Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ski Thursday

I've never been one for extreme sports, but next February I'm going on one of those things where people go to a mountain range for a week or so and prance about on a load of snow with planks stuck to their feet. A ski holiday, I think they call it.

So it was with a mixture of intrigue and total trepidation that I approached my three hour beginners' ski class on Thursday night at Xscape in Castleford. A real snow slope contained within a very sinister looking building off the M62. I had concerns: would I be a natural skiier? Would my lean, athletic figure lend itself to skiing what with my haywire centre of gravity and flailing limb tendencies? And what in the Lord's name would I look like in a skisuit?

The lesson started off very shakily as I had trouble perfecting the art of walking with skis on. And then it all went a bit crazy when we were told to sidestep up a small slope and then slide back down it. On my second go at this I was involved in a very near human-disaster as I lost control and came down the hill at quite some speed. Or at least what felt like quite some speed to me. The added problem was that this was before we'd been told how to stop, or even slow down. Suddenly I found myself hurtling towards a group of newly arrived beginners all standing still at the bottom of the slope. A few yards to their right was another smaller group of fresh skiing convicts. The outcome of this situation was in the lap of the Ski Gods.

To make it simpler, here's a few diagrams of the event.

The sid-uation:


The task:


The near carnage:


Somehow I went through a gap of about 3 yards and avoided both groups of real people. It could've been quite a horrific situation if I'd gone into them. In the end, I was comparitively delighted to plough into the safety netting and get all tangled up in an embarrassing manner.

At that point, it must be confessed , my skiing future looked grim. But thankfully, from then on I gradually got better and ended up passing the Level 1 and Level 2 markers. By the end of the three hours I was slaloming down a hill and stopping at will. I was fabulous, you would've adored me.

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