Get Inspired: Goz & Ross take on skiing
Skiing was one of those sports I had wanted to do ever since I was young but the fear of broken body parts and a dislike of the cold always held me back.
However, after a chance meeting with the snowboarding Olympic Bronze medal holder, Jenny Jones persuaded me that I should give skiing a try at least once. I never thought I would be taking my first lesson a year later.
Before I got on the snow I had to have an assessment to see what adaptive skis I would be using, testing my strength and balance. After that I just had put on the gear. That turned out to be an ordeal as it took about 10 minutes to get one shoe on!
For some reason, I thought I was going to be going down a big slope on my own in my first lesson and of course that was not the case.
The next question that came into my head was how am I going to get onto the snow on one ski when I can't use my wheelchair? I got my answer soon enough - I had to do it myself.
In the first instance, Steve the instructor said he would have to push me up the kids slope until I was strong enough to do it myself. He then explained that it could take a year of practice to get that strong!
I faceplanted the snow several times but once I eventually managed to balance and move down the slope, it was the best feeling ever. I realised I could really do this and I started to understand why people love this sport!
Then we went on the big slope (apparently one of the biggest indoor slopes in the country!) Steve was on the back and I had to steer. I was terrified and I didn't stop screaming all the way down! I mustn't have been that scared though because it didn't stop me going up for a second try.
For the first time, I saw snow differently and not just an inconvenience that gives you a snowday off work. What I loved about it was how much speed you build up going down the slope and the sense of freedom!
This is definitely in the top five sports I want to continue with after the challenges are over. Look out for me in Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic games!
I was pretty chuffed when we pulled out Skiing for our second sport in this series of challenges. I once worked in Austria at a ski resort and despite making beds, cleaning toilets and serving dinner at a local chalet I spent a lot of my spare time on the slopes.
Since returning to England though, going to university and finding a job, I just haven't had the time (or money) to get back into it, so I was really looking forward to hitting the slopes once more.
I felt pretty nervous on the day of our ski outing. The thing with skiing is that it's a really 'cool,' fashionable sport and the last thing I wanted was to look like a loser out on the slopes. Anyway, I pulled myself together and slipped on the ski boots in a familiar, awkward fashion.
Steve, the instructor, eased me into it on the nursery slope and it seemed like I'd forgotten everything. I felt like bambi on ice and I certainly couldn't remember how to turn. However, I soon found myself at the foot of the adult slope and strangely excited to take it on!
I don't know what happened up there, but in a split second, everything seemed to click into place; I felt like the king of the slope. Everything I had learnt a few years ago in Austria all came flooding back and I found my inner confidence.
It was really great actually, you get such a buzz from flying down a mountain on a pair of skis and the beauty of it is, that you're in control (sort of). If you want to take a leisurely pace, you can do and equally if you want to be a daredevil, there's room for that too.
I really would love to get back into it. There's nothing more fulfilling than skiing your way down a mountain in some of the most picturesque surroundings in the world. Having said that, it is quite a costly sport and it's not something I'd be able to afford to do on a regular basis.
It's also good to know that it really is like riding a bike and the next time the opportunity comes up, I can slip back into those skis like it was yesterday.
If you are interested in getting into skiing, take a look at the Get Inspired skiing activity guide for details.