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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

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Gooney Birds Are Go

Posted on
February 16, 2011

Last week I had a brilliant time with some of my regular clients, the Dublin Ladies. I've taught Mary, Fiona, Jane and Rohiyah the last three winters and each time we've had loads of laughs on the green pistes. Their goals were to stay safe snowploughing, to have fun and feel good about their skiing without becoming Olympic Champions !?!

Staying safe is always a priority of mine, having fun with these ladies is never an issue and very infectious, so much so that I had to keep reminding myself that my job was to improve their skiing without being too strict !?! But, and there's always a but, early in the week I was intrigued by Mary talking about the Gooney Birds.

Each time I want to stop skiing at the side of the piste and then have a discussion, I try to give everyone plenty of warning by putting my hand up and then say the words "Coming into land". And of course the quality of the landing (stopping) can vary depending on all sorts of things. This is where Mary in her strong Irish accent rated her landing on the 'Gooney Bird' scale. So what was a Gooney Bird? Mary explained it was a large bird that lived on islands in the South Pacific.It sounded more like a character in a Monty Python sketch to me. But one evening I went onto the internet and googled 'gooney birds' and then clicked on a few youtube clips as well. And sure enough, 'gooney birds' do in fact exist. One article describes them as 'The Keystone Cops of the bird kingdom'. Apparently their flying is magnificent, however their landing can be, how shall I put it, rather ungracious and clumsy. It wasn't unusual for them to crash into each other when landing !?!

Towards the end of the week I realised that I hadn't captured any of our fun with Canon. So they all tried posing in front of Canon by pretending to be pouting at each other together. It kind of worked in between the laughter.

But then I noticed that Rohiyah was very relaxed in front of my camera. Eat your heart out Victoria Beckham and Naomi Campbell, your pouting skills have been eclipsed.

At the end of each day, I had several of my French colleagues come up to me and say "Hey Martin, I saw you with some loud laughing ladies today on the Altiport, couldn't understand a word they were saying, looks like you were having loads of fun". Oh yes.MartinP.S. The school holidays have just started, am I ready to deal with further enjoyment on skis? Stay posted.

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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