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First ski lesson at 47 yrs old...Never left the bunny hill but I love it...I am hooked

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
New to the board so I hope I am posting at the right spot.

I am 47 yrs old and had my first ski lesson yesterday.  I never left the bunny hill because I struggled with right turns (could turn left).  I fell only once which made me feel pretty good!  Even though I spent the afternoon on the buny hill with an instructor I still feel like I skied and can't wait to do it again.

I am wondering if anyone else out there feels like me...a really slow learner and that you will never make it onto a lift and down a hill?????????????

I love watching winter sports and have wanted to ski for so long.  "Showing up" is always the hardest part they say...Well, I showed up...and I can't wait to go again.  I am just slightly discouraged because I feel stuck on that little hill trying to learn how to turn...Looking for some encouragement :-)
post #2 of 28
 You've got your whole life to get better. A few hours give or take on the bunny hill is nothing. Welcome to the club!
post #3 of 28
 Welcome to the wonderful world of skiing - and of improving at skiing.

I've been skiing for 21 years (started in my 30's) and I still wonder if I'll ever be able to do the things I don't do well yet.  It's a constant learning process.

One day and one fall, that's fantastic.  Skiing is not an easy sport to get good at, so just keep doing it.   Don't dwell on the negative, dwell on the joy you obviously felt doing it, there will be many more moments of ecstasy and many moments of frustration - but as you already know - IT'S WORTH IT 

And welcome to epic!
post #4 of 28
We all have been there and struggled.  Mid-life ladies or 20'ish jocks ... given the choice I take teaching the gals any day.  Skiing is not muscle and the guys blow it for the most part so hang in there.  Skiing is subtle edge and pressure.

Ah!  My first day I managed to "master" a huge, sweeping turn to the left and the next day when the glow wore off it hit me I never turned right.  Sooooooo I had to go back and "master" the right turn a few days later of course.

The difference .... I think it has something to do with the inner ear and that is from an old Air Force study but don't focus on that since it may be a few things.  My trick to get over the bias or "weak side" was to try to start every run with a turn to the weak side.

The secret to success is ... ski more, put the miles in on the snow ... and have an open mind having fun and enjoying the view.  Do not forget to stop and pause and just love what you see.
post #5 of 28
Hi Annie and Welcome to EpicSki!!

For me, learning to ski is about chasing the "Ah Ha!" moment.  The mechanics of skiing are quite complex and often seem counter-intuitive.  There are days when you'll be trying to follow your instructor's directions and you'll swear you're doing everything just the way he's explained but it's just not working .... Then suddenly your knee will bend just so, and the ski will tip up just enough and the edge will grab and you'll feel the ski pulling you into the turn and "Ah Ha! ... so that's what it feels like!!" 

Skiing is a life long series of "Ah Ha!" moments.  Even for those of us who been at it for years, there's always something new to learn or experience.  There are good days and bad days, we all get frustrated when we hit a plateau, but we know that somewhere ahead of us is the next "Ah Ha!" that let's us break through to the next level in our skiing.

It sounds to me like you've already had your first "Ah Ha!" moment ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegirl View Post

[...] Even though I spent the afternoon on the buny hill with an instructor I still feel like I skied and can't wait to do it again. [...]

[...] Well, I showed up...and I can't wait to go again.  [...]

... Just the fact that you can't wait to do it again is proof that your inner skier is trying to get out :)

As the others have said, relax and enjoy the experience. Embrace the little "Ah Ha!" moments that happen every day on the slope and trust that just up ahead is one of those big "Ah Ha!" moments that will leave a big grin of accomplishment and satisfaction on your face.

OES

(For what it's worth, I learned to ski when I was 30 and managed to be the only one in my beginner's class to be "held back" because I couldn't master the wedge turn.  That's well behind me now, but it took some time before that critical "Ah Ha!" moment.  Twenty years have gone by since and I still find skiing as thrilling, satisfying, challenging and sometimes frustrating as it was when I began and I wouldn't have it any other way.)
post #6 of 28
Welcome to this great sport! I skied the 1st time 6 years ago at age 43 and have loved every minute I've spent on snow. If you ski on a pretty regular basis and get some solid instruction, you will be amazed at how fast you will progress.

Also, stay in tune here and you will get a ton of good info from the folks that post here. We're a diverse group so you will get differing opinions from time to time but that's part of the exploration. I think most of us will agree though, that the better skier you become the more you will enjoy the sport.
post #7 of 28
Welcome!  How far up the mountain you go is not nearly as important as how far up the corners of the mouth goes in the smile.

