We should do this at least twice a month,” I said for the Nth time as I packed my skis. DH had grown up not too far from great ski slopes and here I was, ready to develop a ‘common interest’. He nodded with what I thought was a slightly peeked look. Telling myself not to over analyze I went over all the tips I got- feet (and skis) in a V, bend your knees, make a pizza wedge with your skis to stop. Yes, I was ready after my non-correspondent correspondence course for beginning skiers. 😳
“You’ll be ok with the group lesson while I go downhill..?” the sage asked.
Just that summer I was my young niece’s ‘show and tell’ item. The year before, that honor went to our wedding invitation, clothes and jewelry my parents brought for her so she’d match all the other girls at the wedding. I had to keep up my ‘royal coolness’ status.
“Oh sure! If the 18 month old can ski with his parents, don’t you think his aunt should at least try? How much fun will it be if I am the only one in the family sitting out at holiday trips?” I had never been one of those painfully enthu students but I was definitely feeling the pain now.
So off he went to the slopes and off I went to the free group lesson. We introduced ourselves and I explained my uniqueness-never seen snow before I came to this country…thrilled to be able to learn something new (you? Me too!). Except for one elderly person who thought I was very brave, no one seemed impressed.
The instructor must have attended the same correspondence course because he gave the same instructions. Some raised their hands to answer his questions and I watched silently (wisely as it turns out).
I had a glimmer of things to come as I struggled on the micro mini trial slope. The instructor looked pained but the elderly man said, “Don’t worry dear, you’ll do much better on the actual hill.” He gave me hope…I decided to tag along right next to him all through the session.
We lined up for the ski lift. My plans went awry somehow and I ended up right next to the shiny bright youngster. When it was our turn, I was gawking at how easily she got off and miscalculated my jump! A few seconds later someone else bumped into me and I could hear my instructor’s exasperated “Bend your knees, bend your knees.”
I realized that if I didn’t move I’d cause a potential pile up behind me. “You can do this, come on, Aramandi, Aramandi,” I told myself. Turns out Aramandi works for bharatanatyam but is too deep for skiing. I used my poles to push myself. That’s the problem with correspondence courses-you never know how to apply your learning…that sent me zooming right into the path of two teenagers showing off their snowboarding skills. I tell you providence certainly had something else planned for me that day. I tried to right myself-I knew something was wrong when I raised my leg. My foot felt light for it came up without the ski. The darned ski was still stuck in the snow. By now my ‘mates’ were whizzing past me like they had been skiing all their lives. I looked up and the elderly man was smiling and cheering them. He looked perplexed when he looked at me. I will leave my instructor’s expression out of this. There I was a few feet from the ski lift, not able to move.
Wait, the ending is even better! My instructor came over, locked my skis with his, and gently led me down. No one made eye contact. I must belong to the elite handful who have had to be brought down the beginner’s slope in this manner.
The others went off to try their newly acquired/honed skills. I mumbled my thanks and waited patiently (in the circumstances) for the polar bear to come back from the snow covered hills. His smile slowly changed to concern as he came nearer. “I know now why it is a free lesson!” I said.
The unwise don’t know when to keep quiet. “I thought of saying something when you planned bimonthly ski trips this morning…I thought you should try it out before you made plans…”
“Can we discuss this later?” 🙁
Silence reigned on the way home. The next day my niece called, ” oh aunt Vicky, I went skiing yesterday. I was the first one to go down the black diamond…” Poor child…luckily she has a desi aunt to teach her that she should aim for a blue or red diamond…no black diamond for us!