My husband is Canadian. He grew up on skis, was a ski instructor and general all round snow hound. I learnt to ski at age 17 and have done it for the last 30 years, every so often. I am absolutely crap at skiing.
I am Australian/British and I mostly grew up in Australia.I lived in a home with a pool and visited the beach regularly. I can swim really well, in a not-so-stylish-but-I’m-surviving-this-ferry-boat-sinking sort of way. I’d probably be able to help somebody else out, too.
My husband can swim but he isn’t totally at ease in the water. Big waves cause issues and he can’t bodysurf or even boogie board very well.I don’t think he’d tried to do either of those things before I came along and I was genuinely surprised that he couldn’t do them. I just thought that it was because he is really, really clumsy and maybe he couldn’t get his body co-ordination together.
It really didn’t occur to me that his difference in the water was because he wasn’t exposed to it as a young child, unlike me. But yesterday I was talking to a friend who told me that she grew up inland and she couldn’t swim well either. Swimming has always been part of the national education scheme so everybody has to learn it these days but there is no longer the ability to learn almost by osmosis, just because of exposure.
Then I thought about how much better a skiier he is than me. I didn’t know the snow until I was an adult and nothing about snow sports comes easily. I am a drag on ski holidays and I have been known to shout at him, out of sheer terror, because he assumes I can do a much harder run than I am capable of.
Same deal (except he just gets testy, rather than shouting.)
I like beach and want to share my like with my closest one. He feels the same about snow. I don’t know where I’m going with this except that we both are prepared to do things outside our comfort zone because it would add to the happiness of the other; and that’s a good thing.