Friday, 8 August 2014

30 for Thirty: No#6 Learn to Ski

I've grown up feeling quite afraid of skiing. Watching school friends come back from trips to the dry ski slope with bruised skin, broken arms and other injuries put me off. My brother and I share this fear. Before my trip to Bali, we faced our fears together and signed up for a beginners ski session at Chill Factore, a real snow indoor ski slope in Manchester. Truthfully, I bought him a voucher as a gift to encourage him along with me. "We'll be fine!", I assured him, trying desperately to assure myself at the same time.

The Chill Factore was pretty quiet when we arrived as it was their off-season period. We hired trousers and jackets, took our own gloves, and were provided with boots and skis as part of our lesson. We were measured for our boots, given our winter weather gear and directed to the waiting benches. Our instructor arrived, told us what to expect and then we entered the -2 degrees indoor ski area as part of a class of around 8. The whole operation is well organised and leaves you with plenty of time to work on your nerves.

How was it? Oh my word - skiing is difficult! We were only on the beginners slope, which probably had the same incline as some people's driveways. Sidestepping up after every awkward downhill tumble took some effort. Gliding definitely did not come naturally to me. Falling and slipping seemed to feature a lot and at the end of the lesson after one and a half hours of effort-full sidesteps and a soggy bum, I felt quite defeated. Pretty sure that my brother and I were the worst in our class (and I'm not so good with not being good at something!). One woman decided to call it a day after one sidestep up the slop, so I felt that at least I'd given it a good go.

I'm really glad that I signed up for this lesson and faced my fear, and it was a great experience to have shared with my brother. I'm not sure I'd hurry back for beginners level 2 but if M did bring up a skiing holiday again I might not be quite so resistant to the idea. Another tick off the list.

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