The problem with Sportferien – the Swiss school holiday specifically intended for skiing, and I’m pretty sure the whole reason we have five school terms – is that it comes late in February, after 6-8 weeks of, well, hibernating weather. Even as someone who can find plenty to like about winter, even when I know I’m going to need strong legs for skiing and will regret it if I skive off, even though I like running and know I always feel better after a run… it’s really, really hard to get those running shoes on regularly before about March. This is a problem. This is a really big problem when you’re standing on the top of a slippery white slope wearing ridiculous long planks strapped to your feet and suddenly those neglected thigh muscles, including some that honestly never get used for anything but skiing, are the only things between you and certain death.
The other problem with Sportferien is that, depending on when exactly your town happens to get its slot (the holidays are staggered so that every family across the country doesn’t head to the mountains at the exact same time), it might be rather late in the season. And while it’s obviously nice escaping the peak season crush, ski schools might not be offering afternoon classes. I mean. Getting up at the same time on holiday as you do for a regular school day just undermines the whole concept of a holiday, surely?
There are also my very personal problems with Davos to deal with. This time it was Armin who spent half the week sick. I mean. What is UP with that. Why does the damn place keep making us sick. So ein Scheiß.
Put all these things together and it must be said, Sportferien isn’t really much of a Ferien. It’s quite hard work. It’s all about shepherding the kids to ski school (whether or not they’re in the mood), lugging heavy equipment up and down really steep hills,* and maybe occasionally putting your untrained body in mortal peril. Also practising speed dressing (of yourself plus two little ones) because when it’s time to leave a possibly overheated flat for the -20ºC Great Outdoors, there’s really not a lot of time between donning the first of many layers and getting really, really uncomfortably hot.
* Ski lockers are the best thing ever invented. Even if Armin seems to take them as a sign of weakness and personal moral failing.
And yet. It’s quite special. Even the frozen snot is special. The mountains are amazing (even if you’re only viewing them from a low angle, say about the level of the ski kindergarten), the snow is amazing, the feeling of sliding about on the snow or ice is amazing, when you’re not too utterly terrified. I am nearly back at the level of ski confidence I reached when I first learned, ten years ago, and then promptly got pregnant and scuppered my skiing chances for, well, almost ten years. I’m getting quite a bit better at skating, too – apparently that happens when you spend a few hours on the ice with the kids for three days in a row.
ALSO. Yet more evidence of the undeniable, obvious, yet always astonishing fact that kids do grow. And get easier in basically every way. Compared with even just half a year ago, I was amazed at how little whining there was (“Carry me!”), how casually independent they are, how much better they (specifically M) learn things and just how much more fun it all is. Three cheers for the growing of children!
Nothing to do with me or mine but it must be said: there are always some ridiculously tall people on the slopes. I mean. RiDIKulus. Very tall, very blonde, presumably very Scandinavian. Wow. So Viking, much high.