Skiing? Yes! – I need fitness…

Skiing - a great new sport to enjoy and a reason to need fitnessSkiing? Yes! – I need fitness…

It was Christmas time at the end of 2011, and my new wife to be introduced me to skiing. We went on a weeklong skiing holiday in Obergurgl, Austria. I was 48 years old and this was pretty much my first exposure to snow, let alone skiing. I had no idea what to expect, I wasn’t even sure if I’d try skiing or just stay in the chalet all day doing some reading and reading a few books. Well it was a rather big shock for me at first. Everyone in the village was there to ski. All the workers were there to help people ski. I rented the gear and signed up for a lesson on the first day. I still didn’t know what to expect.

Well, the first week was full of lessons (I only had two – one on the first day and one on the last – should have had more) and practice, and it didn’t really go well. I didn’t get off the simple learning slope (even though it was more difficult than the standard learning slope. I was struggling to control a snow-plough stop on the slope and unfortunately I worked on that too much (actually, it wasn’t that important).

The big thing that I realised during this week was that I wasn’t fit! One night during the middle of the week, I basically couldn’t sleep because of pain in one leg and hip. It was deep muscular pain. I was generally very sore just from only about two hours a day practicing on a simple slope. It was clear to me almost immediately that I’d need to get fitter if I wanted to do this skiing thing.

My wife thought I might not want to ever ski again because of the difficulty I had this week, but a couple of things interested me.

Skiing - to be able to enjoy this, I needed fitnessThe first was that I liked the whole “lifestyle” of a ski holiday. Everyone goes to a place all setup for skiing, they wear different clothes, they walk funny because of the ski boots – it really is like going to a different planet. Talk about getting away from everything. And it’s also very social. You meet other people in the chalet, have dinners together, meet up for lunch somewhere on the slopes. It’s all very nice.

On the last day, I took a gondola up to the top of the mountain to go to a restaurant for lunch (I didn’t take skis and rode the gondola back down afterwards). I was amazed to look down from the gondola and see all the people skiing all over the mountain. It was fascinating and I new I had to do that. Also, there’s something fantastic about sitting in a restaurant at the top of the mountain and having lunch. There’s a feeling of being better connected with nature. This day was the clincher for me – I knew then that I had to learn to ski properly and to do that I had to get fitter.

So I believe that this desire to ski was a major source of motivation for me to lose weight and get fitter. I knew I had to do that before, but I never did. Why is it that we need some sort of major motivation to get us to do something? That’s a very interesting question that I’ll explore in future posts..

Here are some of those posts showing some of the early steps to turning my fitness around;

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Hopefully we can learn from each other. Please leave a comment. Thanks.

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