Skiing escapades

Super! That’s super!

 | March 26, 2010

On Wednesday, the SPIN staff celebrated another issue off to the printer’s at Memories. Looking out the window at the skiers, it occurred to me that the run right outside was Gentle Giant. The first run I’ve ever been on here in Sun Peaks. I thought, I haven’t been on that run in such a long time. I bet if I go on there now, I’ll truly realize how much I’ve learned during this entire season.

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That was kind of how it felt this morning as I went on Homesteader. For the past few weeks, my ski instructors had taken me on more and more blue runs. Today, it was like visiting an old friend. Hello Homesteader, we meet again.

It was gorgeous outside this morning. Despite the snow being a bit crusty under my skis, it was one of those perfect days when you just want to stay outside and soak in the sun’s rays. It was probably one reason why my ski instructor was wearing a huge smile on his face.

My ski instructor Wulf was a former German police officer. For some reason, I had trouble trying to reconcile that fact with the person I met this morning. My father was a high-ranking police officer, and although I don’t like to generalize, I’ve always associated members of the police force as being serious and businesslike. After all, as keepers of the law, they’re supposed to look a bit intimidating, right? Wulf, on the other hand, is a genuinely happy person who smiles not just through his face but through his personality. There’s not an iota of police-like intimidation in him, which is a good thing. But I digress.

So off to Homesteader we went. This time, the entire lesson was focused on controlling the upper body and lower body separately. For me, it takes an enormous amount of concentration to keep the upper body quiet when skiing. As a result, my body tensed up, something my instructor immediately picked up on.

“Skiing can be easy and it can be fun,” said Wulf. “But first you have to… (here, he blows out audibly through his mouth) relax!”

I took his advice and tried again. I skied, keeping my upper body facing downhill as I focused on turning my skis with my legs alone.

I also learned that the separation becomes especially exaggerated when making the turns. When turning, Wulf explained, I should feel my hips pivoting in an opposite direction from my upper body.

After several tries, I knew I did it correctly after I skied past a beaming Wulf. “Super! That’s super!” he said, giving me two thumbs up.

I also knew immediately when I’m leaning back. Wulf’s favourite reminder was “Pressure, pressure, pressure!” which meant I should put more pressure on the front of my boots.

Although he smiled the whole time, Wulf is also very precise. If I didn’t follow his instructions correctly, he would say so, in a very cheerful manner nonetheless. I didn’t mind at all because I knew I would learn better if he was completely honest in his feedback.

At one point in our lesson, I managed to ski particularly well, earning his approval. He was so happy that he asked “How can a Filipina ski so well?”

To which I replied “With the help of a good ski instructor.”And I meant it.

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