After coming to Seoul, I did couple of things for the first time in my life. As painful (physically) it was in the beginning, but once these were overcame, the bitter experiences turned much more exhilarating than my wildest expectations.. Both the things I am about to describe here are winter sports..
The first sport I did was in December when our lab went for our Membership Training between 19th – 21st December 2007. We started off our journey to High One Ski Resort (Arguably one of the best ski resorts in Korea with respect to the quality of snow, which is really important for skiers on account of safety and control). After a 5 hour drive, we reached our destination. We had plans to ski for 4 sessions (19th night, 20th Morning, Noon and Night). Since I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA about skiing or any of the snow sports for that matter. After renting the snow gear (with all sorts of protection imaginable) we set off to the gondola from our condominium. If i remember right, there were roughly 20 odd slopes with different levels of expertise marked on them. Obviously I wanted to go to the beginner level and try my luck with skiing.
The most difficult part in skiing is to get up once you fall down. Its as difficult as its important. Neways.. coming to the part of my skiing experience, my friend Youngwoo (a classic skier nicknamed “speedstar”) spent a lot of time with Caihwa, Maria and Me as we were amateurs at skiing. Thanks to his patience and effort, we learned the basics of skiing, on how to stop (VERY IMPORTANT lest you wanna hit the barrier and RISK falling off the edge 🙂 ..), how to control your legs from splitting all the way etc etc. After this introduction from Youngwoo, I was ready to get-set-and-go on my FIRST skiing attempt. It all started smooth. I did not fall initially, but my run lasted just for 10-15 Seconds 🙂 .. Suddenly I lost control and WHAM!! There i was .. On my ass with the ski detached from my leg due to the force with which i fell down. 🙂 ..
Got up, assured my self that it happens to everyone 😉 , hiding my face to children who were not more than 7-8 years of age skiing like experts where I had fallen down :), I tried skiing again. My next venture did not even last another 10 seconds.. I found myself on my facing the sky.. AGAIN.. This vicious circle continued atleast a million times and if someone could break his ASS, I guess I was the first person in the world to achieve that “painful honor”. There were instances where I even skied “PERFECTLY” (sarcasm intended, if you did not notice) 😛 but the catch is that i did not do it the way I should actually have.. (I fell down on my back and skied my longest run using my back that day, at the cost of some sleepless hours at night due to the harsh body pain.. 🙂 ).
That night really made me feel “I HATE SNOW SPORTS” though i secretly admired those kids who did not even cross 8 years skiing like pros. I guess it was more like the wolf who said the grapes were sore as he could not eat it. An it cant be anymore right..
Next day I decided to try my luck at another beginner’s slope which posed less of a threat to my body (or as I thought). The day before, there were many instances where I felt so disappointed about my skiing skills, but all my friends kept on telling me, don’t loose heart kiran, its natural and once you get over this, you will enjoy it. And guess what.. On the second day .. I LOVED IT!!
Seriously.. Even though i did fall down many times the second day too, I could control my motion much more effectively than yesterday. The wind blowing against my face erased all my pains from the body.. LITERALLY… What a feeling it was.. Able to go some distance without falling down and literally zooming (with respect to my attempts, the day before).
You know.. There is NO FEELING in this world that i have experienced, compared to the one I felt when I was able to ski. The smooth surface of fresh snow, the lack of friction between the ski and the ground and the feeling of chilling breeze kissing your face combined does get you high. And I mean it.. a HIGH… I strongly suggest, if you get a chance to ski, don’t miss it for the world. It felt so nice, you were going as fast as you ever can travel without the assistance of any sort of motors. If you think driving a bike/car at high speed feels great, I suggest you to try a safer way to go fast.. ski.. though it cant compete with the speeds of the motor vehicles, you will be pleasantly surprised and exhilarated for sure.
My first skiing experience lasted 5 hours on 1st day and 12 hours on the second day. The only regret i had when i left the slope for going home on the third day, even after an exhausting 2nd day (skiing for 12 hours) and painful body muscles was that “If only I could get more time to ski” .. I loved it that much and so would you, if you are ever ready to try..
I am grateful to you Youngwoo, for all the hours you spent with me trying to help me learn skiing, and not losing patience even though i kept on making mistakes in the techniques again and again. Glad to be your friend. 🙂
Some tips for any beginners like me, who has plans to ski.
** When you ski, you need to keep your ski in the shape of an A where the pointed end is towards downhill
** Wear good protection for your waist and butt
** Have some muscle pain easers with you. Would be helpful in the night after your first attempts
** Most importantly dont lose heart. If you could master a li’l of the skill, you will love it.
I guess this post is already big and hence I will continue the second experience in the next one.