The word "extreme" in the title may be a slight exaggeration: The first week of January was my first ever skiing venture, and despite my concerns (broken leg, broken neck, frostbite, general disease, falling off of a chair lift etc.) it was the first sport I've ever attempted that I actually enjoyed. I've made a little vlog for you guys to show you that despite feeling heroic on my first skiing attempt it wasn't in fact perfect ... or elegant ... or even speedy; but boy, did I feel an immense sense of pride and achievement. So, if you're planning on hitting the slopes for the first time this season, here's some advice I wish I'd heard before heading up:
1.) You will fall over, and you will get back up again ... eventually. This is probably the most important. Don't be afraid of falling - you're so cold and the snow cushions our fall slightly so it rarely hurts. The worst part of falling really is getting back up again. Thankfully I had a very patient helper, who probably spent hours over the week helping to pick me back up again. It's impossibly hard to get back up on your skis without slipping down the slope for the first few days, but you can do it, even if it takes a while.
2.) Tuck your upper layers into your salopettes. You may look and feel like a slightly overheating marshmallow, but it will totally be worth it so when you fall over you don't end up with ice up your back (I so wish I knew this before I went!)
3.) Day one might be awful, but don't be a quitter. My day one was spent 90% with me on my bum sliding haphazardly down a mountain. It felt as though every time I got back up I was destined to be back on the floor almost instantly. I got so demoralised there was a little drama queen fit on the mountain with "I hate this holiday and skiing and this goddamn mountain" being lamented rather loudly and repeatedly. BUT despite my misgivings I forced myself out on day two and LOVED it - I am so glad I didn't hermit myself away in fear for the rest of the week.
4.) Goggles are simultaneously your hero and enemy. These not only protected my face from impact when I faceplanted the ground ... repeatedly ... but also functioned as particularly unstylish sunglasses, protecting my eyes from glare. Foggy goggles however are an unforgiving bitch.
5.) Relax. This was the trickiest part for me. Generally my face was stuck into a grimace and my body was so rigid that you could have prodded me and I would have fallen over in the exact same position. But, in the end it's a holiday, and you're skiing to have fun and enjoy yourself - so do so!
What would your tips be?