LEARNING TO SKI AS AN ADULT

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This winter, I learned to ski. Well, I learned to slide from side to side down a slope on skis and stop at the end. Just about.

Learning anything new as an adult is hard. But add in lack of control and a healthy dose of terror and it seems near-impossible. Day one seemed to go well. We started on a basically flat section. I could stop! I could turn! Yippee. We then went onto a slight slope. Turned out I could fall as well…

It’s demoralising. But gradually, with the help of super patient skiers of my acquaintance, I worked out how to do it, where to put my weight, how to turn properly, how to stop effectively and control my speed better. And if I can do it, anyone can. I have a highly developed survival instinct – sliding down a mountain at speed isn’t really in my comfort zone. And I know that, so I didn’t rush. I made sure I had the basics down before I moved on. Admittedly, at times, it was a little too slow and I needed the gentle push – and some white lies about the difficulty of the slope – of my companions to get me to progress, but the main thing was, I did it at my own pace.

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I went from baby slope to short blue slope, to skiing to lunch (best bit) and then skiing down a mountain. A WHOLE MOUNTAIN. And in-between the fear and the concentration I realised that this could actually be fun. The feeling of that controlled slide, the rush of the air, the gentle sweeping movements…

I’m never going to be that great at it, or that fearless, you won’t catch me throwing myself down steep slopes at high speeds. But you will catch me obsessively checking the weather and asking if we can fit in just one more weekend before the end of the season… pleeeaaaassseeee

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