Two and a half years is how long it’s been since I last stood on skis. My reasons, as you may have wrongly, suspected have nothing to do with a bad experience or an accident. I simply did not have the time and the longer I put it off the easier it was to simply do without. The result: I simply stopped going for fear that I may have forgotten how. Friends and acquaintances assured me however that it wasn’t something I would simply forget. I had an image of myself in my mind, struggling to get down the slopes.
Nope, I decided, skiing was simply not for me. Yet with courage and motivation I finally returned to the slopes once more. It took my head a while to catch up after my first few insecure runs. I realised that all these smart people who ‘knew better’ may have been on to something after all. The technique was indeed stored somewhere in the back of my mind. With euphoria I began to enjoy every curve and bend. With time to reflect as I sat on the lift, I tried to recall my very first days on the slopes. One such day is clearer than others: I was heading into the valley from the Niedere in Andelsbuch with my father. The snow was fresh and I had butterflies in my stomach. After several hours on the practice slopes, my father decided I was ready to head up to the upper areas of the Niedere. The journey with the chairlift through forests and sparkling winter air seemed to last forever. I remember spending the entire journey asking myself how I would ever get down in one piece. And yet with my father, I still felt safe. “In an emergency, I’ll guide you down between my skis.”