One of my life’s ambitions has always been to be able to snow ski. This ambition has always eluded me until I visited Sun Valley Idaho in the USA.
Learning to ski
Throughout my 73 years our global travels have taken us to some of the best ski fields in Europe, Japan, Canada, USA and Australia. Every time I attempted to ski I literally fell flat on my face or primarily, my rear end.
Finally it all came together at Sun Valley’s Quarter Dollar learner’s ski run. The Quarter Dollar run provides a three abreast chair lift and excellent well-groomed and gentle slopes.
I commenced my skiing with a couple of disastrous runs where I fell flat on my back side trying to get off the chair lift then ended up in a crumpled heap half way down the run.
On the snow
Here I was lying on the snow at Sun Valley Idaho feeling sorry for myself and wondering why I had a slight pain on my right side, when a very young boy skied over to me to ask “sir are you hurt” obviously my halfhearted “no I am fine and thank you for asking” response did not convince him for he asked me again and offered to seek help.
I reassured him that I would be ok and not worry about me I will just lay here a little longer to catch my breath.
What I didn’t realise I had actually cracked three ribs. He had a very concerned look on his face but I finely assured him I would be ok and for him to rejoin his family and enjoy his skiing. Before he left I asked him how old he was he responded “I am nearly five years old”.
I believe this encounter with this 5 year old boy was the stimulation I needed to get my act together.
Building up confidence
I stood up shook myself off gathered my skis, goggles and poles put them on and headed down the remaining slope to the chair lift base. After a refresher of the basics from one of the instructors off I went and didn’t look back.
This time I remembered to lean forward when departing the chair lift and when skiing, bend the knees and to lean on the left leg/ski when turning right and the opposite when turning left. I also practiced turning uphill to slow down and stop and finally perfected the snow plough.
My confidance had built up to the extent that I plucked up courage for a couple of skis down the slightly steeper Dollar Mountain short run and without crashing.
Here I was a 73-year-old skiing down the slopes with children from the age of 2 years old and mixture of other learners.
I think it is fair to say I was certainly the one who stood out like a pimple on a pumpkin.
Irrespective I came away feeling fantastic that I had finally met the skiing challenge and beat it. It only took me 70 odd years to do it. Thank you Sun Valley I will be back and this time hopefully I can take on the slopes of Bald Mountain??