I said no to this trip; sat at home in England, thinking about the risk, it seemed as though it would be greater than the reward.
Why would a nearly-thirty-year-old – who has never skied and has a layering system for mild UK spring conditions – want to relocate 5,000 miles overseas to minus 20 temperatures in Canada?
I moved to Fernie after months of persuasive tactics from my boyfriend who is working as a ski instructor for the season.
My partner – who is irritatingly great at everything he puts his mind to – has skied most years since he was a teenager while I have only ever made a snowman.
So, with the comfort of my expertise in mind, we both left our long term jobs and jumped in right at the deep end.
Myself, facing icy conditions and double ejections while my boyfriend ponders for hours – sometimes days – over which touring bindings he wants to buy next.
All of the above are equally as painful as another to experience as a novice. And, so is putting on your new ski boots for the first time.
With my discounted helmet, skis and goggles in tow, I headed out for my first lesson on opening weekend at Fernie Alpine Resort, slowly tackling the beginners slope, The Mighty Moose, on my bottom.
What a humbling experience, I thought. It’s not often in life, especially at 29 years old, you’re just as good, if not more wobbly, than a one-year-old at something.
It really hit home then how much there is to learn and it can’t all be learned overnight, despite wanting to, which is hard for someone who identifies often as a ‘Know It All’.
Now, six weeks on and bruises aside, the experience of learning to ski at a Resorts of the Canadian Rockies’ hill is more fun than I could have imagined.
Progressing onto blue slopes, slowly but surely, and sharing my highs and lows with the lift ops staff who have watched me move on from a button lift has been so encouraging.
There is a very friendly cheerleader atmosphere on the hill, which I rarely experience elsewhere, with staff, skiers and boarders alike wanting the best for each other.
I overheard one skier say the other day he had the “best time of his life” after the 40cm dump on January 6.
It begs the question: who wouldn’t want to be around people living their best lives?
It’s clear the audacity I had travelling to Canada and thinking it was all going to be easy is rather funny.
My advice to anyone who hasn’t skied would be to put your ego and frustrations aside and keep getting up, despite the conditions.
Though, to some onlookers, putting my frustrations aside might have looked like throwing my poles in the air and laying on the ground. A talent I do exclusively share with one year olds.
If toddlers and people in their later lives can ski, then so can I, and so can you. It’s never too late to try.
Two things are for certain, though; legend – or the ‘lifty’s’ have it – that snow is always on its way, even if it’s not.
And, taking lessons from a loved one – despite being together for a decade – is never, ever advised.
Information about the Fernie Winter Sports School.