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terrified of skiing

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I spent only half a day on the slopes taking a private ski lesson in france, 4 years ago. My husband is a good skier and I wanted to try, but I wanted to try, but I was too afraid and learned hardly anything. Now we are going to Vail and I thought I`d give skiing a second chance, but am not really sure about that. Would a group ski lesson fit my needs for absolute scared begginer, since private ones are so expensive? I am afraid I won't keep up with other people.

post #2 of 14

I think a group lesson would be great. As a beginner, you won't need to worry about keeping up--no one will be going anywhere fast (or even close). When I was learning I found it helpful to be in a group because I could see that everyone was struggling like I was. You might see if Vail has beginners lessons for just women. Women's groups tend to have a lot of camaraderie/support/encouragement. You might also be realistic about your ability level--even though you had private lessons in France, if it will make you feel better and more confident to go over the very basics again, and be in a group with others that have never skied, don't be afraid to do that. It's pretty normal to have fears at first (and actually as you progress it's normal to be afraid of steeper slopes or whatnot), though I think if you are constantly terrified and just miserable and you can't see how this could ever be fun, it's okay if it just might not be your sport.

post #3 of 14

Welcome to Epic Luiza!

 

You have a good concern. It's impressive that you agreed to give skiing another shot. Good for you!

 

Some people will have better success in group lessons because of the slower pace and the ability to watch similar people with similar struggles and feel good that they are not alone. My opinion is that the odds are that you'll have better results with a private at Vail and it will be worth every penny. A private lesson allows the instructor to take specific actions to meet your specific needs. Request a Level 3 PSIA Certified instructor (your preference for male of female) who is good with beginners and fear issues. Think of this as an investment in success.

 

We have a good beginner forum on Epic . Take advantage of it to get a head start. 

 

Have you done any other similar sports like ice skating, water skiing or inline skating? Exposure to these sports can help make learning to ski easier.

 

Dealing with fear issues can be complicated. I usually start with fear being a healthy expression of common sense. Skiing is not natural and is inherently dangerous. One has to be at least a little crazy to want to do this. But we can learn to ski in a very controlled manner that is less dangerous than everyday activities that we take for granted (e.g. driving). Different people are going to need different approaches to make this happen. A good instructor will quickly be able to find an approach that will work for you. I once had a student who was so terrified of the chair lift that she drilled holes into my arm with her fingernails. I have experienced irrational panic from heights so I could relate. The good news is that skiing gives you an easy opportunity to conquer fears. Even little steps can provide a huge emotional lift.

 

Good luck and let us know how things work out. Vail is a magical place. You should have a great experience.

post #4 of 14

Hi Luiza,

 

Follow Christy319's advice, its excellant.  A group of other beginners is great to give you support and commradirie, plus the insturctor will have no problem giving you 1 to 1 if required.  I understand peoples fear, but skiing is a safe sport, and it can offer a lifetime of enjoyment.

 

 

Main tips - spend some extra time to get boots that fit. - get good ski clothes, you dont need to be an expert to appreciate warm dry and comfortable, and we all want to fashionable!  Have fun!  Its just skiing.

post #5 of 14

You've already gotten both sides of the private/group lesson argument.  I agree that you should probably start again at the beginning in terms of lessons.

 

I usually recommend group lessons for beginners, both because they are a LOT cheaper and you can usually learn the basics just fine that way.  Some people are also more relaxed in a group environment.

 

The biggest advantage of a private lesson for a beginner -- aside from maybe (but not always) getting a more experienced instructor -- is that the lesson can proceed totally at your own pace.  If you're having trouble with something in particular, the instructor can focus on just that and spend as much time as you need getting it right.  So if you're really concerned about holding people up, this may be a better choice despite the higher price.

 

This is a book that is often brought up when people talk about fear in relation to skiing ( http://www.amazon.com/A-Conversation-Fear-Mermer-Blakeslee/dp/1617562726/ ), and it may prove an interesting read.  It's not really a guide to skiing, more a discussion about psychological issues in sports and dealing with fear.

 

If I can offer any additional advice, it would be to take things as slowly as you need to.  You may have to step outside your comfort zone to learn new skills, but it's not a race.

