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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
things my head tells it. He took me on the cable-car up to the Debutant Slopes and showed me what to do. The first glide on skis felt sensational -- and frightening. Given that I've spent my entire life righting myself from accidental falls and slip-ups, relinquishing control and actually letting myself slide was ... difficult! And the faster I went, the more difficult it was. I had to try hard not to panic on longer runs and 'wedge' myself too soon into a stop. The instructor was friendly and professional, but I felt I had to keep apologising for my ineptness -- especially when I was twice pulled over and dragged along like a rag doll by the ski-lift -- once on pick-up and again at the top. I discovered how hard it is to get up again, with skis at all angles and heavy boots that could snap a leg like a pretzel. My instructor exclaimed in two languages. But I kept practising. Long after the ski instructor had departed for a stiff drink, my partner continued my lessons and it was his persistent, hands-on tuition and genuine desire for me to share his passion that finally made all the difference. He tandem-skied with me, so that I could feel what it was like to glide through the snow, to tur n and keep turning. We had a couple of impressive falls, tying ourselves up in knots in each other's skis -- but if you never fall, you're not really skiing. It was, I found, enor mous fun. We rose early every day for the exquisite pleasure of being among the first people to leave our tracks in the pristine, powdery snow. I felt the intense joy of it and began to understand how exhilarating it must feel to ski the big r uns. All deference to the Pope, but I'll never be a great skier myself -- and I've discovered I don't really have to be. I just need to keep myself open to new experiences. And for several glorious days, this unwieldy woman learned what it was like not only to fall, but to fly. Destinations 19 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010