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OMG I've created a monster (?!)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Maybe, maybe not; but that's how it now looks. I'm talking about my GF...
Let's backtrack a little till 2007-2008 season, my first "full' season after a self imposed hiatus (due to medical reasons).
That was the first time my GF was skiing, after a brief attempt nearly ten years earlier...
It nearly ended in a disaster, with her taking a "rotational" tumble (she basicalli rotated around her foot at slow speed and the binding did not released) and nearly tore one of her knee ligaments, strained the others. A following scan revealed that both her meniscuses were broken as well, but this was not the tumble's fall, rather the result of 20+ years of skate speed racers (first "traditional", then inline skates)
She spent the rest of that winter with a swollen knee...
Then winter 2008-2009 she had some trouble on one of her foot, and did not even attempted to ski, other priorities were coming in first.
So, here it comes, winter 2009-2010...GF is feeling well and fit after almost one whole winter (2008-2009) , a whole spring and summer and autumn (those of 2009) spent taking spinnig classes.
And one day in November she says..."why don't we spend the "Sant'Ambrogio" week end (this year it was Dec 5-6-7-8 the traditional beginning of the skiing season in Italy) out some where? I feel like I want to try sking again".
Wow! She's got some courage, but that's to be expected by an ex top athlete...
So I reserve a room at an hotel in Made (theater of our first "ski experience") again borrow my mother ski equipment (skis and boots, they have the same shoe size, skis are "short" and soft enough for her) and knee brace (she too suffered a similar knee problem in 2006-2007) and on the evening of dec 5th, off we go.
Sun 6th sees the both of us on the bunny hill on Madesimo (the so called "Arlecchino" run), she's skiing cautiosly but nonetheless skiing, listening (more or less) to what I tell her. We also meet with Mr Prickly.
Mon 7th...skiing again the bunny hill...after a couple of hours, GF says "I want to take some ski lesson"...whoa!
I jump off my skis and go straight to the ski-school booth to reserve a lesson.
I was waiting for that request to come, let's say I was hoping, praying, since it could only mean that she was thinking to "commit". Now, I had to carefully choose her first instructor, ever. It was to be the final "hook". Had I chosen the wrong one, it could have reversed the process for good (GF hates cold wather). So in my eyes, it was going to be one of those "do it or bust" crossroads...Ao, which type of instructor I ask for? Thinking about her, she's an ex-athlete, still young, still coaching skaters, getting on well with young, athletic people, I decide to ask for a female instructor of, possibly, her age.
None was available that day. First and only available instructor was a man...Well, praying with all my forces, I accept and reserve the hour lesson for mid-afternoon (it was right before lunch). I turn back to GF who is talking to one of her friend she met there (one of her ex-athletes)reach her and start to explain about the instructor, the rendez-vous time when she goes "Have you reserved one hour tomorrow as well?" DUH! More signs that she's being hooked...So once again I turn back, rush to the booth again and to a very surprised dispatcher ask to reser a second one hour private lessos for the next day, in addition to the one already reserved (this time she manages to find a female instructor for that second hour) 
At the rendez-vous time I bade farewell to GF, and not wanting to be seen by the instructor (did not want to appear to be fretting and embarass the three of us, her, me and the instructor)  go skiing on myself. It was now raining...and I kept hoping that the lesson was going to be a success..but with the rain? Did I say that GF is not a "cold-weather person"?
Well, afte one hour  turn back to the bunny ill, and see GF skiing with an old instructor ("oh my! I think, let's hope that was not
an "old style" instructor)...Well all my fears were removed when GF comes to me and announces that she's had a fantastic lesson, with seventysome instructor, that the guy was good, and was explaining a lot, that, after hearing about her skate racing background was discussing with her similarities and differencies, having her doing exercises to understand how weight transfer was working on the skis, etcetera...Telling her that she was ready to exti from the bunny hill and do some easy blue runs...well, did I say it was a success?
Second lesson, with the female instructor, was a little bit less to her satisfaction, but still confirmed the trend, the second instructor did confir that she could ski on some easy blue.  Anyway the feeling I got is that the quality of the lessons' contents delivered by the Made ski school instructors was quite high, and consistent across the team of instructors.
A thing confirmed by Mr.Prickly.
So, the "three day" was a success.
Ok, fast forward one month, I've been a bit ill so during the Christmas break I did not ski..until yesterday.
Her coach colleague organized a winter training session on cross country skis at our "local" hill...
GF decided that she wanted to go but ski downhill instead of cross country. Was I going to ski with her?
Of course, even if the place was goingto be swarmed with people (that particular hill is so close to the main town, and to Milan too that on week ends and during shool holyday it's nearly impossible to ski there, unless one is in front of the ticket office by 07.30 in the morning) . So yesterday morning, GF, my sons and me take the car and head for the mountain.
In the parking lot we meet with the rest of the racing team and some of the parents, buy the tickets (lift tickets for those who will ski downhill, just the cable car ticket for those who will cross country).
After two runs, GF says in a sufficent tone "Hey but these runs are easyer than Made's bunny hill..." she still basically ski on a wedge but...
After another two..."next time we go to Made, I want to take a two hours lesson"
After another one "It will be next sunday"
After another one I decided to "push" her a bit, and on a flattish portion  let some speed to grow under my bases...to my surprise she handles the speed well, the wedge disappears, and is attempting a bit of "counter" in the turns (I do think that her automatisms form sakting on a race course with raised turns is coming handy to her to handle the turns at increased speed, in fact what she is lacking is the tecnique to turn at low speeds, higher speeds she can handle)
Weather was not really "warm"..it was -6 (Celsius) without taking into account the wind chilling factor, so after lunch we decided to go back home, the four of us were properly drained of energy by the cold weather.

