Sunday 14 February 2016

Learning to Ski at 2 and 4

I was 26 when I first put on skis and wobbled around on snow.  I was nervous, worried and excited about learning to ski and it exceeded every expectation I had.  This year my biggest two boys had the chance to try it out themselves and if they were as nervous as I was then they were much better at hiding it.  Snowbizz offers lessons in their 'Totons' class for three and four year olds, but as Archie was so close to turning 3 they allowed him to give it a go, and it was agreed that if he couldn't manage then he would stay in the creche in the mornings with his youngest brother.

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On our first afternoon we took them down to the hire shop and picked up some boots and skis for them and the next morning I dropped them at the creche dressed in their thermals and salopettes ready for their first lesson.  I watched nervously from the balcony at 10am as they ascended (in what I nicknamed The March of the Totons) and then had to peel myself away knowing I would only be a distraction.  I picked them up at lunch time desperate to hear tales of their day and it seems both of them took learning this new skill in their stride.

My cautious big boy loved his first lesson, talked a lot about the 'magic carpet' (a moving walkway on the snow that does the job of a chair lift on the nursery slopes) and declared that he went really fast.  My daredevil of a two year old told me that skiing was fun and that he was going to do it everyday.

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Their class had 9 children in as it was a busy week, but those nine children were accompanied by two ski instructors and two of the nannies from the creche.  I crept up and hid behind a hut to watch them on their second day and their last day and it was amazing to see how confident they all were.  The instructors gave them new challenges as they progressed and the nannies encouraged them, looked after the younger ones as they got tired towards the end of the lesson, helped put mittens on when they fell off and kept the lessons fun.

I think I was more surprised than anyone when on the final day Dylan didn't join the rest of his class.  Another boy and him had done so well on the nursery slopes that they went up the mountain with one of the instructors in a chair lift and skied down a green slope!   My baby boy, who really isn't all that sporty, was skiing down a mountain! It was more than I expected, he wasn't even four and a half and he was enjoying it so much.  He was so proud telling me how he skied down all the way from the top and he was delighted when his instructor brought out the sweets at the end of the lesson!  

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Archie went progressively higher up the mountain and had to use his 'steering wheel' to make things more challenging as the week progressed.  At not yet three his stamina started to lag after three quarters of an hour but he did so well in all his lessons and he loved the experience.

We are desperate to go back again next winter, not just because I want to ski, but because the boys did so well and they really enjoyed the experience, it would be great to watch them progress.  By next winter Dylan will be 5 and joining the 'Junior ski school' and Archie will be nearly 4 and have the advantage of this year's learning as he skis with the Totons again.

Thank you to Snowbizz for inviting us back and giving the boys so much physical confidence.  Their lessons were fantastic and I still can't believe my 4 year old skied down the mountain!

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1 comment:

  1. Oh wow well done Dylan, that's amazing. I'd love to try skiing some day but I think I might have left it too late to learn!


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