As it turns out, skiing is actually much harder than it looks.
And who would have ever guessed that sliding down a hill on two planks while holding two sticks would be a difficult thing to master?
I’m not stupid. I knew it would be a tough skill to pick up; that’s why I put it off for years. Even living in Christchurch, on the South Island of New Zealand, with some brilliant slopes only an hour or so away, I never bothered to learn.
Plus I don’t really like the cold, going fast or dying and I’ve already demonstrated a propensity for hurting myself by breaking my wrist the first time I attempted ice skating (but that’s another story).
Nevertheless I decided that I had to get out of my comfort zone and finally give it a go, or forever blush at the mention of skiing. Besides, what better place to learn than in the freakin’ Swiss Alps?! Switzerland!
I’m glad I took the plunge. It may be harder than it looks but it’s also a lot more fun. The adrenaline kicks in and you feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction when you do manage to ski down a hill and stop at the bottom (stopping is definitely the hard part).
It’s also very beautiful at high altitude, surrounded by perfectly white snow below and blue skies above. The Swiss Alps are simply spectacular and the quaint ski village of Grindelwald in Interlaken, where this risk-averse traveller finally learnt to ski, is like something out of fairy tale.
I’m always going to remember learning to ski fondly. It was hard work though, made even harder because of the altitude and the amount of times I ended up on my ass.
Maybe next time I’ll even give snowboarding a go. Surely it can’t be any more difficult to learn than skiing – can it?
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