25.01.2015 - 26.01.2015 -4 °C
Wow! I definitely had no idea what to expect out of my first experience on skis. Our lesson started with learning how to walk sideways up and down the mountain-fifteen minutes of that and I was already ready for a break! After a few test runs on a VERY small hill, I was still struggling with the concept of turning and wasn't able to join the rest of the group on their first run down the mountain. After calling it quits from exhaustion after two hours that first morning, I was convinced I never wanted to touch skis again and would be spending the rest of my time in the Alps drinking coffee looking out the window.
Luckily on day two I woke up with determination to show the mountain who was boss-and I did just that! After one of the girls on the trip explained further the concept of turning and took me slowly on my own, I was finally grasping the concept of skiing. When the ski instructor saw, I was quickly told (not asked) that I would be joining the group of beginners on their run down the mountain. (Insert fear and excitement here). Our ski instructor is absolutely one of the coolest people I've ever met. At seventy years old he has been spending time skiing on these mountains for over twenty years. His entire family is currently on vacation here-his two year old grandson showed me up big time on my first day trying to ski. Our ski instructor's name is Yoshi and he has a way of getting you to ski even when you aren't sure that you want to. This morning (morning 3) I couldn't look him in the eye when I told him I wasn't accepting his invitation to go down the mountain with him today because my knees were still a bit wobbly. Anyway, back to day 2. After trying to follow in his path down the mountain the first time on the way to the ski lift, I was quickly greeted with my first fall. Luckily the mountain has an abundance of fresh snow so the landing was pretty soft. It was the first of many falls, and I quickly learned to laugh them off as everyone in our group was falling and helping each other to get back up. The amount of encouragement and laughter on our three hour ski session was enough to make me love the sport (something I never thought I would say after day 1). I think my worst (and funniest) fall was when I managed to run into the side of the mountain and get stuck with one ski about a foot higher than the other one. It took me so long to try to get down to the ski path and when I finally did my skis started doing their job and sliding and I fell backwards into the snow on my back. I wasn't sure I would ever get up but I don't think any of us in the group had ever laughed harder!
My first ride on the ski lift took my breath away. I've never seen anything more beautiful than the view looking down on the mountain. The trees are so perfectly covered in snow that it looks fake. Yesterday was so perfectly sunny that you could see all of the mountains in the distance from our lodge-it definitely made for an amazing photo shoot! One of the other German speakers wants to take artsy pictures and I'm more than happy to be a model so we got some great pictures of all of us!
The food at the lodge has been amazing as well! It finally hit me yesterday how big of a deal it is to be at Zell am See and to be skiing in the Alps. Its so strange that I'm here learning to ski for the first time because people from around the world who ski frequently do so much to try to come here in their lifetime. I'm so blessed to be able to have an opportunity like this one.
Nights here at the resort are a lot of fun too. Whether it's sitting downstairs at the bar enjoying a few beers or just spending time together in the room, I'm really happy to be getting to know the people in the program! It was definitely interesting to get here and realize that so far I'm the only student who is here to take only German classes-the other student in my program is coming later in February.
I'm looking forward to a few more days of skiing in the Alps and I hope to make more progress and have more stories to tell in the next few days!