 

And I certainly don't want to be discouraging, but it's possible skiing just isn't your thing -- and if so, that's okay.  You have to be a certain kind of crazy to enjoy sliding down icy hills at high speed.  smile.gif  Just don't tell your husband he can't ski.  I think that's grounds for divorce in Colorado.  wink.gif

post #6 of 14

Dearest Luiza,

   I can certainly identify with your feelings.  My husband asked me to take a ski lesson and my first reaction was "NO!"  But, to humor him, I ended up agreeing.....and it changed my life. I often think skiing is a type of secret door to magic and wonder that is somehow kept a secret to many!  Probably because it's incredibly hard work to learn and , initially, at least, you have to go on faith to actually do what instructors are asking you to do!  It is completely counter-intuitive that you you want to not hang back close to the mountain where it feels safe but in fact move forward over your skis.  Sounds like you have received excellent guidance from everyone who has posted.  You are certainly to be commended for giving it another chance.  Personally, I think the solution to fear is knowledge and practice.  But I would be lying to you if I said it was an easy road.  Nevertheless, as mentioned, there are rewards for the work along the way if it's a fit for you!  It may not be and if that's the case, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with you.  I hope it turns out to be enjoyable!!!!

post #7 of 14

If you have a place locally, you can take private lesson probably for the price of a group lesson at vail.   This way you can get some practice in before the trip.  Good luck and have fun!

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for all the great advice! My decision at the moment is to take a private lesson on my first day. Then, based on how I feel, I will take 3 more days of group lessons.  Hopefully I'll get the best out of both the private and group lessons and will be a team player, managing at least to have fun on the slopes with my husband on our next trip. I'm sure it will be very handy once we have children. Our family trips will be so much fun. 

On the other hand, if it's something that really is not my thing, I'll be happy spending my time at the spa, coffee shops or stores while the others ski. and will be a team player all the same. 

post #9 of 14

Seems like you have a great attitude Luiza- as VailSnowPro told my daughter, the best skier on the mountain is the one with the biggest smile!

 

TheRusty and Mathias did a good job explaining the advantages of Private vs Group lessons- I teach at Vail out of Golden Peak and have worked with lots of beginners in both private and group lessons, so if you have any specific Vail Ski School questions, don`t hesitate to ask.

 

Enjoy,

Matt

post #10 of 14
If your husband is not willing to take the time and effort to teach you, then I would be willing to do so;)
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post

If your husband is not willing to take the time and effort to teach you, then I would be willing to do so;)

It is generally regarded as extremely hazardous to one's marriage to attempt to teach one's spouse anything. This is particularly true of something like skiing which involves both risk and skill development.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiza Rezende View Post

Thank you everyone for all the great advice! My decision at the moment is to take a private lesson on my first day. Then, based on how I feel, I will take 3 more days of group lessons.  Hopefully I'll get the best out of both the private and group lessons and will be a team player, managing at least to have fun on the slopes with my husband on our next trip. I'm sure it will be very handy once we have children. Our family trips will be so much fun. 

On the other hand, if it's something that really is not my thing, I'll be happy spending my time at the spa, coffee shops or stores while the others ski. and will be a team player all the same. 

Good for you to give it a try! I first learned on a business trip when I was in my 40s and had not done anything athletic since high school. I started out terrified. I became instantly hooked. I'd just suggest reversing your order of lessons a little bit. I'd do the group first. In your very beginning lesson you learn pretty fundamental things, you have trouble doing them and spend a lot of time doing everything. The difference in outcome from that first lesson is not going to be great between group and private.

But then after your first one or two group lessons, THEN I would do a private once you are in a position to benefit from individual attention and focus on what you need more than how to put the skis on, get up, ride a chair, etc.. I think when I fist skied I did one longish group and  then a 2 hour private right after. Good luck - plus you'll enjoy the shops much more after a day of skiing.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Seems like you have a great attitude Luiza- as VailSnowPro told my daughter, the best skier on the mountain is the one with the biggest smile!

 

TheRusty and Mathias did a good job explaining the advantages of Private vs Group lessons- I teach at Vail out of Golden Peak and have worked with lots of beginners in both private and group lessons, so if you have any specific Vail Ski School questions, don`t hesitate to ask.

 

Enjoy,

Matt

 

Thanks Matt.

 

Do you know if Vail Ski School has an email address? I could not find it online. Tks again!

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiza Rezende View Post

 

Thanks Matt.

 

Do you know if Vail Ski School has an email address? I could not find it online. Tks again!

You are welcome...PM sent.

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