SO not ready for prime time

We had our family ski day today. I should have known what was to come since I was feeling particularly anxious about it. To the point of barely being able to sleep the night before from the endless anxiety dreams. I know it sounds crazy – but when I get that worked up – it rarely ends up being a situation where you could say “See – all that worry for nothing!” If I’m worrying, and that much… it’s usually with good reason.

The big problems were what we were going to do with Zach. The group lesson we wanted to put him in was a situation where you had to get there, sign up after you arrived and hoped they still had an opening. You couldn’t make a reservation. I was worried about him not liking it (I think he thought he was going sledding not skiing.) On the way up we even talked about maybe it would be better anyway not to do the group lesson and just do a 1 hour private lesson – but then what would Sam do the rest of the time with him? And as my fear came to reality – the group lesson was booked up – all we had available was the 1 hour private lesson. While I think that was great for Zach – he did really well in the class – it meant that Sam was entertaining him for the rest of the time we were up there – and that definitely had a time limit.

And me? The instructor I had for my private lesson last time had said that I should be good for a level 3 lesson the next time I come in. But either that was a gross overconfidence in my abilities, or this particular “level 3 lesson” wasn’t your average level 3 lesson. There was one guy in there who said he had actually been skiing for 30 years, but just never took a lesson. I should have known then to ask for a different group. The instructor and I did NOT click (it was not the same one I had for my private lesson) and in fact he got kind of mad at me at one point because they had stopped kind of quickly at a steep part of the hill, and I had gone a little further down because, sorry, I just can’t stop that quickly. Also, he apparently preferred to ski IN FRONT of the class. (How this was supposed to help us when he couldn’t even see what we were doing, I don’t know) So he took us all the way up the mountain. When we would ski for a stretch, he would get so far ahead. At one point I had fallen, and of course how could he know because he was way down ahead, and by the time I got back up and was able to get going again, I had no idea where everyone was. When I finally found them – I realized I was on the opposite side of the run, I tried to slow down, but could not, and fell, again. Meanwhile, I’m looking at them, and they’re all looking up the mountain wondering where I am.

This happened a few times and then I finally said I was probably in the wrong class. He called in a snow mobile to take me to another lift nearby that brought me back down. My confidence has been more than a bit bruised. I guess I should be happy that’s all that’s bruised, seeing how many times I had fallen.

My biggest fear is speed. I like to ski slow and controlled. I had hoped that green runs meant a less steep hill – and sure, it is less steep than blue and black – but I guess I need something even less steep than what we were on. (Which was green)

I got a few more runs in on what is apparently called the “turtle run” (Rachel told me thats what they call it – figures that’s all I’d be able to do) and then I started getting text messages from Sam that Zach’s patience for the day was ending. There was only 30mins left technically to our lessons so I figured it was close enough and we called it a day. (And don’t even get me started with how I had to argue with Rachel’s instructor to get her out of the class. He kept going on about how they’re sticklers for the rules, and the class isn’t over yet, etc. and I’m like – there’s only 30mins left to the lesson, I am her MOTHER – we need to go – WE ARE GOING! Don’t even tell me I can’t take my own child! What the hell??)

My goal was to be able to do a green run – the easiest kind of run there is in skiing. I didn’t think that was an outrageous goal – but apparently even still it’s going to be quite awhile before I can do it without falling flat on my face every 5 feet, or going down the mountain as I fear: extremely fast and without control.

No, I’m not going to give up – but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel pretty deflated right now. I felt so confident last week – and this time? Just awful.


  1. JenK
    Jan 18, 2010

    Man, that hurts. But it honestly sounds like maybe the trouble was with the instructor, not you. Maybe you should try again when there is someone else leading the class?

  2. Rachel
    Jan 18, 2010

    I agree w/ JenK. If I may add to your “spidey sense” of anxiety… sounds to me like you weren’t yet ready to be both mom-in-control and also student/learning to ski. The fact that I’d have to worry about the unplanned with my son, (and the real problem of time/attention), plus the understandable newness of skilling, (haven’t you only been out three times or something?), would have made me a wreck!!!

    I second what you wrote, “I guess I should be happy that’s all [confidence] that’s bruised, seeing how many times I had fallen.” The important thing to me is that you did ask and receive help in the form of the snow mobile and you followed what you know to be the family limit.

    I do hope there is a next time… alone for you for now. You can do it!!!!!

  3. Jamie Dillier
    Jan 18, 2010

    Oh, that’s terrible! I’m sorry! I think you’re pretty bad ass for learning to ski in the first place. I sure never would, sliding down a mountain on a couple o’ sticks? WAY too scary for me!

    And after that day with those instructors, I’d be going to a different ski resort!

  4. Jennifer
    Jan 18, 2010

    You know thinking about it again, I may write to the resort about the whole experience. I had signed up with them in a program that was supposed to be designed for people who had never skid before. Which was ALMOST perfect for the first class (if it wasn’t for the major equipment fails I had) – but after that – they really do seem to dump you into the “wild”. I think it comes down to the fact that a “level 3” beginner is something TOTALLY DIFFERENT from a “level 3 – I’ve been skiing for 30 years but never had a lesson”. I got into a the tail end of a level 2 class after I took the loser train back to the resort – and yes, they were covering stuff I already knew (probably stuff I needed more practice on – but still – I DID the level 2 stuff already) – But I still needed more instruction on how to do that stuff better and deal with a few other issues I’m having. (like somehow getting to a point of going too fast and can’t stop. I need someone to teach me how to do an “emergency break” stop that doesn’t involve my face in the snow)… I think that jerk-instructor for the level 3 class just figured he’d tailor the class to those (more advanced) people – without really checking to see if everyone was at the same level… Someone in their “New Skier” program should not be thrown in a group like that – but still should be able to get the instruction needed at a level 3…

  5. Caryn
    Jan 21, 2010

    yikes. That had to be a letdown, with a good experience last time and a not-so-good experience this time. The stress of being mommy in charge and learning new things is probably a bad combination. Maybe a few more alone lessons and then you will feel more prepared to make a family event out of it.

  6. Jennifer
    Jan 21, 2010

    Yeah, trying to negotiate what to do with the family was definitely a stress-inducing task – but being in the wrong class was the worst of it. I think we have a better idea now what we need to do with the kids. We may still try another family ski day on Sunday – but I think we really need to get my son into the all day program – or I go alone. My daughter is flexible, and if Sam is around to ski with her, there isn’t a problem – but Zach has a time limit on how long he’ll put up with stuff. The full day program they have lets kids ski for a bit, then lets them play in a little gym – so I think he’ll like it.

    As for me – I spoke with the director of skier services and he’s promised me that if I come back and take another level 3 lesson, my favorite instructor (the one I got the private lesson from) will be teaching it. So I KNOW she won’t torture me… at least not too much and not right off the lift like that. LOL!

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