Do you love skiing? Can you point your skis down the mountain, push off and fly down the slopes? Can you let go, relinquish control and let the mountain guide you down? Do you love the thrill of speed? That is not me. I’m the one who stands at the top of the mountain, quivering, shivering, shaking, thinking how the hell do I get down? I am a reluctant skier living among a family of thrill seekers, who tried to survive her latest ski holiday. Here’s what I learned about surviving a ski holiday.
1. I had to face my fear, skiing is a mind game
What stops me from enjoying skiing is fear. And, sheer terror and anxiety as I stand quaking at the top of the slopes.
But as Susan Jeffers, the best-selling self-help author says I need to Feel the fear and do it anyway.
As a reluctant skier, I realise that skiing challenges me.
I don’t like to fully let go and I like to be in control. Skiing pushes these boundaries and takes me right out of my comfort zone. When I hurtle down the slopes, my stomach is in my throat, and my mind is screaming out: “Whhhhhyyyyyyyy?”
2. Falling is inevitable
There’s no way around it. I will fall and I fell a lot. I don’t mind the falling, it’s just trying to get up that’s hard. I have no upper body strength, and my core is no core. Once I am down, I am down. And getting back up on my skis is not graceful. I’m more like a middle-aged toddler throwing a tantrum!
3. Break it up
I’m not a ski demon, this reluctant skier didn’t ski until her legs collapsed.
I took full advantage of my reluctance to ski and broke up my ski holiday day with a coffee, a vin chaud or two.
And with the kids booked into ski school over lunch, King and the Mountains and I enjoyed hearty Savoie lunches washed down with a glass of Gamay (OK a few!) before hooking up with the kids for a family session of skiing. Funnily enough, all my clothes are feeling a little tight!
4. Take ski lessons
I took lessons. It helped to ski with a pro. In France the lessons are around two hours, running three times a day, mornings, lunchtimes and afternoons. Ski lessons were a great way to boost my confidence on the slopes, and there’s safety in numbers.
5. If I dislike skiing so much, why did I go?
Why didn’t I just duck out, stay at home, book myself on a yoga retreat or into a spa?
Last year was our first ski holiday as a family and it was brilliant. The kids took to skiing like little champions, whizzing down the mountain, bouncing back when they fell and sucking up the adrenaline. And I was, and am seriously jealous. Deep down I want to love it that much, but something stops me. I just can’t love skiing.
But I loved watching them have this experience, going crazy at the sheer volume of snow, building snowmen, and befriending the other chalet guests before pelting them with snowballs.
And this year, I tried, I really tried to feel the fear and ski! But hey there’s always next year!