I am learning how to ski. I do not know that the odds are in my favour. Ever since my Barcelona adventure, I have been a little nervous around high things and, particularly, high things that you can fall down. Co-ordination is also not one of my strong points. Or toleration of the cold. I am, however, open to new experiences so at least I have that in my favour…
After three hours in Milton Keynes’ SnoZone yesterday, this is what I have learnt about ski-ing so far.
1. Everyone can learn to ski (according to my ski instructor). Even 92 year olds – with the caveat that they don’t break any bones in the process.
2. Falling over is the best way to learn how to pick yourself back up.
3. Picking yourself back up is pretty hard when you’re ski-ing so learning how to take your skis off is a good first step. As is knowing how to stop.
4. Sometimes, the things that we are worrying about are not the things that are the most scary when it comes to doing them.
5. It’s all about the foot movement, apparently.
6. If you don’t tuck everything in, you get wet and, whilst falling over in snow cools you down when you’re too hot, it’s quite unpleasant a few hours later.
7. The stick things aren’t for stopping.
8. When you’ve ploughed into three people and fallen over more times than anyone else in the group, you have to over-ride the frustration and embarrassment cos it’s after you’ve done that a few times that things start to fall into place.
9. You go slower when you’re going to the left or to the right. When you’re just facing straight downwards, it’s far harder to stop.
10. There is something exciting and challenging and, eventually, satisfying, in being a real beginner again.
I wonder if I’ll feel the same in February when I’m doing the real thing?