Pride, falls, and snow in your face

>> Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Well, that'll learn me.

Not long ago I wrote a post where I mentioned that I felt I had - after 15-odd years of throwing myself down the side of a mountain - at least partially mastered the art of downhill skiing.

Pride comes before a fall, however, (or in my case, any number of them), and it seems that between now and 4 weeks ago I lost all memories of how to ski in anything other than a style which could most aptly be described as 'headless chicken'.

Perhaps it's because on this trip I have been preoccupied with encouraging Boy #2 to master the 'pizza slice' (aka 'snow plough stop' to anyone over the age of 6), and jollying him along when he tells me he hates skiing, hates Austria, hates his teacher, and hates me for leaving him there. Only to have a great time the moment my back is turned, obviously (I know this to be the case because I have taken to skulking behind other parents like a mad woman, using them as human shields between him and I so that he thinks I've gone when in fact I'm keeping a weather eye...)

Or perhaps it's because I have a bit of mental block about skiing in Austria based on a spectacularly unsuccessful trip here a few years back where the pistes where poorly groomed and I tangled more than once with an inexpert snow-boarder. Which is ridiculous, because my skiing has improved since then and the resort where I'm staying has some of the widest, most forgiving runs I've ever seen, and plenty of fresh snow on which to turn and - of course - fall.

Whatever the reason, however, things haven't been going so well for me on the slopes and I think that the following exchange between Husband and I yesterday probably illustrates how frustrated I was feeling about the whole thing.

I had just fallen over. Again.

Husband: "Come on, cheer up. It's funny really. You've got to laugh!"

I grimaced and muttered, but didn't say much. If, however, marital harmony were less important to me I suspect that I might have said the following:

"No, actually, I don't. I'm 44 years old and after 15 years at the this game, I still don't know how to fucking ski. My 7 year old son can now ski faster than me, and even my 5 year old son has less fear of falling than me. Tell me, what - exactly - is funny about that?"

Lucky I'm not single, or I think I might have to take 'GSOH' off my list of personal traits...

Note: Since that exchange a friend who is both a spectacularly good skier and spectacularly patient and who just happens to be staying in the same resort took me under his wing and reminded me of all things I've learned - and forgotten - in various ski classes over the years. Things are now much better. And there are unsubstantiated rumours that I may even be recovering my sense of humour.


Expat mum 22 February 2011 at 18:23  

Well I'll be skiing on my own next year I think as the 7 year old is now "dropping in" to things that look remarkably like straight cliffs to me!

Iota 22 February 2011 at 20:21  

Can't you focus your skills on becoming a gluwein (sp?) connoisseur, or hot chocolate expert instead?

I'm So Fancy 23 February 2011 at 08:26  

Children are lower to the ground. And dumb. That combination makes them fearless black diamond experts. Take pride in your height and your understanding of pain.

Home Office Mum 23 February 2011 at 23:16  

I'm from South Africa, not a place renowned for its skiing. I've done it once, when I was 21, for a week, I was an au pair at the time. I was also the only English speaking person in the French skiing class. I learnt little. I fell a lot. I am also afraid of heights and don't particularly like the sensation of flying downhill head first, which is what I did often. I don't think I will ever master the art of skiing because that would require me to go to a ski slope. However, that is very much what we might well be doing. So it's time I manned up and gave it a go.

Troutie 24 February 2011 at 09:39  

I hate skiing. I'm always the one holding up the entire ski lift and my only enjoyment comes from hot instructors.

Footballers Knees 26 February 2011 at 12:13  

Any ski holiday when you manage to walk on to the return flight without the aid of a stick is a success in my book.

March 17th 26 February 2011 at 12:27  

I agree on the Gluhwein, you have a superb sense of humour and at least you haven't developed late onset vertigo - simply thinking about chair lifts makes me feel odd. I owe you a very overdue email by the way xx

London City Mum 26 February 2011 at 21:44  

Happy to take you under my wing as well next time, should we happen to be in the same place at the same time.

I always recall a story from when we were small (downside of living in Switzerland in the 70s? Guaranteed ghastly ski conditions. Upside? Ski slopes within 30 mins of front door) and mastering the art of strapping wooden planks to your feet (and they were wooden then. How do I know? Spectacular fall and breakage - of ski, not self).

My mother and her friends always had a 'cafe trash' after lunch. They skied with abandon with us kids. How so?

It was laced with schnapps. Lots of it.

And she was younger than us then!


Potty Mummy 27 February 2011 at 19:22  

EPM, it's just a matter of time...

Iota, not a bad idea actually!

ISF, excellent point. I'm still a rubbish skier, though.

HOM, lessons. It's the only way. (She said, not having forked out for any this trip...)

Troutie, whatever works, I say! (Mind you, have you ever seen them in non-ski clothes? It's just wrong.)

FK, in that case, success!

March 17th, aha! You have resurfaced! Knew it would happen...

LCM, but I'm only 21, don't you know? (In my head, at least...)

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