Indian Grandmother Skier
Sometimes I meet the most interesting people as part of my ski teaching during the winter. This week was a good example when I was called to teach a private one on one ski lesson at the Learning Centre of Glen Eden Ski Resort in Milton, Ontario. This is where the beginner skiers learn the basics of skiing on the easy ‘bunny’ hills.
I never know who the student is until I meet that person at the designated lesson time. In this case, I didn’t know if the student is an adult or child, male or female. I just knew the name was Naheed from what the supervisor had as far as advance information goes.
It turns out that Naheed is an adult lady who was already walking up the bunny slope a bit to try sliding down. It turns out that she has been on skis before nine years ago but haven’t been on since. She told me that she is now a grandmother and wants to relearn how to ski so that she can be on the ski slopes with her grandkids in the future. Talk about a great incentive to learn!
Another interesting thing about Naheed is that she is of east Indian background. First of all, most folks her age will usually not be taking ski lessons and this is especially true with ethnic grandparents. Although we are starting to see some diversity on the ski slopes, it’s usually the younger generation that is trying out skiing so seeing Naheed out there is really impressive in my eyes.
After reviewing the basics of stopping and turning with Naheed, I told her that she was ready to tackle the bigger chairlift accessed slopes for her next ski lesson if she were to continue learning. It turns out that she immediately booked another private lesson with me the next day to get introduced to the chairlift slopes.
We had an intensive hour the next day on the bigger slopes and by the end of that lesson, Naheed was able to slowly ski down the blue intermediate slopes with decent control. Needless to say, she was quite happy with a huge smile when I told her to look back up that big slope she just went down.
In fact, she was so gung ho about her skiing that she went out to try out brand new skis. I even convinced her to go out and buy a helmet next time in order to be safe and also serve as a good example for her grandkids.
So this was a very interesting and rewarding ski teaching experience for me as a ski instructor. Naheed most certainly blew away the typical stereotype that many of us would have of Indian and other ethnic grandmothers!