If You Want More Adventure In Your Life
Some people look at photos and videos of my scuba diving or snow skiing trips and decide that they too would like to try one of these adventure sports. This is all great in my opinion since as an avid skier and scuba diver, I already know the great benefits plus enjoyment you can get from these two activities.
The one big dose of reality to realize however, is that both of these particular sports as well as many other such adventure activities, do require learning some new skills. To learn the required new skills and to further develop them to a level of competency where you can actually do them fairly well require time. It’s not just a matter of being in good physical shape since these sports involve brand new skills.
Let’s take a further realistic look at the time commitment required for these mentioned activities over two back to back blog articles.
Time Required To Learn To Ski
Many people try to ski on their own and results are usually disaster stories. This is not surprising since skiing involves learning new skills that are not natural. One just cannot learn these unnatural skills well on his or her own.
So the ski industry in recent years has developed a special introductory program called Discover Skiing which is designed for those who have never skied before or tried once or twice before with poor results. Many ski resorts now have some sort of Discover Skiing program but they usually last for only about an hour. My Discover Skiing program is two hours long with a maximum of six participants.
My program in particular has a great track record of helping adults get started with skiing the proper way and under supervision to maximize safety. Many of my own current Intermediate level ski students started skiing with me through taking Discover Skiing.
The time commitment for Discover Skiing is pretty well much of an entire day since in addition to the two hour session, there is travel time to and from the ski resort, time in the rentals department and additional time to try out the skills you learned during the session. Then of course there’s also the lunch and social apres ski time at the end of the ski day to share stories with each other.
If participants pass Discover Skiing the first time around (5 out of 6 will pass while 1 will require additional sessions), they are eligible to attend my Beginner level ski class for next ski day. Subsequent ski days are usually full day commitments as well and if you are not a morning person, that’s going to be rough because skiing usually involves early days since the best snow is generally in the mornings.
In order to complete Beginner level and get into Intermediate level which focuses on blue and black (steeper) slopes, it usually takes much of an entire ski season if a ski student comes out skiing on a fairly regular basis. This means a ski student should ski with lessons at least every other week throughout the winter.
If a Beginner skier comes out only 2-3 times all winter, it is unlikely that this person will make it to Intermediate level. History has shown this to be true as those who make it into Intermediate attended several Beginner classes during the ski season while those who came out less, usually get stuck in the Beginner level even the following season.
In skiing, the progress becomes more gradual as the ski levels increase. We can get many keen ski students to pass Discover Skiing and into Beginner level within a single day. After several ski classes in Beginner, it is very possible to make it into Intermediate level by late season since the momentum in improving skills will be there.
But once in Intermediate level, that’s when things slow down. The technique improvements come slower and require much more time on the slopes to perfect. In fact, 85% of recreational skiers will never make it into the Advanced level. They are known as ‘Perpetual Intermediates’. But that in itself is not a bad thing.
As an Intermediate level skier, you can still enjoy about 60-70% of the slopes at any ski resort while as a Beginner, you can ski about 15-20%. I always tell my Intermediate ski students that if they want to make it into the Advanced level, they need to put in at least 12-15 solid ski days per season in order to get any significant improvements in their skiing. But don’t let this deter you in skiing because as I mentioned, Intermediate skiers can already enjoy skiing much of any ski resort and therefore add ski travel as an exciting new adventure.
So if you want to add skiing into your life, you will definitely have to start planning ahead and allocate full ski days to your schedule. Our ski days are run only on certain days. If you already have other things going on during those days, you will either have to reschedule them or try and find another ski program that runs on your available free days.
Many people who did not plan ahead for the ski season, lose opportunities to learn simply because the winter flew by so quickly. Winters are relatively short here in Ontario which impacts our ski season. If one does not plan ahead and make the commitments for full ski days, then it is very easy to lose that entire season completely. You will then have to wait for another year before the opportunities come again.
If you want more adventure in your winters through skiing, get ready to make time commitments. Try to reschedule some of the usual things you normally do to other days or even after the ski season if you can. Remember that our winters are only a few months in duration so it’s not a long ski season we have here.
In my case, I decrease my martial arts and swimming workouts significantly during the ski season just to free up ski days. To me, that is more than okay since I have nine months of the year to do my other activities.
It will be harder especially if none of your friends nor relatives ski but if you take the initiative and make the time commitment to learn how to ski properly, you will end up experiencing (and seeing) the beautiful snowy mountains in ways that most people in this world will never do.
So if you want to ski next winter, I strongly suggest that you start planning ahead during late fall before the ski season starts in December. I’ll discuss the time commitment required for scuba diving in the next blog post.