If you are like me then growing up, the closest you came to snow was when ice filled up in the deep freezer. That in itself was a real treat by the way, add some sugar, mix it up, find a corner to hide and feast as fast you can to avoid getting into trouble and also to avoid sharing 🙂
Fast forward a few years to today and that deep freezer ice is literally everywhere, noone is eating it off the ground though, in the city its mostly brown anyway maybe thats why. What does happen though is that people skii, snow board and sledge on it and can go all day doing just that. Curious as I am, I have decided it is time to learn how to ski and I found a great teacher for it.
I have a few lessons/points that I gathered from my skiing experience so here goes:
I had to fill in an online form with the size of my head before going for the lesson and I did, many centimeters and a lot of it was because of my hair. I decided to tie my hair up that morning to tame it (big mistake I would later learn!) I had to untie it to make sure the helmet fit and I remember the frustrated look on the rental guys face as he had to look for a bigger helmet to fit my hair in. He kept asking me to pat my hair down which I found hilarious! For him, not so much. Rather let your hair loose make sure it fits into a helmet. Sounds general if you have been skiing a while but its important to know for first timers.
By that I mean with all the snow and all but also the people (haha!) For some reason there were not many brown people skiing you so it is easier to stand out. Ever seen a bar of chocolate on snow? Yes its pretty easy to spot so will you be and that is completely fine. In reality though, you wear so many clothes and with the helmet and glasses you are so covered that no-one knows what anyone else really looks like. There were many small children, between 3 and 7 also learning, that can be intimidating but they were all sweet and friendly, quickly moving out of my way when I was going too fast.
You will fall. That is a given but take courage because its on snow and mostly soft so you should be ok. Just don’t be afraid to fall, I said earlier that people can hardly see your face so no shame. The only sell out is that reflexive (amaiwee/maibaboo) scream that you will blatter out in that Zimbabwean accent as you head downhill very well aware that you will not be able to stop yourself! Standing up again on skiis after the fall is the real big thing so maybe watch some Youtube videos on how to stand up on skiis before your first lesson. Getting off the ski lift I fell, my teacher saved me most times but some times gravity was too strong.
Your muscles will hurt like heck the next day, hardly anything can take that away. What you can try is going to the gym the weeks leading to your first try and work your inner and outer leg muscles. Squats and lunges might also prepare you, but no promises because as they say, no pain no gain!
All in all I get the fuss around skiing and I will continue to try. After my first lesson I went home and could not shake off the feeling of moving on snow.