In grade six I was out with my elementary schools ski program. I still remember these programs as being some of the best times of my childhood.
I was so excited to go. I remember getting on the bus and my Dad shouting from the parking lot 'Be Careful!' I'm sure I muttered under my breath something original like 'Whatever Dad.' It was an amazing day. I had gone skiing with my family a lot through my childhood but I felt so grown up out skiing with my school friends and our Kiwi instructor. Conditions where perfect and I felt like I was learning a lot and gaining confidence with my abilities.
Then I fell. It was a pretty good fall. I tweaked my knee and to my horror, Patrol wrapped my leg up in this large sheet of foam and strapped it secure. I was then carried back onto the school bus. Yes, carried. I still remember the snickers from the kids and the boy who I had a crush on whispering loudly 'She looks like a rug!' As I was being carried off the bus (sigh) my Dad was standing there waiting for me. "Didn't I tell you to be careful?!' he said (double sigh).
The next year I took up snowboarding and never looked back.
That is, until I became a mom. I pay a lot more attention to parents on the slopes with their little ones. I see a lot use ski harnesses and can imagine the leg burn trying it on a snowboard. I also see lots of moms pulling their little ones across the flats with ski poles. I have to say: Mamas, you look pretty awesome out there! Skiing is just more mobile than snowboarding and with a child in tow, I need mobility.
Baby girl is reaching the age of two and my husband and I are keen to get her out on the slopes. We realized this season will probably consist of short 5 minute sessions but regardless, we're looking forward to introducing her to the world of snow. So considering the mobility issue with snowboarding, it's time that I hop back on the skis!
I've recently enrolled into the level 3 Adult Freeride Course. Its a five week course offered by Mount Washington's Snow School.
Day one I met my group of 4 other ladies and our instructor Ken. I was slightly concerned when Ken said we were going up the Eagle chair. I've been on this chair loads of times, mostly to head out to the Outback or slackcountry behind Mount Washington; but on my snowboard.
On skis everything seemed a bit bigger and a lot steeper! The large "NO BEGINNERS' sign at the bottom of the chair didn't help my confidence either. We took it slow and Ken watched us for a bit. As we stopped he gave me a half smile and said, 'You're a snowboarder aren't you?'. I don't think he meant that as a compliment!
Skiing is a different sport than snowboarding. In skiing, you have two skis, two poles, a lot more gear. Most of the lesson I was just trying to make sure none of these things crossed or got caught on one another. By the end of the lesson I felt like I was slightly improving. That is until I stopped and looked at Ken. He stared at me and then stated simply, 'Sheila, you're going to be the death of me.'
Haha, good thing it's a five week lesson!