About age 10 or so I wanted to take up skiing having watched so much of it on TV.
To dissuade me from this expensive sport my parents bought a pair of ... well: things. Dunno what they were called but these were flat metal 'plates' about 14 inches long, 8 inches wide with turned up fronts. The "edges" were rolled up and over to be round. Street shoes were lashed loosely to the tops with shoelace-like bands. They told me these would be "Just like skis" and further told me I had to master these things before they'd let me go skiing for real.
Of course with rounded-over edges, short length and very loose laces to hold me on there was no control of any kind. Trying to learn their use on the 20-degree pathway down from the barn I failed miserably to make it more than 15 or 20 feet before painful crashes into 3 inches of snow over the crushed-rock pathway. Naturally I gave up when the sharp rocks finally wore through my cotton work gloves. Figured I'd be terrible at 'skiing' and quit asking - just as my parents had hoped.
Years later during my sophomore year in high school some cousins found out I had a car to drive and wanted me to drive them up skiing. By that time I'd figured out my parent's little scam so I agreed, but only if they would help me get started with renting gear and "teach me to ski".
So, with Bluejeans over long underwear and cotton work gloves I took my first real shot at skiing. They showed me "The Snowplow Wedge" on a Green run for maybe 30 minutes then insisted I should take another chair up to a Blue run. My cousins had taken many past lessons and knew how to ski so they were wanting to ski rather than help me any further and they bailed about a third of the way down. This was about an hour or so after first putting on the skis. Abandoning me they said, "Don't worry, you'll figure it out eventually...".
Now struggling on my own over the next 500 feet I began thinking ahead to the drive back - without my cousins... when an underclassman from my high school recognized me and came over. Though I didn't really know him he helped me with actual instructions on what to do and how to do it. This got me down the Blue run and back over to the Green run where he then skied with me the rest of the day. I left many trails and divots of Blue Dye that day.
While I've never went skiing with those two cousins again I did go skiing many times in the late '70s with the fellow who'd bailed me out. My fifth time on skis he took me to a place called "Alpental" where he insisted on showing me "The Top". It was a great view (as he'd said it would be) but he'd kinda lied about there being an Easy Way Down. We took the International Run down and I was forced to learn very committed Hop Turns. What kept me going all that run was trying to catch him - so I could kill him.
We skipped school many times to hit the slopes and most of my 'learning' was really just throwing myself downslope a little better each time I tried. Feedback was simply success or failure. Back then I reached what I now consider the Aggressive Intermediate Parallel level on Black and Double-Black slopes, though if you'd asked me then I'd have said 'Advanced'. I also liked bumps (a lot) very early on as I was young and therefore happy with anything rough and tumble.
Still, I gave up skiing entirely around 1986 as it seemed so expensive and I had other things to do. I'd only been skiing 3 or 4 times since '86 until I took it up again as an accidental ski Instructor in the winter of 2001. Due initially to instructor clinics and then later to self-investigation (including time spend here on EpicSki) I finally learned how to ski reasonably well replacing my 'athleticism' with actual skills at the sport.
Sure wish I'd had ski lessons as a kid though. I'd have owned that World Cup!