There are times this week when I would have preferred major dental surgery to my intensive ski course in Verbier. Not least of all on the first morning of the course. 28 ‘Super Skiers,’ plus me, lined up at the top of a steep run and we had to ski down, one by one, to be assessed by the 6 instructors standing at the bottom. This was probably one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. 28 skiers descended with perfect parallel turns, then it was my go… I zig zagged and slid down the slope like Bambi on skis and decided to make up for my ineptitude with a perfect stop in front of the line of instructors. Sadly I misjudged the timing of the critical last turn and collided with 2 unamused members of staff. This was not a great start to my week and, unsurprisingly, I was put in the bottom class.
After only an hour in my group, I realised that I was actually too bad at skiing to even be bottom of the bottom group as, I spent way too much time coming down the icy slopes on my bottom. By the end of day one I seriously considered heading back to Gatwick, whilst I still had two perfectly functioning legs. I raised my concerns with the course leader who, unhelpfully, said that I should have studied the entry level standard before booking the course. I explained that I had had a lengthy phone conversation with a member of staff, and explained how awful I was before I enrolled. He simply replied, ‘Well, the thing is, women always say they are a lot worse at skiing than they really are.’ I think he sensed my anger when I retorted ‘Well, I didn’t Bloody lie! I said I was terrible and I am!’
The days were a blur of ridiculously steep runs, attempts at off piste skiing and learning to ski backwards. This was something I frequently did unintentionally, so I rather excelled at that. The highlight of the week was Rob, my delicious ski instructor. He skied like a dream and certainly added to the beauty of the mountain scenery. The only positive to falling over, (frequently) was the fact that he would have to pick me up which he executed beautifully, regardless of where I had ended up, on or off the piste. I am not sure I would have survived skiing in temperatures as low as minus 12 if he hadn’t given me the odd post-menopausal hot flush.
Did I improve much this week? Well I guess I am a little less Bambi-esque on the slopes, but only when a dishy ski instructor is looking…