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No more fear of skiing

December 20, 2012 · 3:38 PM
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SKIER MEL PEMBLE is thrilled to be on skis again, thanks to the Podium of Life Ski Academy on Mount Washington. / Photo submitted

Dear editor,

I used to be terrified of skiing.

After my skiing accident in France 2007 where I twisted a knee, I never wanted to ski again. In 2009 we moved to Canada and I was still terrified to ski.

My mom said to have a lesson and if I still hated skiing I would never have to ski again so I agreed and she booked a lesson with a ski instructor named Dave Brown. After 20 minutes of my lesson I could ski and even better I enjoyed it. I continued to have lessons with this wonderful instructor, who is now my friend.

One day after a lesson with him he told my mom that I was really fast and that I should try race club. We took it as a joke. After all I had only learnt how to ski a couple of weeks ago.

It was only September 2011 that I really wanted to ski race. My mom read in a book to do dream boards, where you get pictures of what you really want to do or what you like.

One of my pictures was of a ski racer going round a gate, so in December 2011 me and my family moved up Mount Washington for the winter season. So here I am in my new home on Mount Washington and going to the Podium of Life Ski Academy, where you do academics in the morning and skiing in the afternoon.

It’s the coolest school in the world!

In January 2012, Shane and Corey — my teachers — recommended the Adaptive Snow Sports team because I couldn’t hold two ski poles. The first day was an assessment day and my coach Jen said I was really speedy and that I would be in a race in no time.

Sure enough next week, Bob, the head instructor told me I was in the Provincial Adaptive race on Feb. 4 and 5. After one Thursday, Friday, Saturday and four Sundays of training, it was time for my first real race!

My first race was GS (giant slalom) it was such a buzz I was bib No. 70 and second to go and to my relief I made all the gates, got lots of adrenaline and got gold! In slalom I missed a gate and got disqualified but I was given a bronze medal for improving so much on my second run.

I have now qualified for the Provincial Adaptive Championships on Cypress mountain in March and my ski racing journey will continue from there, meeting great friends on the way. My ultimate dream is to be in the 2018 Olympics.

Mel Pemble,

Mount Washington