A group of us have just come back from a skiing holiday based around a close friend’s birthday. Admittedly, I was never a particularly good or confident skier, having only learnt in my late 20’s, but I used to be able to do red runs without crying too much. So whilst I wasn’t planning on going on anything other than the blue and green runs, I didn’t realise I would be relegated to the nursery slope for the entire week because I’d totally forgotten how to ski. Everyone kept telling me it would be just like getting back on a bicycle….well, I can confidently confirm that it wasn’t like that at all for me.
Not only had I clearly forgotten how to turn and more importantly how to brake, but I’d developed an unhealthy fear of dying or at the very least breaking my leg/head/collarbone/arm/coccyx/pelvis/all of the above, which kind of stopped me from being brave enough to pick up any speed or getting into the right mindset. I just kept thinking “I’ve got two sticks attached to my immovable feet that are going to make me go very very fast down a mountain and this is meant to be a good thing?”
I had a lesson with my friend on the first day and the instructor couldn’t stop laughing when I lost control on the nursery slopes. Hardly ideal for my self confidence. It’s not difficult to look the part when you’re standing still but I won’t be showing you any video footage:-
Our instructor left me on the beginners slope with those in the below photo who were at the same level as me, with instructions as to how to snow plough and took my friend off elsewhere:-
To be fair, the conditions where we were staying weren’t at all favourable for beginners. Val d’Isère is a very pretty (incredibly expensive) resort, but it has very few wide blue and green runs that don’t start with some ice and/or a steep incline. The entire area hadn’t had any snow for the last month so it was pretty icy in the mornings and slushy in the afternoons. Frankly a recipe for disaster as far as I was concerned. However, I enjoyed the feeling of being on top of the world when I was sitting drinking a hot chocolate and looking at the views:-
Next time (if there is one) I’d love to ski with my kids again, it’s a very sociable holiday (although not sure I can afford it) and the apres skiing is always huge fun as long as you don’t have to ski down any mountains at the end of a long and boozy lunch! I don’t know any of the people in the next two pics, but they were all having fun at Folie Douce! A joy to behold as we danced on the tables alongside them (with our clothes firmly still on I hasten to add!)