If I remember correctly the last time I went skiing was maybe 9th or 10th grade, when I was 14 or 15. That was approximately 8 or 9 years ago. I don't remember being outrageously awful or not being able to do anything without panicking or falling, nor do I remember having to slide down an icy mountain on my butt. So, when I signed up to go skiing in the Alps I thought it was going to be a lot of fun! Woo! However, the reality was a lot more paralyzing.
The morning started out all right. We had arrived with 45 aupairs to our Chalet in Gstadd with only a minor delay. Then we found the perfect room for my friends and I and began to get dressed for a half day of Skiing! We grabbed our gear and started walking to the lift. Some people were able to skiing down the hill at our chalet but no way was I going to try that, I couldn't seem to remember anything from before. I was starting to get nervous about the day and skiing again. I decided to go with my friends (who have been quite often this season) up the mountain. I assumed there would be a bunny hill or somewhere that I could get my "ski legs" again.
Once we reached the top of the mountain I looked down at the steep slopes and suddenly realized that there was indeed no bunny slope. This was indeed the Alps, not exactly meant for beginners. So I decided just to try and see what happened. Well after my first crash and burn I decided there was NO way I would be able to make it down the mountain. Unfortunately, unless I wanted to spend $300 on a rescue sled to come get me that was the only way to get back down. This was the point where I embarrassingly took of my skis and either slid down on my butt or walked down the mountain. There were a few moments when my friends encouraged me to try again but after another wipe out I decided that wasn't the best way to tackle it.
Finally, after 3 hours, 3 crying fits, 1 snowboard sled idea, 2 rounds on my butt, much walking, more crying and shouts of "I really can't do this" I made it to the bottom. Worst. Idea. Ever. After that I felt so bad for holding my friends up I just walked back to the chalet drank a lot of tea and had a good chat with my friend Becky.
Once everyone else came back we started to prepare our cheese fondue dinner, talk, play games and finally go to bed. I fell asleep still feeling like I was falling down the mountain.
The next day I really absolutely didn't want to go again. I was terrified that I would die. literally. I decided to go with the other beginners and Paul who was going to help us out a bit more. I learned that most of them had similar stories from the day before so at least maybe I wouldn't be the only one sliding down on my butt.
We all crammed in the car to drive to an easier slope. I was still freaking out and told myself that I'd only stay until noon if it was awful and find a way back. Once we got there we put on our skis and nervously slid down a small hill to where we could practice. Paul taught us how to turn and stand in the skis. This was a huge improvement already and I nervously practiced all the way down the mountain. Once I got down (without falling) I was so excited that I could actually do it! We all took pictures and headed to the T bar to go back up the slope and do it again.
The rest of the day was spent slowly skiing down the mountain doing turns the whole time and taking breaks at the restaurant. I ended up staying until 4pm and didn't fall the whole day (although there was one point that I was going down backwards and almost fell). I did happen to fall off the T bar once (an upside-down metal T that pulls you up the mountain) but not again on the mountain! I'm so proud that I ended up going again, although I'm not planning on going skiing in Switzerland again. The moment I returned my rental skis was such a relief!
Overall, I'm glad that I went but wouldn't want to do it again. Perhaps in the hills of PA but it's just a little too intense here. I'm perfectly fine accepting that in the things that I am not talented at skiing is listed. The list of things I can do contains things of much better value than that to me.