Archive for April, 2012

A moment of madness

By Karen | Filed in Blog

Karen tries freestyle "Big Air"I’d been thinking of this for some time.  I love skiing, and I’ve been enjoying the challenge of improving my skills during ski lessons with highly talented instructors.  It always seems that they ski beautifully, elegantly, with no apparent effort.  They ask us to try the simplest thing, and the result is generally bordering on comical and often terrifying.  Like most regular skiers, I dream of being like one of them.  (It will never happen, we all know it will never happen, but we dream of it none the less.)

To become one of “Them” requires lifetime commitment, so I’ll start this blog by setting everyone’s expectations appropriately low.

But they do all have to start somewhere, and that’s where I’m positioned.  At the bottom, looking up.  Just a little.

I was chatting to a ski instructor last year and he suggested I sign on and train as an instructor, and I thought – why not! It can only improve my skiing, and will be quite a challenge. Let me state now, I have NO INTENTION of actually working as an instructor, but I thought it might be a good idea to know what NOT to say to ‘encourage’ others.  My friends will all agree …..

I have booked a 14 week full time course from December to March that will take me through the first two levels of the BASI (British Association of Skisports Instructors) Alpine Skiing syllabus, with exams at the end. IF I pass, I’ll be at the bottom end of the ski instructors’ ladder, qualified to teach on indoor ski slopes and in small resorts, to a intermediate level, on the pistes.  To teach in France, all instructors have to have achieved Level 4 exams which qualify them to teach to racing standard, on or off piste, speak a second language, and have reached Level 2 in another snow discipline, and have several years of teaching experience in smaller resorts that do not require this exalted level of skill.

But to get onto the course, I did have to have more than 20 weeks of skiing experience, and be confident skiing on any resort pistes, blue, red or black, with bumps, slush or powder, and I was briefly assessed last year to check that my skiing level was up to entry level for the course. I’m pleased to have been found acceptable.

So in a moment of madness, and ignoring the fact that I am old enough to know better, I have signed up, arranged to stay in Morzine all season, and I’m ready to go.  No doubt the rest of the students in my group will be half my age, and I’ll be Mother.  But I’ve never let rational good sense put me off before 🙂 ………

This is a blog to record my adventures in the mountains this winter.  I have a premonition that all may not go according to plan, and that my friends and family may find my tribulations entertaining.

Dear Reader, I hope you enjoy it.

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