Skiing is a lifetime sport like golf or tennis. It is really hard to compare your abilities to anybody even yourself from day to day.  Enjoy the wonders of learning for as long as you ski. 

If you can pull it off, a lesson program or preferably a ski week with lessons is a great way to get a jump start at this sport.  Concentrating the immersion is for many the best way to learn.

A favor to us.  As you go, keep posting your experiences.  Being able to re-experience the wonders of first learning, even vicariously, would really be a treat.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegirl View Post

I am 47 yrs old and had my first ski lesson yesterday.  I never left the bunny hill because I struggled with right turns (could turn left).  I fell only once which made me feel pretty good!  Even though I spent the afternoon on the buny hill with an instructor I still feel like I skied and can't wait to do it again.
Welcome to Epic and to the challenging, rewarding and healthy life style of skiing and learning to ski. Before you go too much further in your skiing pursuits take the time to have your boots checked by a competent boot fitter. Your boots are the most important part of your skiing investment and they should be fitted and aligned in order to give you a solid platform on which to learn. Your problem with the "right turns" could be due to your boot fit and would continue to cause you problems, interfering with your learning process. This can create compensatory movements which will be difficult to unlearn later. 
Keep up the zeal, it keeps getting better and better as you advance your skills.
post #9 of 28
Hi Annie,
I started in Feb 08, 5 months before I turned 46, following my little boy. Yes, I have invested my hard-earned savings in lessons and have a long way to go but what a ride, as my boy told me when he was barely 6, "Dad, Skiing is good for your soul". Note in terms of mileage, I have put on skis as skiiers count it a lot more than most in that period, its a religion thing now...when on the slopes, especially with my boy, the world is forgotten and the pristine earth and my son and friends and all that is good about our planet resonates and the only stress, which should not be underestimated is my own lack of ability, its the relentless pursuit of perfection and this is one which is pretty exhilararing on the road to the holy grail.
This the life,if I could do it all the time..Note, the somewhat inept, often stiff and robotic figure behind the lithe 5, 6, and now 6.8 year old over the 1.8 year period is his old man..enjoy

Technical note: Another person hit the nail on the head, the boots are key. At Alta, finally, the instructor Tom C took a very close look because I really have had trouble with left turn, never could ski in the famous "wedge", and on flats gliding i would be on my outside edges which is downright dangerous, i know, i have taken full-flight somersaults on flats because skis hooked and i was on outside edge! and we made adjustments on footbed, shims to increase upper cuff adjustment since I am pretty bow-legged, and its much better but still need adjustment but for now this will do since I do not wish to alter my boots and cants in bindings only possible on own skis which sit in upstate new york.

Here is a progression sequence:
1. Sunshine village Alberta, late end of April 08

2. Lech-Zurs, Austria, 2nd week, April 09

3. Alta, Utah Jan 3, 2010

Edited by dustyfog - 1/12/10 at 8:06am
post #10 of 28
 Awesome videos df!  Thanks for sharing them.
post #11 of 28
Love the videos's! Made me smile thinking about my little guy learning to ski... good times for sure. It's all about the memories and the time spent together.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone!  You are an amazing source of encouragement!
I managed to be successful in the right turn today, my 2nd day.  It's amazing, just giving myself a break made doing it so much easier.
Quote:
 
Before you go too much further in your skiing pursuits take the time to have your boots checked by a competent boot fitter
 

I learned that today also...And I was held back again at the wedge :-(   An instructor did come to check my boots.  I had asked for a wider calf boot when I went to rentals.  It turns out I was given a child's boot (I have a very small foot size 5.5).  I think it must have been too wide and too short.  My heal was actually lifting half way out of the back of my boot.  At the end of the day I had a blister on the side of my heal (I think from it rubbing up and down) and my big toes, under my nails were blue...I guess I learned that lesson the hard way. 

I am sure that my problem with the wedge was due to more than just the boots and I did leave a little discourage.  I was hoping to nail that today :-(   But, I refuse to give up.  I wish I could stay for a whole week as you recommend but right now it's not possible.  I hope that in a couple weeks when I am able to go back that I don't loose the little progress that I've made...I truly am hooked and very determined to some day say that I can ski :-)

Again, thanks everyone for your replies.  I love your sport and want to make it mine!!!
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
I totally loved watching the little guy ski.  He's a Rock Star!!!  He makes it look so easy...and of course fun
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegirl View Post

Thank you everyone!  You are an amazing source of encouragement!
I managed to be successful in the right turn today, my 2nd day.  It's amazing, just giving myself a break made doing it so much easier.
...
An instructor did come to check my boots.  I had asked for a wider calf boot when I went to rentals.  It turns out I was given a child's boot (I have a very small foot size 5.5).  I think it must have been too wide and too short...


