Just for anyone else who learned to ski at Perisher Ski School in the 70s, the snow this week is so good that Pepe has turned up to ski for the first time in 15 years, and Hermie was out there yesterday as well.

Kristian, who so many of us had a crush on back around ’75, is still teaching and now a grandfather. The march of time is kinder to some of us than others (I’m certainly not as streamlined as I once was).

I wrote in a recent comment what the attraction of skiiing is for me. It’s the intense physicality, the concentration on minute muscular and joint position changes that spell the difference between controlling the skis and not. It’s a great antidote to over-intellectualisation. The basic principles of skiing are quite simple, it’s whether you can effectively concentrate just on the landscape and your body alignment that determines how well you can master the sport.

Obviously, the stronger and more flexible your body the better you can control it as you hurtle down a mountain. Mine could improve in those departments, definitely. I’m just lucky I learnt good technique at an early age (thank you Pepe, Hermie and Kristian) so that I can keep myself out of trouble without being superfit. I also keep my flexibility training up, even though I don’t do formal yoga or anything. I just don’t go as fast as I used to 25 and 30 years ago.

Still, like nearly all the other fatties on the mountain, I do better than all but the superfit and permanent seasonal residents. It’s fun to see how much that surprises people.

I’ll try and take a nice sunlit shot of the lodge’s icicle connection and post it sometime over the next few days. It’s very impressive.

Categories: arts & entertainment

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2 replies

  1. I wonder if it’s partly because size is correlated with strength? I know I’ve often surprised people – lifting TVs, my half of a fridge, that sort of thing. (Though I’ve also done a fair bit of weight training back in the day, which pushed my weight up significantly – I was in the “obese” BMI range back when I was in judo training, swimming a km or more a day, and measuring above the 95% centile in aerobic fitness.)

  2. Your reasons for liking skiing are the same reasons I love dance. Ballroom, modern/contemporary, jazz: you name it, I dance it.

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