Adventures in Metalearning

How might learning one thing prepare you for entirely another?


September 2019

How languages and dancing helped me to ski better off piste

Exploring the Alpine wilderness from Méribel, France

“So you got the moves but have you got the touch?” Shania Twain

My ears tighten and my hearing fades as our transit bus winds its way up the mountain. It feels like bubbles expanding in my ears which fail to pop. I realise we are now as high as an aeroplane. The diesel engine groans round a hairpin bend and I can’t see the road beneath us, just the sheer drop. I wonder how close we are to rolling off the edge. I can see hundreds of metres down the valley, full of snow-tipped evergreen trees.

It starts to snow…

We are even higher now and snowflakes the size of bumblebees splat hard against the windscreen. The manic wipers barely keep the road visible. We pull into Méribel at around 1400m. Everyone is glad. The main street is lined with après ski options: happy hour cocktails from 6pm – they want you drinking the moment you’re off the slopes, fondue cheese nights – a local stodgy delicacy.  A large PA speaker system pumps thumping tunes into the local square – dancing in skiwear is encouraged. But this is not my stop. I … Read more

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