Great that you're so stoked about skiing!
and really, every phase of becoming one has its surprises and joys. Being anxious to improve is always there, at every level; but especially as a beginner and novice. Enjoy that thrill of doing something new.
Skiing being a touchy-feely thing, being especially aware of how your body works (or doesn't) goes a long way to helping you figure out things.
And 'visualization' (where, in your mind's eye, you 'see' and 'feel' yourself doing what your instructor is asking you to do) is a very good way to prepare yourself for accomplishing what you wish to do in your skiing.
Try, some time before getting on the hill, to run a mental video of you doing what you're being asked to do by the instructor. I like to do 'visualization' in the morning, during some quiet time, before making any efforts to 'hitting the hill'. It goes a long way towards allowing me to start the day skiing and focusing on key things which help me get into good technique from the 1st run on, for the whole day.
Incredibly, your imagining of doing your ski instructional lessons properly/well translates directly to and helps your actual skiing experience.
There are many references and books about 'visualization' and I do believe there's a thread on Epic about it also.
Don't forget to breathe.   It common for one to 'hold' our breath when ingrossed in a particularly diffcult or knarly thang.
I'm stoked to keep reading how your progress goes, both in ski technique and more importantly your appreciation of the experience.
Try not to get discouraged (we all do at times), just consider what you don't quite accomplish today will be another challenge for tomorrow.
Don't forget to stop, breathe and look around. The winter landscape is a wonderful place.
EDIT
Boots, really, really, really important thing.
If you have to rent, then take time in selection to get the 'best' (comfortable but very snug all around) fit possible.
Before buying anything, get good boots (course other things are really important also, like for me, gloves...), try on as many as possible. And when you think you've found the 'Best' boot, keep trying on more boots (in as many shops as possible). If something is 'claimed/explained and it doesn;t make sense to you, ask for a better explanation. Use the 'Boot Guys' forum resource here at EPIC, they're good.
The more your try, the more you learn, the better your 1st pair will be, for you.
Edited by moreoutdoor - 1/12/10 at 1:54pm
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Keep writing because I am reading!  In fact, I can't get enough.    Thanks for the info  about keep trying boots.  I am planning on finding a ski shop in my area and just trying boots on over the next few months. 
I wish I could tell you that I will be out there again on the weekend but it's not possible.  Two weeks grrr before I can attempt the hardest thing I've ever done...It's gonna be a long two weeks

Besides visualization...will soaking up videos and these forums help me at all?  It's all I am doing right now LOL

Thanks again!
post #16 of 28
 You could do balance exercises at home.   Balance is the most basic and important skill in skiing.
post #17 of 28
I learned to Ski in a classroom at University of Florida. Yes, you heard that right Florida, where I grew up. We studied film/video and worked on fitness balance skills for the whole semester. Our final exam was in the Lab...WinterPark Co. 5 days of half day group lessons and free skiing each day. I had a tough time explaining the "Lab" fee to dear ol' Dad but he finaly got it. Awsome memories.. I also took Scuba Diving... but thats another forum.
post #18 of 28
Careful about watching too many ski videos, it can make the itch worse.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegirl View Post
...
I wish I could tell you that I will be out there again on the weekend but it's not possible.  Two weeks grrr before I can attempt the hardest thing I've ever done...It's gonna be a long two weeks
...will soaking up videos and these forums help me at all?  It's all I am doing right now LOL
Thanks again!

Close Repetition is real important to develop the muscle/motor/nerve memory which allows the body to develop to that point where the things you learn become 2nd nature. Gaps of a few weeks make that harder. Following one day after another is not necessary, but a gap of a day or 2 is great for really embedding what you learn.
Videos - most of the movie video out there is really mostly about 'Stoke' and the impossible made possible. Great to keep your stoke goin but hardly any worth in relaying good ski technique you can visualize - might even be bad for that.
I would suggest going to your ski school and see if the have 'video' recommendations to support their teaching program. Prolly some money involved here, for 'rent' or purchase. But these might be good for anyone who can translate, even partially, what they 'see' to what they 'do'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 You could do balance exercises at home.   Balance is the most basic and important skill in skiing.
 

