Maxwell was on form today despite the poor weather. After a warm up run on the nursery slope we skied over to the chairlift for his first ever experience of one. The chairlift gives his legs a rest and also opens up much longer runs and at this stage mileage is critical.
Once again we had problems with the fresh snow sticking to the skis and forming ice which stopped the skis from running. Maxwell needed some gentle persuasion to try a few things on his own but his judgement is pretty accurate regarding his capabilities. He instantly knew when it was going to be too steep for him to have the required control on his own. The goal was for him to feel good about skiing and about himself – at this stage that’s all that’s really important. He really enjoyed going fast again (holding on) but his attention was all over the place as there were too many new and fascinating things for him to look at. I feel he would have done a little bit better with better skis (perhaps also shorter to avoid overpowering his left leg). He weighs so little that with skis that were not sliding perfectly he could hardly move by himself where the slope was shallow enough to let him go. I had him attempt to practice some skating movements – especially stepping around in a circle to the right – with the aim of cultivating the use of the inside of the left foot. He tends to let the left foot pull onto its outside and to twist inwards at the toes – but this might be due to the skis being slightly too long. I’ve seen this recently cured elsewhere by using shorter skis. The shops tend to give beginners skis which are too long because that is not a specific problem if the child is forced into a snowplough - the feet turn inwards anyway with a snowplough!
back at the hotel Maxwell showed me his little furry toy dog and when pressed to tell me the dog’s name he called it “Fast Doggy”. I think “Fast Maxwell” is also appropriate! I’d have like to have seen a bit more perseverance and progress but I understand this is just a taster for him. The important thing is that he was not taught any nonsense – the body remembers what it is trained to do!