02 April 2008

In My Own Time

I never imagined I'd find myself not only skiing, but being shown how to
do it by my daughters - and actually doing reasonably well at it too.
After lessons over three days, I am now descending the mountain fairly
confidently, and zig-zagging from side to side reasonably well though I
am suffering a great deal of leg-pulling for allegedly doing the entire
run in a snowplough. That must be wrong, as my leg muscles simply would
not stand for it.

We have had some embarassing moments, such as this morning when, going
up to our lesson on the chairlift for the first time, we all ended up in
a heap where we should have alighted gracefully from it and glided off
into the distance. But I went almost the whole day without falling
over, and when I did it was from a stationary position, having recovered
from a bit of a stumble near the end of a very long descent (green, it
has to be said, but even that looked impossible to me only a couple of
days ago!). Today instinct took over from over-thinking the action of
turning, and while it isn't pretty or efficient it is reasonably
accurate and effective. The difficulty is leaning, or shifting one's
weight, away from the direction in which one wants to turn, unlike
riding a bike, driving a car or flying an aeroplane - although in none
of those activities does the direction of lean cause the turn: it is a
reaction to it. Perhaps not in a plane: then it's a necessary part of
the manouevre, given that you can't turn an aeroplane with the wings
horizontal.

The youngsters in the party are already executing parallel turns,
whereas my best is more like a sharply-pointed snowplough, but I'm
taking it, in the words of the song, in my own time.



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