By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, January 23, 2020

When I moved from Hong Kong to the United States at 12 years old, I did not understand the obsession this country has with sports.

Years later, I now see why Americans put such value on sports.

Sports teach you endurance. They teach you emotional and physical stamina. They teach you work ethic. They force you to improve. They teach you teamwork.

I was not exposed to sports growing up.

Neither of my parents was active in sports or the outdoors, and it was not set as a priority for me. I remember in junior high, it was a struggle just to do a sit-up or a push-up or swim the width of a pool.

It was not until I met my husband, Carlos, when I was about 18 that I started dabbling in sports and outdoors activities. Carlos introduced me to horseback riding and snow skiing, and we later developed other outdoor passions before I found shooting.

Carlos has always been active in sports and the outdoors. He is always on the go. And when we had kids, we knew we wanted to expose them to sports and the outdoors at an early age. We did not want our children to be intimidated by the outdoors or dirt or heat. And through sports, you introduce your children to hardships that they must process and endure. Plus, our outdoors activities kept our kids busy on the weekend and out of trouble.

We introduced our daughters, Christina and Shane, to hiking when they were young, and we would go camping and on long hikes. Our youngest child, Austin, also loved to hike.

We also took our children boating, water skiing and snow skiing. When Christina and Shane were teenagers, they joined the ski team at Squaw Valley Ski Resort in California.

I remember one hike at Yosemite National Park when Christina and Shane were young. We reached the top of a ridge and saw 2 small lakes. We called them Tina and Shane Lakes. They remember those lakes to this day, and my daughters have taken their children to see the lakes.

Carlos and I have 5 granddaughters, and our children have exposed them to team sports and outdoor activities. They all enjoy snow skiing.

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