Monday, 8 October 2012

Why is skiing like seafood?

A little investigation on Facebook recently (that font of all information!)  has given me the feeling that change is coming. People back home in the UK are starting to shift their summer clothes back up to the loft and dust off their winter boots. Along with that goes a whole lot of deep sighing and pessimism about the beginning of the snow season. Boo, summer’s over, the weather’s rubbish and there’s another long boring British winter ahead, etc etc. That sort of attitude.
But hey, it’s not all bad! Seriously! There’s plenty of fun to be had in the winter months if you can embrace the awesome fun of skiing.
I would say that, wouldn’t I, because my sole aim is to spread the passion I have for skiing.  I admit I am biased – and unashamedly so! – because skiing is the best sport in the world.
On the other hand… Mr Anti Freeze, snowing’s greatest critic, holds a lot of sway these days. Here’s how I’d imagine our great debate would run…
Skiing is like seafood for some people
Mr Anti-Freeze, the snow hater says: “I have never been skiing. In fact the idea of skiing fills me with dread – it’s my worst nightmare.”
To which my devil’s advocate would reply: “Have you ever tried it? Or are these gremlins you have imposed on yourself without reason?
“I used to think I hated fish – all fish, I pretended it made me feel icky. For years I turned my nose up at it. Eventually I was in a situation where I was forced to try it and I realised I had been MISSING OUT – I had planted this seed myself. Once planted it had manifested into something I believed in wholeheartedly. How do you know you don’t like something if you have never tried it?”
Mr Anti-Freeze contemplates this response, but remembers he has his reasons. “Well I hate snow – and I despise the cold,” he grumbles.
Snow means cold! Forget you and forget that, too!
Well, I’m a ski lover so I’m not buying into Mr AF’s problem.  I’d say: “You know what?  The fresh cold air can bring life and energy to our bodies. Fair enough, in some cirumstances the cold can be quite uncomfortable – like at our December race at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. It has been known to reach minus 38 degrees C! Visitors can choose not to ski – but for competitors, if the race is ON we have no option. All we wear is thin lycra and tape every inch of our face to prevent frostbite! However – this is a ONE off! Unusual.
In Europe, December and January can be a bit blustery. If you don’t want to wrap up  in lots of cosy, cashmere-esque layers and stop for yummy hot chocolates every other run, then don’t fear I have a solution! Easter skiing! It’s ideal- you even tan (although be weary of the being ridiculed on return for your panda eyes – goggle tan) whilst skiing! And après ski often results in several more confident (inebriated possibly) skiers stripping down to their bikinis to get much needed vitamin D.
A holiday with physical activity isn’t a holiday!
Maybe Mr Anti-Freeze is starting to warm to my argument and feel less frosty towards ski holidays, but he still has one BIG issue. Despite being a regular gym member, he likes to save his holidays for chilling out – but in the sun, by the pool.
“Exercising on holiday? You HAVE got to be KIDDING! I work hard in the office so I can go on holiday to veg and to do nothing,” he says.
Strangely enough I understand. “Well yes, Mr Anti-Freeze, I actually agree with this one. I also love a good, warm relaxing holiday – although for me I spend every second on the beach searching out some activity, game or distraction. But I get it – for most people it is a decision – lazy sun or active ski.”
I like my beach holidays and don’t want to risk a change – what if skiing’s rubbish?
Well Mr Anti-Freeze, I have a challenge for you.
I know you and Mrs Anti-Freeze work hard to pay the mortgage, to support your family. You save some money and go on a quality beach holiday – you deserve it and you need it. You rest and sleep and eat and read and tan. But I bet you come home looking lobster red and carrying a few extra pounds and wonder where all the time went. And that’s actually pretty nice for a holiday, but maybe lacks a bit of excitement.
Imagine instead, next year, you go on a ski holiday instead. Just a week. You could get a great instructor to teach you this bizarre and exhilarating new skill. You might realise in fact that it’s the first time you’ve  learned something new since you passed your driving test! Picture yourselves resting your weary legs in the hot tub outside the hotel overlooking the magical mountain looking back at aday of achievement. Indulge in a hearty dinner, knowing the calories will be burned off on the slopes the next day.
Every day you’ll see progress, moving from bunny slopes to red runs and chairlift rides and gondolas. It’ll be so satisfying to see how quickly you improve, and the technology makes it so much easier to ski now. By the last day you’ll be  proudly reminisce about how amazing the week has been, cheeks flushed in the crisp mountain air, muscles toned from the exercise. Maybe you’ll plan a beach holiday for next year… or maybe, you’ll skip it and go skiing instead, saving a long weekend or two for sun, sea and sand!
I wonder if Mr Anti-Freeze will change his mind? 
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