Skiing and Stress Relief

Let’s talk about skiing and stress relief.

In last Friday’s Talk of the Town column, Angus Henderson wrote about Hidden Valley Ski Resort. I am glad he did that. I am very fond of that place.

I like to commend Kevin Fischer and his staff. They do a wonderful job of running the place. Kevin is a very approachable fellow. Always has a smile on his face. His staff is always very cheerful, friendly and helpful.

Kevin’s presence is always visible and his hands-on leadership is very evident.

My family and I love Hidden Valley. I started taking ski lessons eight years ago when my son joined the Nancy Green program. He has been a fast learner. He now snowboards.

My daughter also likes to ski but my wife felt that she would be a good family cheerleader than a skier! And supply us with hot chocolate, lunch and snack during breaks! Not a bad deal!

For me the progress has been slow. I have fear of heights and speed. And as a surgeon, I did not want to break my wrist and be out of commission for several months. But I was determined to learn and be with my family.

I was born and brought up in Tanzania. I had never seen snow in Africa except in pictures. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is famous for snow-capped peak. But I never got a chance to get there. In any case, there is no skiing on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Over the last eight years, I have made slow but sure progress. Many young instructors and friends at Hidden Valley, Sunshine and Canada Olympic Park helped me get through my fears. Now I can ski all the hills at Hidden Valley except Suicide and Showoff. This year my target was to be comfortable on the Hidden Valley run. I successfully did it several times. Next year, the plan is to get over the fear of Suicide run! Showoff, probably never!

Each year, by October, I am looking forward to winter, snow and skiing. I find skiing very relaxing and good for stress relief. A good example is what happened last week. It was a busy week and in some respects a very traumatic week at work. It culminated in a very exhausting and draining Friday meetings.

I am glad I had a weekend off to recover. For two days, my son and I went skiing at Hidden Valley. The weather was great. Snow was excellent. The weekend of skiing completely refreshed me.

At Hidden Valley, you are amongst happy people. Unlike golfers, skiers are always smiling and are ecstatic when they come flying down the hills. Skiers don’t shout “fore” and you don’t hear anybody swear!

Skiers are not rushing or pushing you to keep moving. They don’t phone the clubhouse because of “slow play”. There is no marshal in a red power cart chasing you around the ski hills. Instead, you see helpful ski patrols and instructors.

At Hidden Valley, beginners and experienced skiers have fun together. Good skiers don’t look down on beginners or show any signs of arrogance. In fact, they are willing to share their experience. It’s like a big happy family.

Do you know what happens to a golfer after he dies? Saint Peter sends him straight to heaven because he has suffered enough on the golf course!

For skiers, heaven is at Hidden Valley and other ski resorts. Skiers don’t have to worry about life after death. It is heavenly all the way!

Now, am I putting my golf club membership in jeopardy? Glen Carr, don’t worry. I will be there when the golf course opens. In summer, golf course cannot be worse than health care politics!

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