Facing Fears and Learning To Ski

I would love to go on a skiing holiday. I see myself in Austria, getting dressed in an exclusive Alpine ski chalet for a day on the slopes. I put on a stylish ski suit, faux fur headband and red lipstick. I'm skiing from village to village breathing in the crisp fresh air with the sun on my face. I smile as I swoosh into a little bar and say hello to Franz (in my head I've been coming hear for years).
 
"What'll it be today, your usual mulled wine or perhaps a Schnapps?" Franz speaks English. Handy.
 
There is only problem. I can't ski. *snaps back to reality, in the reception area of the Chill Factore, Manchester. It's Friday morning and I'm crying.*

Ladies ski jacket from Surf Dome

My boyfriend learnt how to ski as a child. He skies how I imagine I can.
 
He fully supports me learning to ski. Having not been on a skiing holiday since we met, he has unfulfilled skiing needs. I told him if he wanted me to learn I'd need lessons AND a ski coat. I'd feel more confident to face my fears if I looked snazzy at the time. On a subconscious note, hello to two reasonably sized obstacles in-between me and the slopes. 
Procrastination can work wonders for your anxiety levels ... initially.
 
My boyfriend is a very can do sort of person. He's definitely a glass half full sort of person, whereas I'm naturally more of a I don't even have a glass sort of person. I'm lucky to have someone who pushes me out of my comfort zone and helps me achieve more than I'd ever do if left to my own devices.
 
I feel lucky for most of the time... Last Friday I hated him a tiny bit.
 
At half eight in the morning, sat in my new ski jacket waiting to start my 6 hour Beginners Ski Lesson, having already made two nervous trips to the ladies that day, I felt sick with worry and out of my depth. I should have put bigger obstacles in the way.
 
An outdoorsy type of girl strode by confidently with her snow board under her arm. You know the type don't you. The sort of girl that would look good striding out of the sea with tousled hair, while you look like a ship wrecked waif, usually with yesterdays swimming costume sunburnt on. On top of my nerves this girl was the final straw and I cried.
 
I was so nervous that my boyfriend said, and I quote, dropping me at the Chill Factore, "was like dropping your pet off at the vets." Boys, when your gal is already feeling self conscious wearing a faux fur headband for the first time, the last thing she wants to be compared to is a pet.
 
Sometimes you don't realise how afraid of something you are until you're face to face with it.
 

I was afraid of:
*Not knowing how to get my boots and skis on properly and ultimately plummeting to my death
*Being on my own in the class and with nobody to help me as I ultimately plummet to my death
*Getting tangled in the ski lift and being dragged up the slopes before I fall off and ultimately plummet to my death
*Not knowing how to stop and...you guessed it... plummeting to my death
*And finally looking like a right tit
 
The pre-class cry helped to release my nervous energy though it did nothing for my dignity.
 
I double dropped some Bach's Rescue Remedy, clung onto my holiday dream, and like a big girl, got ready to meet my ski instructor, all the while knowing that the end good very well be nigh. 

Sign at the Chill Factore Manchester

PLOT SPOILER: I did not die.
The more wily and alert among you may have figured this one out already.

By the end of the day, I had fallen only once (it's hard to fall when you're moving at a snails pace), learnt how to stop, how to turn, how to follow someone down the slope and use the ski lift.
 
Our instructor for the day, Billy, really took the time to help us as a group and individually. He had plenty of different learning methods to try as certain tasks clicked with the group at different times.
If you fell he would help you up. If you needed it he would ski down the slope right with you. Be warned though, at the times when you come over all Gemma Collins and say you couldn't do it, he made you do it anyway.
 
View of the main indoor ski slope Chill Factore Manchester

The Beginners Ski Day Lesson was £165.00 and had around 8 people in the class. You can pay a little extra and have fewer people in the class but I personally thought it was more fun learning with a group.  Plus it allowed a little breathing time in-between goes which I definitely needed.
Being terrified for most of the day is exhausting.
 
Six hours was quite intense but also rewarding. If I'd have split that session up over a period of weeks the nerves in-between each session would have been ridiculous. It's a good idea to have a taster lesson before the beginners day class. Those that had done this got more out of the day as they were a little step ahead.
 
Now that the 'snow' has settled after my beginners lesson, I regret my early morning meltdown and really didn't need to be so afraid. That's often the way isn't it. You look back and think what the hell was going on there?

So I'm one step closer to fulfilling my Austrian dream. Who fancies footing the bill for a luxury Alpine Chalet? Any takers? Just give me a shout, I'll be the one wearing an 'Adrenalin Junkie' slogan tee!
 
Can you remember learning something for the first time and being terrified? Do you know an Austrian man called Franz? 
 
Thanks so much for reading. Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here. Don't forget to pop over and say hi or at least call me a wuss x x  

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