I am going skiing next week. I haven't been since 1996. I fear the worst.
I never skied as a child although I attended all the ski fit classes at school. Twice a week in the gym for six weeks before the school skiing trip departed. Not going but attending all the training. Strange child.
Anyway, I first got the opportunity to hit the slopes in 1990 when, after a couple of post work gin and tonics I agreed that it might be a laugh and got press ganged into going. We were a mixed bunch. There were some pretty competent skiers amongst us and then about five ski virgins. I borrowed and begged kit and off we went to Serre Chevalier.
I found the whole thing mysterious. I had no idea what skiing entailed. Fortunately, one of our number liked to be in control and so, for once, I just did as I was told. I collected boots, skis and poles and struggled down the snowy street to the chalet wondering if I couldn't bag myself a fit chap to carry them for me. I never did.
Day one. Ski school. Surly but handsome French instructor. Lots of giggling and side stepping up hills. I had thought I was supposed to be going downhill but hey, what did I know? And after a whole morning of ski school, we decided that we were competent enough to come down the mountain from the very top. I know! The innocence of youth. We did get down but it was touch and go a couple of times. We skied in to the village and made for the first bar we could see. My, that mulled wine tasted good.
By the time I skied my last in 1996 I wasn't bad. Not terribly stylish but competent and quite fast. I didn't fall much and when I did I just bounced back up.
Then children put my skiing on hold until I got an invitation on facebook to join a group of women to go this year. After marital negotiations I said I'd go. And now it is more or less upon me. So, how do I feel? Nervous mainly. It's been a long time so I hope the actual act of skiing is like riding a bike. But mainly I fear for my nerve. Is it still in tact or has it wandered off in a post childbirth, too many responsibilities kind of stupor?
I think I'll be fine. The thing I love the most about skiing is the feeling of space and freedom and that won't have gone anywhere. Sunbathing on a snow covered mountain is one of my favourite dichotomies. And I did paraglide last year ( and plan to again soon) so how scary can it be?
So watch this space for apres ski analysis and I will tell all. Let's hope I'm not in pot!