Feb 5, 2012

Learning to ski: Seriously?

Painfully necessary
Is there anything more uncomfortable and unnatural to walk in than skiing boots? I know I know......they have to be like this, but for a beginner like me, they are just another obstacle standing between myself and a day of full enjoyment... Now, sometimes I more feel like it's a day of more or less constant awkwardness. 

The question I keep getting is "Why do you keep going if you never feel so good doing it?". The answer is quite simple. I have never really been this bad at anything and I'm certainly not prepared to start being bad at things now. This however also gives me a great deal of frustration! My improvements are too slow..... "Why can everyone else just swooooosh down the slopes fearlessly?". That's just it...I know the answer......it spells:
F e a r l e s s l y. That's the key. That's what's missing! I am anything but fearless when it comes to skiing. I have the technique....I do....I really do...but I simply don't have the guts to take the risk to fall flat on my face and hurt myself. 

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever feel entirely comfortable with this.....but on the other hand, I suffered from the same kind of nervous absence of confidence when I first learned to drive a car. Obviously, the driving teacher, way back when, thought I was good enough to have a license, to drive on my own on the roads without any restrictions such as "Oh yes, you got the license, but please avoid the highway as I'm not sure you can manage". Nope....it was a free pass to EVERY SINGLE ROAD. Very similar to my skiing teacher telling me "You don't need anymore lessons....you have the technique so now you just need to practise. Good luck!". Well....I learned to drive, didn't I? ;)

Today we didn't go for long....only a couple of hours as it was ridiculously cold (-15). That was enough today. Don't get me wrong, I have about a 50/50 (maybe even 60/40?) when it comes to enjoyment vs. awkwardness right now. I can really enjoy the less steep parts of the blue slope and I LOVE the feeling of watching the snow covered spruces on the way up that lift, while the sun rays are warming my face or the feeling of managing to improve on something....it's just that I never liked the feeling of status quo......and, unfortunately, I still also LOVE the feeling of taking off those ski boots ;))
Mont Blanc
Chris, arriving at the bottom of Le Brassus
The view from where the first lift stops
Me, skiing down that hill in the speed of a turtle
Such a gorgeous day!
Us (Chris looking a bit sad in this pic, but he's just concentrating to keep his head still ;)))
Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. When I read about you and skiing it's like reading about me...I am such a chicken, ever since I was a child. I have the same fear of falling and hurting myself. Same with skiing, ice skating, and oh driving...I have the license but I can't get the guts to take the car alone and drive... I hate this about myself but it's so hard to change how I am. But not impossible so I am not giving in...I will drive...someday! :) Good luck, Linda! I know you can do it!

  2. I already wanted to comment earlier, but I see you are still struggling, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you about skiing. :)
    A few years ago (at the age of 26) I started skiing. Being quite sporty I found being outdoors in the beautiful environment fun, but I could never get rid of the fear - just like you. I was okay with green and blue slopes, but I became terrified on the red ones, let alone the black ones, which I made sure to avoid. I can still remember the enermous relief everytime my boyfriend said: it's time to had back to the hotel. So I did it for 5-6 times, and then, after breaking up with my boyfriend I stopped.

    Now that we live in Geneva, all our friends say: it would be a shame not to ski! But since neither me nor my husband are interested, we do not go. And it's such a good feeling we don't HAVE TO go - cause we both would do it for the other, although I'm not sure it would make us happy. Last year we were invited to a Swiss ski-paradise, and we both took snowboard-lessons, just in case we fell in love with that... But no. We prefered sitting on the terrace of the chalet in the sun, having a nice glass of wine. :)

    Also, I have a friend who is sheding tears each time she's packing for skiing, she's so stressed... But her husband and her son love skiing, so she goes too.

    So my decision was to spend my valuable weekends with other activities instead of doing something that gives me more pain in the *ss (literally) than fun, but I will certainly make my child learn skiing/snowboarding at an early age, and I'm sure he/she'll love it.

    And as for you: have fun skiing and keep up the good work! But unlike my friend, do not take the whole thing too seriously!

  3. Carried away: Thank you so much for the encouragement!!! ....and I'm sure you will also be driving fearlessly!!! =)) x

    Bijou: That's so nice to hear.....that I'm not the only one....that people can understand me. It seems to be very hard for people who have been skiing more or less their entire life to understand the immense fear. I'm sure I would have been a good skier if I started when I was young....but I'm just not that naively fearless anymore and hence, never learned that this speed is controllable ;) I will for sure keep trying for another couple of seasons....if no improvements, I'll also be sipping on Gluehwein and enjoying the sun son a halet terrace instead of standing on skis! He he!!!
    I will try not to take it too seriously....but that's easier said than done for me! x


I read and treasure all your comments..... Thank you for taking the time! x