Written by: Amber’Jade Friend, Au Pair Participant

For you today, dear reader, I have got two very necessary quotes. The first one is Anonymous, “Skiing is a dance and the mountain always leads.”

I remember once, there was a movie about a disabled boy who wanted nothing more in life other than to learn how to ski. Of course, as sappy movies go, he learned and then went off to the Olympics, taking the gold medal home.

When I think of this movie it inspires me but it always left me asking one question. Can skiing really be that simple?

This past weekend I went on a family trip with my host family and her friends to the skiing resort that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at. (Yes, I just had to add that in :))

Now, before I start my tales of adventure I just want to say that Skiing equipment is almost impossible to walk in. (People in the movies make it look so easy!)

Now to answer the question I previously asked myself. Skiing is not simple, it is not like walking, skating or rollerblading. Instead, skiing is like dancing on the side of a mountain. (Thank you anonymous quotee)

The importance is in balance and movement. Once you have nailed the balance its all about how you move on the snow.

Its no longer you on snow, it becomes you and the snow. If you make a wrong move, the dance is over and you are on your arse. However, if you follow the motion of the mountain, if you let it lead you and you trust it, it is almost like flying.

But dear reader, no matter how free you feel on those small slopes, do not push yourself and think you’re ready to take on the monsters. Because chances are, it won’t end well.

Which brings me to my second quote: (By Picture Quotes.) “Skiing is the only sport that you pay an arm and a leg to break an arm and a leg.”

Bringing this quote into relevance I am going to explain to you how my child managed to bribe me into going down the monster slope on my second day of learning how to ski.

It started off with her promising that it would be fun, easy and I wouldn’t fall and break something. It ended with me making it down to the bottom, eventually.

Know you’re probably wondering, “Well, what was she going on about? She made it down.” Well, dear reader, for the first 100m of the slope I clung to the barriers and edged my way down the slope until three, yes three, marshals had to help me get down.

One in front of me, to stop me, and two on either side. It won’t come to you as a surprise when I say that I went straight back to the smaller slopes and stayed there!

In the car on the way back home, my kid asked me what my favorite part of the trip was. That got me thinking, was it almost dying but challenging and conquering the giant slope?

Was it skiing at the Winter Olympics resort? Was it learning a new sport?

Honestly, though, it was none of the above. Much to her surprise, my favorite part of the trip was playing in the snow. (I know right.)

You see, being from Cape Town, we don’t get snow so it was my first time ever being able to play in snow let alone seeing it up close. For me, it was a dream.

Amber’Jade Friend, a South African Au Pair from Au Pair China Programme, is placed in Beijing for 6 months.

To find out more about Au Pair China Program, please click ‘Au Pair China Program‘.

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