After yesterday’s ski lessons and my ‘experience’ on the blue run I decided to leave Waiel and Adam snowploughing with our instructor Andrej and find my own at the Vogel Ski School to teach me a few more tricks. What happened serves me right for being so cocky…
The big lesson…
I was assigned a young guy to teach me privately for the hour for €30. He took me down the familiar green run to check if I could ski, before deeming me good enough to try one of the other blue runs. He seemed impressed that it was only my second day of skiing, so I took that as another ego boost and off we went in the longest, and highest, chairlift in the world. I was terrified already. We were up there for about five minutes, could’ve been two, and tried to chat but he obviously felt awkward and was not the friendliest of people, especially when I was wincing and pulling faces at how high we were going. It came time for me to jump off the end and ski off and although my heart felt like it was about to beat right out of my chest I managed it. The fear yesterday was nothing compared to right now. It was like when you queue up for Oblivion at Alton Towers for ages and then when you finally get to the front you realise you’d do anything not to have to go on it, but it’s too late. The only way home, was down.
I managed the first five seconds alright. As in the bit where you just stand there. As soon as I moved I felt my legs go, sensed all the people whizzing down around me, didn’t trust this scrawny instructor to be able to hold me and remembered I was thousands of metres up in the clouds, I panicked. I fell. And then I skidded a few metres down the mountain, before getting caught up in my skis and doing a somersault, which Chloe told me later she saw and looked very painfully. I’d hit my head and landed in a heap feeling sick and wobbly.
The instructor skied over to me looking terrified. Obviously regretting bringing me up here and I could see he was going through his options at getting me down. I managed to stand up after much coaxing, but still felt queasy. All my fears about going skiing were spinning in my head. He helped me walk down a bit and I started to feel better. There was still a long way to go though. I managed to do a few turns on a flatter bit and even a few tricks he showed me to try and help me feel more confident without the poles.
Then we hit some ice. I’ll cut what could be another long story short and just tell you that I fell again, this time smashing my coccyx. I tried to find happiness in the fact that at least all the arse skidding meant I was a bit closer to safe ground. I sat there for a few minutes in despair, mourning my skiing confidence, until he made me get up.
We managed to get the rest of the way down with him skiing backwards in front of me and pulling me with the poles, and that was that apparently. Lesson over. All that had taken one hour. I should have stuck with Andrej, I realised how important it is to feel safe with the person who’s looking after you. I spent the rest of the afternoon worrying about my stiff neck and playing on the green run with Waiel, vowing never to go blue again. Well, only if I was forced to tomorrow, it is the last day of skiing after all.