Getting Zen with Sven

Ski Sunday has started airing on BBC2 which always makes me yearn to hit the slopes.  It’s been a few years since I last skied but it left the most wonderful memories.

I was staying at the Banff Springs Hotel in Canada, which in itself was pleasure enough but those soft white mountains were calling and so I signed up to the local ski school with hope in my heart that I wouldn’t cause myself too much embarrassment.

A 5am start on the first morning and if I wasn’t awake walking through the lobby the icy blast outside took care of that.  Promise of breakfast in a mountain cafe was the only motivation I could cling to to stop me running back to my warm, cosy bed.

No cable car for us.  Our group of intrepid travellers found ourselves on a chairlift chasing sunrise over snowy peaks, while the frigid temperature made icicles on eyelashes and froze my toes.  A hearty breakfast got the blood flowing and we were ready to – oh my God we aren’t going back to the lower slopes, he wants us to ski from here!!   Stood atop a mountain and I hadn’t been further than an intermediary slope before, I was going to die ..

Our instructor, Alan, re-assured us we would make it down in one piece but first we needed to ‘get in the zone’, close our eyes and listen.  All I could hear was my heart trying to escape my chest – and the possibility of breakfast making a reappearance.  Alan (now known as Sven the Zen) had us concentrate on our breath, listening to snow falling gently from trees, a bird calling overhead as it passed on thermals, my heart starting to slow.  Eyes open and off we went.

Despite my cries of ‘holy crap’ when I hit a rock and shot off in to fresh air, I managed not to break anything and got to the bottom with everything intact.   I looked back up the mountain and couldn’t believe I’d skied the whole way down.  The ride of my life!

Have a great weekend, whatever you are doing


6 thoughts

    1. I seem to leave it years between one ski trip and the next so forget everything. Not sure I’d want to ski a whole mountain again but it was exhilarating at the time. Do you have ski runs in the mountains near you?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds exhilarating! (and I’m glad you survived)! Though I grew up in Upstate New York with its snowy winters I’ve only been skiing once when I was 20 and a friend from Minnesota was visiting. No bunny slope, no free lesson, we went immediately to the intermediate slopes! I spent the entire day rocketing straight down the slopes, unable to turn or slow down until fear took over and I tumbled to a stop! Then I dusted myself off and did it again and again and again. I spent the next two days at home in bed unable to walk or stand erect!

    Oh foolish youth, where have thou gone? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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