First Ski Lesson

When I attended seventh grade at Reynolds Middle School, I had a chemistry teacher who loved skiing. His name was Mr. Ostroff. Each day before class, Mr. Ostroff would talk about skiing for five minutes or so. He organized annual sky trip for students. Since many of us city kids were poor and would not have the opportunity to try this winter sport, he encouraged us to do fundraising to pay for the trip. Although I never signed up for any of the ski trip, I always remember his enthusiasm for this sport. I thought I would never want to try skiing.

Last year during the winter holidays, my wife decided to let the kids try out skiing. She signed them up for a beginner lesson. She encouraged me to take lesson as well, but I hesitated to drop almost $200 for an hour of skiing lesson. The kids loved it. They wanted to signed up for another lesson the next day. They now can ski very well.

Yesterday, we took the kids to skiing again and my wife just signed me up for a beginner group lesson. The group consisted of me and another Asian man. The instructor taught us postering, turning, and stopping. I didn’t do too well. Before the lesson ended, he asked if we wanted to try out the beginner slope. The other student refused. He felt he was not ready. I was like, “Sure, why not.” He asked me if I wanted to get on the lift or the magic carpet, I chose the latter. When we got off the carpet, he gave me a few rule of the road and told me to ski slowly. I did not even ski. My skis skied itself. All I heard was, “Make the pizza. Make the pizza.” Thank goodness, I didn’t crash into anyone. As we ended our lesson, he told me to practice some more before going back to the slope. He also recommended another lesson next time. I thanked him for his time.

I continued to practice and practice. As the night fell, the slope got less crowed. I went back on the magic carpet and implemented my turns and stops. After that I took the lift for a longer slope. Then I took another beginner slope with the kids and my sister-in-law’s husband. Then Đạo asked me to join them on a steeper slope. My sister-in-law’s husband told me that one is twice as long as twice as fast. I was like, “Sure, why not.” Holy smoke, I plowed straight down the steep slope, landed head first, rolled down, got up, put my skis back on, and plowed down again. I repeated that process until I got over the steep area. They were so happy to see me made it down. Đạo said he was scared, worried, and about to call the ski patrol if I wouldn’t come down in another two minutes. The instructor did not tell about about side slipping.

It was quite a learning experience. I definitely need more practice before getting back to the steep slope. Skiing is not so bad overall. I can live without it, but I guess I’ll do it for the kids’ sake.

Bonjour Vietnam