There are soooo many facets to skiin that its hard to point to 'ONE THING'. But If you had to, I'd agree with Ski MangoJazz. Its a very fair statement.
Anything you can do to become more balance aware helps in everything, especially skiin.
For static balance type exercises its hard to beat the variety of balance exercises/poses available in Hatha Yoga - highly recommend doing many of these, as often as possible.

Anniegirl - we'll be stoked Together!
I'm a re-entry skier after 10 yrs off (skiin since 1965) an olde pharte, and just back in the game.
Just got back from 3 days at Mammoth and some prior days locally during the christmas holiday.
muscle/motor/nerve memory is a wonderful thing. I'm over the moon on how its all coming back.

We'll just have to be totally stoked, together
post #20 of 28
Anniegirl.   Welcome to Epic and Welcome to Skiing and a recreational lifetime in which you will make some lifelong friends.

Can't really add too much to what has already been said but go to the Beginners forum and go back through All the pages and read some really good tips and ideas for where you are in skiing.

Don't worry about being on the Beginner Hill - we were all there once. the really unique thing about skiing is that a beginner or any level of skiing can have just as much fun as an expert - It is all a matter of your perspective and it is fun no matter where you are on the hill.  No matter how good you are theres always someone better and no matter how new you are theres always someone newer.  You have one day under your skis you are NO longer a First Timer. Congratulations and have a great winter.
post #21 of 28
I tend to be a ski-lietist, who scornfully looks down on those with less capability (a terrible character flaw I'm sure), but I was actually touched by your enthusiasm Anniegirl. May you find the skill progression and confidence to eventually find yourself flying down the mountainsides like a Peregrine diving for its prey.

Once the fear of falling becomes the thrill of charging with gravity, the smile widens beyond previously believed possibility.
post #22 of 28
Anniegirl, yeah!

47 ain't too young to start, i'm nearly there and need to still learn.  i still remember 9 yrs ago my wife calling me a work saying we were going to do a ski trip every yr for a week due to her Norwegian blood (1/8).  Having little natural balance, i took 5 days of lessons and still recall the fear of the bunny.

can't thank her more now, took more lessons every trip and will do so this yr, i know i can use it.  Boots i'd agree are a primary item for skill and comfort. 

never really cared that i'm not great, the ability to get around comfortably and enjoy the outdoors is reason enough for me, especially with my kids, who have natural skills. 

having a good coach and/or someone to follow helped me a lot.  Instructor, friend, in-law all made for excellent tracks to follow and forget finding a line until i was ready.  Wii balance board ... ; )

keep an update on your return to the hill!  have a blast!
post #23 of 28
 This is why I ski, TR from Alta here...
www.epicski.com/forum/thread/90667/alta-through-the-eyes-of-a-6-year-old-jan-2010
He told me "skiing is good for my soul" and was he right! 
post #24 of 28

Anniegirl,

It's nice to hear that you had a good experience with your first lesson.  My wife has never skiied or snowboarded but I'd like her to get lessons (I'm your age, but I've been skiing since I was a child before snowboarding was invented).  I'm curious to know why you chose to get skiing lessons versus snowboarding.  She may be put off by the constant falling of snowboarding but may find it easier to master eventually than skiing.

post #25 of 28
 Congratulations, AnnieGirl!  Everyone has said truth here for you--but I'll add my two cents!
Remember that we ALL are struggling with much of the same things you are--it may be a steep with a line we haven't run before; it may be a mistake we make as we ski that causes us to fall or to wobble; it may be all kinds of things.  Know that when each one of us sees a person struggling, they are struggling along with you--and that we don't see "beginner," we see "fellow skier"!
post #26 of 28
Hey Annie..........

I've just returned to skiing this winter after a 18 year break, and I am loving it. It's the old adage, find something you like and do it as much as you can! 

My wife who is 42 had her first lesson 2 weeks ago, and my kids, 9 and 7 have taken to it in a big way and are criticizing me for not taking them sooner. Last Sunday we all went up our first chair lift together. We had a fantastic afternoon........

 
post #27 of 28
quick tip for the blisters if you keep getting them, figure out the problem spots on your foot where blisters keep appearing after skiing, the next time you go skiing try putting a large patch of mole skin on them, if you cannot find mole skin or new skin use duct tape, sure duct tape sounds a bit hick but ive used it every day ive been skiing for the last two years
post #28 of 28
This is a great sight to get information from for skiing.
There are lots of things to learn here, and lots of great people to give the info.

And just keep at it, you'll get there.
I have a hard time turning while going slow sometimes as well. Just all part of the game.

Like playing basketball.

i can out rebound and out run everyone, but i cannot shoot anything more than a layup or a free throw.

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