As some of you may know I was fortunate enough to go skiing last week with a girl friend who was a complete beginner. It was great fun. We had fabulous snow conditions and as the week progressed made good progress at ski school too.
I thought I would give you some insights, that aren't just applicable to skiing...
- It's never too late or too early to learn something new. Although most skiers, if they don't learn as children, learn to ski in their 20's / 30's, there were more than you may expect who began to learn to ski in their 50's / 60's even 70's and 80's!!! I personally would not recommend this if you have suspect bones and are not fit, but... there is no reason why you can't give it a go, as long as you take it steadily.
- If at first you don't succeed - keep trying. The children were the best examples of this - they just pick themselves up and have another go, usually with pretty good humour too!
- Just because it is called a blue run (moderately easy) or a red run (more challenging, aka steeper usually) doesn't mean you can't do it. You just need to lean down the mountain even more and take your time. ie your skill level needs to increase to match the conditions in which you find yourself.
- Exercise must be enjoyable to get the most from it. It is not just about "The Exercise" it is also about what YOU get from it - do you feel fitter, does it make you laugh, can you have fun at the same time - eg dance or workout to some great music, or with friends who will keep you motivated when you would rather not make the effort?
- Take in the view. Don't forget to appreciate where you are - the mountains, by the beach, even a beautiful picture on the wall whilst you workout in the gym. Make sure you have something to constantly inspire you and "aim" towards. I know someone who has their ideal Size 14 jeans waiting for them to fit into as part of their "view"!
- Be thankful for what you CAN do and strive towards what you may not be able to just yet. Just as doing a parallel turn when you can hardly stand on or stay still on "the planks" seems magical, so does carving down the piste with hardly a break, and no falls, when you get more skilled.
- Be prepared. The basics must be adhered to, even when you are an expert! Repetition over time makes an expert vs someone who has skills. In many tasks in life, it is usually reckoned that to be an expert at anything takes about 10,000 hours!!! That's loads. But, you don't have to be an expert to progress. I am clear that I won't ever be careering down a Grand Slalom downhill at very high speeds and winning Olympic medals - but who cares!? Not me. I am just happy to have the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new friends.
- Don't take life for granted. One of the revelations my skiing teacher told us was that the glaciers were receding in length at between 30-40m per year and losing 5m in depth!!! That is a huge tonnage of ice that is not being replaced each year. It has been decreasing in size at this speed for about 5 years, but has probably lost many thousands of tonnes in the last 150 years, judging by where the end of the glacier was in 1822, when it was only a few hundred feet from the village of Saas Fee in Switzerland. Global warming? Very possibly, and natural forces at play too. The main glacier is still about 120m deep, but even at this depreciation, there must come a critical mass and depth where the glacier's depths cannot stay cold enough, long enough to properly maintain its life. Summer skiing takes place on the glacier only, but for how long?
My question for you - drop me a line and let me have your thoughts! - what impact can something you may consider trivial in the general scheme of things have on your life and your future?
I have many more thoughts to share, which I may do in the next few weeks, but one last question -
What do YOU want to achieve in your lifetime, in the next 10 years, this year, this month or even TODAY? It won't happen without some planning and a framework. You will only get more of what you already have without a plan. It's an interesting thought...
Happy skiing to those who may be yet to go. For those who don't - at least watch Ski Sunday on the TV and see some of the skills in action. Learn a new skill this year and have fun!
Please feel free to forward this on to a family or friend who may appreciate it, or follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/GaylePalmer
PS Taking my Salmon Oil Plus regularly definately stopped many of the muscular aches and pains and inflammation often associated with unaccustomed exercise, and the grain oil - Tre-en-en gave me plenty of energy all day and night! To help you feel on top of the world - buy yours online now
© Gayle Palmer January 2010