Learning to ski in Italy
Preparation, Ski Equipment, Lessons & more...
I compare a lot to learning to drive, but learning to ski really is very similar. There are so many things you have to remember; where to put your feet, where to put your hands, not letting yourself run away, watching out for other 'drivers', keeping your body facing forward, weight distribution and most importantly looking where you are going - something I struggle with hugely. I also find myself feeling exhausted after 2 or 3 hours and it hits me ever so suddenly when my legs refuse to do anything but lead me into the snow bank (luckily never into a brick wall).
But then it starts to come together and you find it suddenly becomes second nature.
Having said that, I still have a long way to go.
On my second day of skiing, I was led to believe I would be going down a blue run all the way to the bottom, only to spot a red sign halfway down. At this point, I was tired and quite frankly scared of the steep 'drop' below me, but I understood the learning process, grunted a little and snow-ploughed my way down most of the piste. On the 5th day, as I zig-zagged my way down the same run, I felt a lot more confident and suddenly viewed the pitch to be the same as a blue. Wahoo!
My lesson with Diego which consisted of parallel turns for me and English tuition for him had me perfecting my weight distribution. Whilst exaggerating my turns, by flay-ling my arms in the air and lifting one leg up at a time, it suddenly clicked and my legs began turning together.
After a much needed rest and calf muscle stretch, I was met by the lovely Mario who whisked me away for my very own private lesson. We headed to Colfosco to try out the long blue run which offers a wide slope and an extended time to practise turning. It was also a good lesson in how the chairlifts work, a scary experience in itself when you're unsure of what to do as you zoom towards a snow mound which drops down the other side. But never fear, with Mario in one hand and my poles in the other, I successfully avoided an embarrassing moment... this time.
As happy as I am with my progress so far, I swallow hard when I think that the next step will see me taking on my first black run. In fact, ignore everything I have said in this post, I still have a LONG way to go...
Collett's blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle.