On Thursday 6th September most of the current group of Epilepsy Futures participants joined two of our peer mentors and myself, as we headed off to have our first ever attempt at skiing.
We took the bus to Bellahoustoun Outdoor Ski and Snowboard centre and nervously strapped on boots before heading through to the dry ski slope.
Our ski tutor was Gillian, who was the perfect person to lead a bunch of anxious beginners, thanks to her encouraging personality.
Skis were attached, first steps were taken walking about on skis before some of the group took the plunge and had a go on the slope, as you can see from the photos above and the Facebook video link below.
Peer Mentor Steven Connelly shares his thoughts about the experience below.
Earlier this week, Epilepsy Connections encouraged the current group to let go of past experiences, disappointments, negativity and ignorance towards of their own abilities and potential for success while living with Epilepsy.
I believe that past failures and disappointments shouldn’t stop a person from creating an immensely rewarding, stimulating, healthy and active future for themselves.
If you continue doing the same things day after day after day, the way you always have, you will get stuck in a rut and easily fall into a routine.
Group two got the opportunity to feed their creativity, stepping out their comfort zones by attempting a brand new activity, which was skiing at Bellahoustoun Ski and Snowboard Centre.
It was their very first time doing this and there was a lot of nervous apprehension which was understandable doing any new activity for the very first time can be scary and daunting for people.
Mostly there was a lot of excited energy and enthusiasm for experiencing and learning a new skill.
At first, it was always going to be challenging. Skiing was a completely different experience to anything everyone had achieved and been involved with before.
Skiing is an activity, once you get started, literally there’s no stopping you and you will soon start to relax and enjoy yourself.
The group got off to a flying start as they were introduced to a few basic learning routines by the instructor Gillian. We all felt confident and comfortable with her straight away as she was a genuine and positive person who injected humour and reassurance into her workshop and provided one to one support when required.
Gillian said to the group “the more you ski, the more your confidence will grow and the easier it will become” and she supported us as a group and also on a personal level allowing them to progress quickly but at their own pace.
We all started off at the flat area which was great for practise and to help get everyone’s confidence up.
Even if they are never going to have further lessons this was still a great place to practise at the beginning before making there way further up the slope.
A few members of the group lost their balance on occasions, but they quickly understood and realised that this would be the case as everyone falls.
They laughed it off and got straight back up. It didn’t hurt and cause anyone any injury’s as the slope was soft and wouldn’t be going that fast.
Part of the fun for the group was watching each other fall. It’s important to remember that it’s going to happen, even when they become confident and advanced on the day, it happened again.
It was delightful and refreshing hearing the group talk about the laughs had by all when everyone was struggling to stand and the satisfaction experienced by all.
It was poignant seeing an increased confidence in particular individuals. Feeling proud and better about themselves and the realisation of the potential that can be achieved.
A few members are considering further group sessions with the organisation. This suggests that a new discovery and interest has been made.
The afternoon was a successful, worthwhile and satisfying one. It has been rewarding witnessing the group having an enjoyable and entertaining time and accomplishing a new skill, which with practice and persistence could become a new hobby.