I’ve spent over 10,000 days of my life talking to mums who juggle successful careers and family but taken out of their comfort zone on a ski slope they turn to jelly.
Is this you? In your twenties you had all the confidence in the world, you might even have been a bit of a ski demon – but since you’ve had children all your rationality has disappeared as you over-think the ‘what ifs…’
You all think it’s just a ‘you’ thing. But I believe over 80% mums and only a tiny proportion of dads are letting psychological clutter kill their actual physical ability. All ‘nervous mums’ ski far better than they think they do – FACT!
If this sounds like you, here’s a dos and don’ts which might appear fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often these tips are overlooked.
Do the feel good factor
First of all you’ve got to feel right. Too often the rest of the family has been kitted our with new gear with mum just making do. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but you need a ski jacket and pants that make you feel good. Upping the exercise a notch before you go will make you feel heaps better. But please don’t make the mistake of getting so over-excited about any weight loss and squeezing back into any pre-children ski gear. The most important thing is that you feel comfortale whilst you ski.
Buying your own properly fitted ski boots, preferably in resort where you will have access to expert technicians to ensure a perfect fit, will also give you a huge psychological advantage. And with new skis making it easier for us all, do hire this year’s model skis. Good skis aren’t just for experts, they are made for every level.
Do invest in private ski lessons
So once you’re feeling good the next step for a huge confidence boost will be booking private ski lessons. Group lessons can work well with a good ski school. At our own Snowbizz Ski School we run special classes for our nervous mums (and the occasional dad). But if you’re holidaying in another resort where the ski school is an unknown – take no chances. In a group situation most of you are worried:
I’m going to be the slowest – I can’t fall because I can’t get up – My Bambi impressions aren’t cool
So it’s better to stick to one-on-one where the focus is all on you! For around 40-80 euros an hour, depending on resort, it’s incredible value. The intensity of the lesson will last long after the lessons are over.
Don’t let friends or partners teach you
Even if they’re expert skiers themselves, letting well-meaning friends or partners teach you is a recipe for disaster. It might have worked when you were younger and pre-children, but now you need expert help to understand your head as much as your physical capabilities. I’ve watched countless friends being harangued by their husbands as they contort themselves stiffly down the mountain, their body language speaking volumes.
Do ski with who you feel most comfortable with
All sport naturally brings out our competitive streak. Skiing more so. Only holiday with positive people who you feel relaxed around. Every woman has one close friend who might be the greatest rock at home but unintentionally be the nightmare ski partner. This must sound very brutal but is based on years of experience working with ski groups. With the right mix it will be the best experience ever.
Do get away with a relaxed start
Get the holiday off to the most relaxed start with an overnight hotel at the airport. Pay a little extra to get one of the on-airport hotels so next morning you can just walk through into the terminal.
Don’t do morning ski panics
Turn the morning panics of children’s mis-placed ski necessties into a huge game. Whoever is the first to have a full kit: lift pass, sunglasses, goggles, helmet, sun cream, snack, pocket money get to choose the first run or lunch stop.
Most importantly – do find a great children’s ski school
We always hear – if the kids are happy then so are we! But we equally hear horrendous stories where the parent’s holiday was ruined because their children hated ski school.
And finally – relax!
Skiing a blue relaxed at your own pace, with the odd vin chaud stop, will be just as rewarding as your expert partner spending several hours off-piste.