Teaching a loved one to ski – Part two
To read part one click here.
It is half way through your ski holiday and you are your non-skiing partner’s unofficial instructor. Somehow instead of this feeling like a holiday it has become a chore. Yesterday you got some skiing in on your own but this was more due to the misfortune of your partner rather than by mutual consent. When you did finally get back from skiing you found them on their fourth large glass of chalet wine. You persuade them to hobble out for some après ski.
You are both a little worse for wear, but the lessons must go on. You struggle through the pain of your hangover and your student struggles through their injury’s and hangover. You have little sympathy considering the near perfect ski conditions. Just when you were considering a temporary separation, something clicks and you now have a parallel turning sweetheart, of sorts.
After lunch you decide that it is the right time to suggest trying something more challenging. But before you can suggest it they get in first. So you choose a route that you think is realistic and set off. You wait a lot. You get cold waiting. Your attempts to cheer yourself up by flicking snow at your exhausted companion is unsurprisingly met with irritation. The lifts stop in forty minutes time. You could catch the free bus back or you could do “one more run”.
The lifts shut the minutes ago. Somehow you are still on one. It has been stopped for over twenty. Which is fifteen minutes longer than your hung over, tired, sore and cold partner’s patience will last. You should have caught the bus. It is dark and you are both silent when you get off the mountain. You are walking slightly in front and carrying two sets of skis. What you both want is a drink. As you enter the bar you spot the annoying couple from the chalet and are delighted.
The next morning you are the first down for breakfast. The annoying couple somehow talked your lovely and wonderful partner into getting a ski lesson. It doesn’t start until 10 but they are having a lie in. Let the holiday begin. Your holiday is soon cancelled with bad news. Flat light. It’s not that bad, but you think of all the good days you have missed. You meet up for lunch. They are having a great day. The instructor announces that they are a natural. You cough.
Over dinner you would be forgiven for thinking that your companion had been skiing all their life. You also find it hard to believe the distance they covered and the slopes they have been on. You should be pleased. If true you will have two more days of incident and fair paced skiing left. You should also be happy that your loved one loves skiing. Instead you feel a little inadequate that your teaching wasn’t very good. You console yourself with the knowledge that you did the hard work.
They weren’t lying. They can now ski at a reasonable level. They are now fast enough that the wait is now an enjoyable rest. The penultimate day is great. You chat, laugh, and even kiss on the chairlifts. You have a long lunch. They are celebrating their new passion and achievement. You secretly toast to the ski holidays of the future. There is even the inevitable chat about buying a place out there and the new equipment you will buy.
The last day is a late start. The new skier’s ability is holding up. You are both having a great time. You have lunch on the move. There is a thought in the back of your mind that you should supress but you can’t. Eventually you come out with how you think they should have one last challenge, you know they can do it. Three hours later you are still on the same black run shouting encouragement. Bad idea.