Ever since I learnt to ice skate I have wanted to try skiing. So when a group of friends organised a ski trip I was keen to go.
I knew that I would find it very difficult. At the minute I tire easily and don’t cope well with the cold. I also have shortened muscles in my legs that make bending painful. But I did manage to ice skate with the muscle problem and I knew that if I got too tired I could just stop and rest in one of the many restaurants around the skiing area.
The hardest part of learning to ski was learning to use the ski lifts. The access area to these was very narrow and instead of snow there was ice. As I had just put skis on for the first time I had no control over my feet. The skis seemed overly long and I kept slipping over the ground. But to get to the lift I had to get through a gate and around a narrow path.
The gate was activated automatically by my ski pass. I managed to wave my arm over the right place to activate the gate and then tried to move forward whilst this was open. But I stuck in the ice. By the time I managed to push myself forward the bar of the gate had come back down. I pushed on regardless which set off an alarm but at least I wasn’t stuck anymore. Then I attempted to move along the narrow path. My friend helped to drag me along and I eventually got to the place where we would wait for the lift.
I was so stressed from my attempt to line up that I hadn’t thought about how I would get into the chair. It comes from behind and I could barely stand up looking forward so there was no way I was going to try to watch for it coming. You won’t be surprised then that the chair caught me unawares and hit me on the ass. Thankfully this knocked me into the chair and not on to the ground.
The ride on the ski lift up the mountain was really beautiful and I did my best to ignore the fact that I would need to get back out of the chair at the top.
Getting off the ski lift involves skiing. I had never skied before. How on earth was I supposed to be able to stand up and ski off? It was really scary trying to get out of the chair. I lifted my poles and put my skis down and then tried to convince myself to stand up. In the end my friend and the person managing the lift yanked me up and made me ski and somehow I managed not to fall over.
I was then shown some basic skiing techniques and I was able to ski down the beginners’ slope without falling over. At times I felt as if I was going really fast but I imagine that’s not actually the case. And I convinced myself that if I did fall over that snow has to be softer than ice. On my successful arrival at the bottom I was feeling excited and keen to try again. Isn’t adrenalin wonderful?
Of course this meant braving the ski lift again.
My second attempt was worse than the first one. When it was my turn to go forward to get on the lift I lost complete control of my right leg. I managed to get my right ski caught in my friends left ski and wasn’t able to untangle this. While I tried to fix this the ski lift snuck up on me and hit me from behind again. As I fell back into the chair my right ski came off. At this stage the ski lift had to be stopped. I was so flustered I practically forgot how to apologise in Japanese. My friend was too busy laughing to help me.
I’m going to stop talking about ski lifts now in case I develop some sort of ski lift phobia as I really want to try skiing again.
The second most difficult thing was getting up once I fell over. Thankfully I didn’t fall over much because I really couldn’t work out how to get up. I couldn’t understand verbal instructions about this and in the end my friends lay in the snow to try to show me. And I still couldn’t do it. I either needed two people to lift me up or I had to try to take my skis off and then stand up.
I did end up spending more time in the restaurant than anyone else but I still had fun and I’m looking forward to trying to ski again.