Today GF goes to the skating training session and when comes back tells me "Next saturday afternoon I am going to ski (with one of  her athletes) after all, if I want to be able to ski with you and your frineds, I better learn, and do it quickly" 
So, after only 4 days on skis..
a) She's hooked, despite the cold weather.
b) Going to ski without me (I can't, have to make the sons to..,err, study)
c) She wants to ski on Sunday as well, with my sons and me (remember one of the "After...")
d) Wants to buy skis, boots and knee brace, and this, by the end of this week! In fact one of my duties tomorrow wil lbe to "scout" shops to find a pair of skis and boots...

OMG I have indeed created a monster!

P.S. Thank you, mr Instructor!
post #2 of 11
Oh, how very wise of you to get an instructor rather than try to teach her yourself.

Mike
post #3 of 11
Who'd have thought you were dating a Trekchick.

Sounds like a very fun time.  Its probably time to get back to the mountains now.
post #4 of 11
Very, very cool.

This is how lifelong passions are ignited. 

Better watch out, Nobody.  With her athletic background, she could be racing you down the mountain in a few more sessions.

This is a GREAT story.
post #5 of 11
You got a good one.

Is she a writer too?  It really would be great to hear her account of learning.  With your GF's athletic and coaching background she could offer a very good account of the learning experience.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Oh, how very wise of you to get an instructor rather than try to teach her yourself.

Mike
 

Well, in truth I did not expect her to reach the point where she'd bene asking to get a lesson for an instructor, I was thinking she would have given up because of the cold well before that. That she came to the conclusion totally un aided (albeit after two
days, one in  her first season and the first day on this three days week end) was really a pleasant surprised. The only thing , I was entertaining dreams of coming to an ESA and have her taking lessons from the coaches there...that would have been reallysomething to be very, very happy of. Her previous expereience, some 10 years ago, involved her being brought till the top of Bormio ski area and left to her own devices to ski down, on her very first day ever on skis. That she gave up and thought nothing about skiing for the past 10 years is a telltale of what happened...
We've bene discussing similarities and differencies between skiing and skating, also had a brief chat with a former downhill skater world champ about it last october (but we've been talking about that for the past two seasons, whenever the subject came out or was made to come out - by me). but the instructor really hit the nails, found the right words and the right exercises for her to understand the differencies and similarities and adapt from one to the other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Who'd have thought you were dating a Trekchick.

Sounds like a very fun time.  Its probably time to get back to the mountains now.

 

I didn't know either (but I like athletic girls!) This said, I've been sitting speeechless staring at the monitor for about half an hour...This afternoon (I'm home on vacation with my sons) I got a phone call from her : "it's Sale time, why don't we go and check that xxxx shop after I'm finished with work? And after dinner that other "yyyy" one?
Well, we never reached the "yyyy" one. It took her 25 minutes (with a little bit of help from the dealer and me) to select her gear: ski, boots and poles.
Salomon XWing Hurricane (waist 72) in 158 cm, Salomon Rush X boots (flex 90, the dealer took immediately away all the flex 60 and 70 he was taking down from the shelf upon hearing she was a skater with the comment "You'd break those in no time then") and Leki Trigger (115 cm)...
Now, the knee brace will be on me...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

Very, very cool.

This is how lifelong passions are ignited. 

Better watch out, Nobody.  With her athletic background, she could be racing you down the mountain in a few more sessions.

This is a GREAT story.
 

It sure shows all the premises of such a thing. she keeps saying that, had she (or better, her parents) chosen to ski instead of to skate, she would have reached the same heights, maybe more....
We've been already discussing and betting if I'd be a better downhill skater than her a donwhill skier (because if it comes to inline speed sakting, the contest will have no histroy, she'd be the winner) by the end of this season...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

You got a good one.

Is she a writer too?  It really would be great to hear her account of learning.  With your GF's athletic and coaching background she could offer a very good account of the learning experience.

Yes, I know! And sorry no, she isn't a writer (neither in Italian nor in English)...I'll ask her if she'd been up to, then translate it for her, but don't think she'll do it... 
post #7 of 11
 Now that The Creature has life, don't let her go easily. Looks as if your season is off to a terrific start. Hope longevity pans out.
post #8 of 11
 I'm very excited for both of you!
See you at ESA 2011!!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 I'm very excited for both of you!
See you at ESA 2011!!


That would be really something!
post #10 of 11
that's a monster you can live with.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I "steal" from another thread of mine to say that I have really created a monster, but as said, one I can very well live with, because Pixie (even if she's not registered here, and I guess she won't ever, too shy, I'll use her at home nick, I'm tired to use acronyms I struggle to come to terms with) got serious about skiing. So much that one evening, two weeks ago...she commented " I miss my skiing" (she'd not been skiing for about two weeks by then), so probably she is now beginning to understand what "the need to ski, the need to be out there, on a mountain" means, how most of us feels aobut it, why we do what we do...
And once the girl sets to a task she's serious about, there's nothing that can stop her, from 2 on snow days in 10 years, to 10 days in a season. From zero lessons, to a total of 10 hours of private lessons (in 2 hours chunks)...
She's gone from the bunny hill to red runs, from fair weather only to all weather, onlythingthat still unnerves her it's the crowds...
Of course, she needs two knee braces (have already said that? Her knees are worn out by years of speed skating on rollers) and next item on the list is an helmet...
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