So (hopefully) some of you will have noticed that the blog was super quiet last week, I’m sorry, I’ve been away skiing and despite all of my best intentions, between entire days on the slopes and every night in the bar, I just wasn’t able to string a sentence together, let alone one you’d actually like to read.
As it transpires a week of partying and sliding relatively quickly down mountains has totally wiped me out and so I’m currently sitting at my desk with a nasty case of the holiday blues and with tonsils the size of grapefruits. Having said that I’ve had the most wonderful holiday in the world and remarkably have remembered enough to share the valuable lessons that I learnt on the slopes with you all.
Never be afraid to go back to basics:
Skiing with us this year was my gorgeous friend Minty, who hadn’t skied for nearly ten years prior to the holiday. She wasn’t worried though because she had borrowed a fabulous ski suit from a friend before she left and thought she could be to skiing what Cheryl Cole is to music. (Not very good at actually singing but at least she looks adorable while she’s trying). This was a GREAT mentality and something that I have decided to apply to every element of my life.
But because Mint hadn’t skied for a few years, the first couple of days were spent establishing the basics, which was actually super useful as I’m not actually a particularly ‘fabulous’ skier myself. Like with most things in my life, my head normally gets me where I need to be but my methods are often messy and chaotic. I am also afflicted with the cripplingly annoying paranoia that any minute now I’m going to lose control and inevitably die when my crazy skis (which by this point have a mind of their own) slide me at a great speed off a mountain. I’m not the sort of person who would worry about a flight time but would stress that one of the wings wasn’t attached when we were taking off. Least I don’t stress the small stuff eh?
Even if you can’t see where you’re going, sometimes it’s best to just close your eyes and go for it:
The other thing with my skiing-relates-to-my-life-logic is that if I can see where I’m going, then I can get down ANYTHING. Steep, soft, icy, bumpy, you name it, give me a jaeger shot and some time and I’ll meet you at the bottom. But this week the weather has been so appalling that on many of the days we couldn’t really see anything beyond the end of our skis and if we could, we generally didn’t want to. (Queue more jaegers, more time, and an often grumpy me).
But skiing with Minty had me watching her technique and hearing the instructions that she was being given by Ron, who was helping her get back into the swing of things. All he kept saying to her, and what I could clearly see from looking at her, was that she needed to look up.
The minute that you stop staring at your feet, you can see where you want to get to and negotiate a way there, and you also stand a chance of enjoying the journey. The other thing with skiing, is how much easier it is if you can just bend your legs, lean forwards and get on with it. Although it often seems safer and more controlled to lean back with your legs wide apart negotiating very wide corners down the mountain, your comfort levels are increased dramatically when you get your posture right. It also means that when you inevitably crash into the huge lumps of powder snow that have developed throughout the day, that you stand a chance of going over them easily rather than sliding into a heap at every corner.
Basically what I’m trying to say, through the confused hung-over state that I am currently in, is that I hope I have learnt a valuable life lesson from skiing last week, despite the fact I’ve been doing it since I was a child. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but look at our parents on their iPhones, of course you can. It’s never too late to go back to basics and learn something new.
I’m still not the best skier in all the land, I still fall over, I still can’t see the ‘fun’ side when I’m at the top of a black run in a blizzard, but this year more than other years I’ve really allowed myself to fall in love with it. By looking UP I doubled my speed, I witnessed many a tumble by various (cocky) members of our group and was just able to enjoy myself.
And this is something that I have brought home with me. I spend a lot of my life looking down; down at my laptop, at my calendar, at my own feet, often leading me blindly through the maze that is life. But as I was reminded this week, sometimes life is more fun if you can just look up and trust your body to get you to the finish line in one piece.
Nine times out of ten it will, and you don’t want to wake up years from now, having missed the entire ride because you didn’t trust yourself to just go for it.
NB. You can expect some detox articles and hacks for treating tonsillitis this week I suspect… I really did overdo it. Nice to be back though xx