Teaching a loved one to ski – Part one
When you put “keen skier” on your dating profile, the chances you will get one of the UK’s estimated 1 million active skiers is slim. There is slightly more chance of finding someone who has been skiing, once. But I doubt it is a deciding factor when weighing up the options for a marriage proposal. The chances are that you will end up with a non skier.
Skiing is often something you learn when you are young. For most of us we had ski lessons when we went on a family holiday or school trip. Learning young makes it easier when we are older. It also makes us more determined to fit in a ski holiday no matter what.
So what happens when you fall in love with a non-skier and finally pop the question; “Will you go on a ski holiday with me”? Let’s hope the answered was a yes, and delirious with joy,you book your holiday.
As the dedicated and experienced skier what you are imagining is this… Hooning down the fresh powder, fast groomed pistes and steep challenging runs. All the while your non skiing partner is in ski school until they are good enough to keep up with you. What they are imagining is blue skys, snuggles on chairlift, skiing down empty runs hand in hand, with rainbows and romantic music playing in the background.
What will actually happen is that you will say, “You should go into ski school”.
“But I don’t want to. It’s our holiday and I want to spend it with you. Couldn’t you teach me?”
You think about the potential skiing that you will miss out on, but take your loved ones feelings into consideration. You look at the cost of ski lessons and think “bugger that, I’ll teach them myself”.
You arrive in resort, the snow has just stopped after 3 days of dumping, The forecast for the week is sun. It is now day one. You are stood on the baby slope with the person you love. They are stood there in ill-fitting, borrowed ski clothes, with their bronze ski hire. You look at the mountain and sigh, you turn to the most important person in your life and say “first we need to learn to snowplough”. By mid morning you have covered the nursery slope 3 times, you partner is happy with the progress, however, you look up to see the powder fields slowly getting tracked out. After lunch you move on to turning. It’s not going as well as you hoped.
On day two you wake up hopeful that your lover wakes up to say how much they ache and maybe they would like a day not skiing? No such luck, they have the skiing bug. This should please you and you should consider the long term implications of this, more ski holidays. But no, you are disappointed, especially as your attempt to palm them off onto someone else staying in your chalet failed last night. You carry both your sets of skis to the beginner area, today we are going to try and learn parallel turning. An edge is caught, there are tears and an extended lunch break. Little progress is made in the afternoon as it is just a confidence building exercise.
On day three you consider leaving your skis in the chalet. You say “don’t feel like you have to ski all day. You can have a rest in the afternoon if you like”. Somehow this backfires and you are rewarded with kisses for being thoughtful, but your offer is declined. You choose a gentle slope to “session” for the day. You know it would normally take you 5 minutes at the most to ski this slope. The First time today it takes nearly two hours. The second time it takes half an hour less. Your legs are cramping up, and you are cold from waiting around so much. “I’m just going to ski down and catch the lift back up, I will catch you up.” The thrill of skiing lasts less than a minute before you reach the lift. From the lift you see your pupil and spouse lying on the slope with two skis located uphill from her. They are moving, phew. You don’t wave. Maybe this will put them off for the day. When you ski back down you can’t find them. Your phone rings. They have had a tumble and gone back to the chalet. “You go and have a ski without me”. You know you shouldn’t, but you do. A frosty reception awaits you at the chalet, but you have had a great afternoon skiing. Chalet wine will sort this out.