – as a family. I can’t wait.

This post is sponsored by Altitude Sports

Altitude Sports
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