I am currently on holiday with my partner Rob and our boy Ben. We are in France, in a beautiful little town called La Rossiere. And we are skiing….
So now for those that know me – I have a bit of a track record – and mainly a very bad one with skiing i.e. I don’t do skiing! This is now the third time that I am trying to get bitten by the bug. Rob is forever going on about his love for skiing and how he can’t wait for us all to enjoy this wonderful activity together. We decided to wait until Ben was old enough to enjoy – so he is now 7 and both of us were booked into Ski School this week. To say I was nervous was an understatement of note!!! But I had to put my big girl panties on and for the sake of my boy man up and look excited about this new adventure.
Day 1 went pretty okay for me, the instructor was pretty patient as me and my two fellow learners fell around and nervously tried to get going on the snow. The only downer of the day was me in tears by the end of the 2,5 hour session with my feet burning like hell. I sucked it up though and went out in the afternoon with Ben and Rob to ski around on the nursery slopes. Then day 2 started and I slowly started falling behind the class, I am definitely a slow learner and someone who has to try things multiple times to bring my confidence up. My instructor being a not so patient man started getting rather annoyed with me after a while and after my second really bad fall going down the slope whilst trying to turn he benched me and continued the lesson with the other two learners. Needless to say I was gutted and when I returned home after the lesson had a fat cry and was wondering if I should be giving up considering that I am just not getting this right and my teacher seems to think I am not going to keep up.
Rob being the ever patient and analytical person that he is – sat me down, meticulously explained exactly how you should do turns on the snow and then started discussing strategy with me for the next day and lesson. He also took me back to the nursery slope in the afternoon and spent time encouraging me and coaching me. He also gave me a big lecture about not letting my instructor treat me like he did – reminding me that I am a complete beginner and that this was hard to learn. My inner child was really playing out at this point in time and I spent half the night up wondering if I could really survive the next day.
Day 3 and with a heavy heart I put on the horrible ski boots and headed for class. Another set of learners and an instructor joined us the day before and another lady was really having a hard time getting this skiing thing too – so after another set of unsuccessful turns I put my foot down and told my instructor that I want to join the other instructor and the struggling lady as I was not confident enough to continue onto the slopes. Needless to say he was very annoyed with me but my strategic discussion with Rob inspired me to stand up and put my foot down. And ‘viola’ I was now joining the new instructor and the struggling lady. What a difference it made, a kind and super patient young man who made us go up and down the practice run for two hours, showing us the kiddies airplane moves to explain the turning concept, lots of giggling and laughing happened but what also happened was two women turning successfully on the slopes, confidence building and a great step in the right direction.
This just made me realise that sometimes we need to nurture that inner child, the one that screams and cries and throws tantrums because we can’t get it right, go back to behaving like a child, make those awesome airplane moves, be gentle and kind and patient with yourself. I also realised that my inner child is a stroppy one, but that is also okay, I now know that I need to make her feel comfortable and safe because otherwise I will never be skiing down those big slopes.
So today Day 5 and I am skiing down green runs, talking to myself a lot, words of encouragement and also repeating, repeating, repeating. Because that is how I learn and even though I am way slower than the other guys, I am doing it and for the first time in 9 years I am loving it.
Here is to the first of many more ski holidays to come. I love the fact that at nearly 40 years of age I decided to put my fear on the chair, jump in and climb this mountain and ski down it. And in this process I learnt so much about me and about how I handle difficult situations, thank you Universe for this opportunity. I never cease to be amazed at all the learning opportunities for us, even on holiday!
Much love and Happy Easter!