I’ve tried out most sports in my time…some of these attempts have been successful (Parachuting – obviously !) whilst others not so (Ice Skating causing me hospitalisation). Of course where winter based sports are concerned you are a bit more limited in choice but what self-respecting extreme adrenaline junkie (that was me when I was much younger and braver) hasn’t at least once tried going on the piste.
Most of them I guess are pretty successful but as for me – well after my first lesson I realised….
Franz Klammer I’m not !
In fact the nearest thing I’ve ever been to him is a completely different kind of Franz – more of the Liszt variety – a completely different kind of Piste entirely.
After several aborted attempts I did manage to stand up and poles in hand, could start to navigate my way down the slope – more I believe due to gravity than talent. However steering was a bit beyond me, apparently all you have to do is lean and your skis carve out a turn in the direction you lean towards.
Not for me they didn’t…I leant and then…I fell over.
I tried again…and fell. I picked myself up, dusted the snow from me and tried again…and fell.
So I gave up on the turning and concentrated on speed as it appeared the faster I went the more stable I became.
I got quite good at the speed lark.
Now this is all well and good up to the point you need to stop.
One of the first things you are taught when learning to ski is how to stop (as apparently this is quite important). You are taught to point the tip of your ski’s together by twisting your knees inwards in a movement known as a Snowplow.
This seems easy but you are effectively stationary when first testing the theory, not so then as I found myself careering down the slope at 100’s of miles an hour (ok exaggeration but still pretty fast for a complete novice).
So here I am thinking better slow down, better stop before I fall (again).
So I’m paying heed to the given instructions…twist knees inwards, make sure ski’s don’t touch or cross, all my concentration focussed on the tips of my skis, my eyes staring at them.
… Snowplow, nope not slowing down
… Snowplow, more angle, still not slowing down
… Snowplow, ski tips nearly touching slowing gradually
…. Ouch, tree!!
I never did learn to turn, never did learn to Snowplow properly, but one thing I did manage was to find a much more effective, a much quicker way to stop…pity it hurt so much !