The Family Skiing Holiday Ski Helmets And A Worried Mum
Oh dear. This is very upsetting. I've just read a piece in a well known UK Sunday newspaper. It's written by a Mum who Hates Skiing, and wonders why mums go to Purgatory and back once a year on the family skiing holiday. There is a picture of her standing on top of a snow capped mountain in the sunshine surrounded by her small children. She is smiling for the camera.
The children look glum in their ski helmets; on reading the article the reason becomes clear - they can't wait to get going, haring straight off down the slope like competitors in the Schilthorn Inferno!.But why is Mum hating every minute of it - she won't take off her own ski helmet as she feels it sets a good example to her children. They are the downhill racers, not her. After all Mum, ski helmets keep your ears warm at over 50 mph and they help you go faster too - more weight and less drag - but don't let me upset you even more. Skiing is incredibly dangerous and a complete pain after all.
It would be better to do what my wife does on our family skiing holiday. She was a pretty good skier; I married her so that I could follow her down the mountain and learn about self control - but I never did. She hung up her boots after getting four children started on the mountain and now belongs to the 'whenever I feel the urge to take excercise I sit down and wait for the urge to pass' school, and I don't blame her.Mum, go back to the chalet and settle down with a vin chaud, a log fire and your friends.
The children will be happier and so will you! If you hate even getting on the plane at Gatwick (most of us do but we're prepared to suffer that), stay at home! Really! I mean it. A family skiing holiday is not for you.Skiing after all is a contact sport (usually with the ground) and involves much physical effort.
In these aspects it compares with soccer and rugby, and if you're not a sporty person it seems daft to take part in them. Watch from the sidelines. Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. But leave the action to the daft people doing their daft thing.
Don't get caught in the Ski Mums Web.In thirty five years of teaching people to ski I have come across dozens of women, who once they have started a family, no longer have the desire to ski, but carry on regardless, hating what they are doing, and frightened of injury to themselves and their children.And on the subject of injuries, let me console you with this - take my word for it and check the ski injury statistics out elsewhere.There is no firm evidence that ski helmets have either reduced fatalities or injuries on the ski slopes. Secondly the percentage of skiers who sustain reportable injuries has hardly changed in 15 years, and it's very low. A 1990 figure from a French medical insurance company covering the French Alps gave 0.
3%, that's 3 people in every 1000 skiers, and a report from Dr Mike Langran, a doctor from Aviemore in Scotland, gives a figure of under 0.5% for 2004/5. I guess this figure is slightly more owing to the presence of surprise heather tufts and skiers wearing kilts instead of ski pants (nasty burns), but this needs checking out.So, dear Mum, you can either despair and carry on with the family skiing holiday, or give in to the welcoming arms of a comfortable chair, a log fire and a vin chaud. Your children wouldn't mind, would you children?..Simon Dewhurst has has been involved in many aspects of the ski business for 35 years, including ski teaching, speed skiing and running chalets in the French Alps. His website http://www.ski-jungle.com/chaletfinder/acf-default.
htm lists chalets available for family ski holidays in France. Ski injury data from Dr Mike Langan.
By: Simon Dewhurst
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