‘I think the most important thing in skiing is you have to be having fun. If you’re having fun then everything else will come easy to you’ – Lindsey Vonn.I had never been skiing, more because of lack of opportunity (and money) than because I was not interested. So following Josh’s persuasion – who has skied since he was 16 and has completed a ski season – I found myself boarding a shuttle bus to Nanshan ski resort, just an hour outside of Beijing, for 4 days of skiing. I have never been to the Alps but know enough to know that Nanshan is a baby resort in comparison. In the Alps everywhere you look is snow topped mountains whereas the white on the slopes is the only snow you see in Nanshan. The surrounding scenery is brown and green. However though the resort was small with slopes that were basic for Josh, it was ideal for me as a beginner. China is not known for it’s skiing facilities so I am impressed they have an array of resorts available.I do not describe myself as ‘reckless’ or a ‘risk-taker’ and though I revel in trying new things, I was aware of how nervous I would be on the slopes and knew anything steeper than flat would challenge me. However having survived both Death Road and a 10,000 foot drop skydive I convinced myself I would be okay. I was right although it took me the whole 4 days to come to that conclusion. My first morning we stayed on the nursery slopes, Josh teaching me the basic’s of my posture and how to control my level of speed. By the afternoon we moved to bigger slopes – my falls increased and my confidence bounced back and forth with each tumble. I can be an impatient learner and dislike being unable to adapt to a situation quickly. This was particularly evident over the steeper slopes when I would regularly stand at the top assessing the height, too nervous to move but too stubborn to take the easier route. No matter how terrified I get, I am no quitter. Each day had a similar structure , it would take me a couple of hours to warm up but by the afternoon I was comfortable and more confident.By the time the last day arrived I was able to ski down all the available slopes (excluding the black) with ease, I stopped falling over so frequently, my parallel skiing was improving and I was significantly more confident at a faster pace. Josh is a patient teacher who dealt well with my fears and pushed me (not literally though he did sometimes ‘for fun’) beyond my comfort zone. I could not have achieved so much in the 4 days without him. Josh is an excellent skier and I am eager to build up to a standard where I can take him on on the slopes – rather than the 10 second head start I currently require when we race! I love skiing and already look forward to turning it into a yearly holiday.
A First Time Skier