Some folks are just made to do certain things. I was built for less graceful sports, like blogging and photography. No sweating required. My husband, on the other hand, loves to run and hike and ski and do all manner of sweat-inducing things.
Now, I am cool with the hiking, and even the biking. Running is just…well, let’s just say I have body parts that become lethal weapons if I run, or jog…or as I have recently discovered, an exercise called REBOUNDING! Like a mini trampoline? You know? I don’t know why I thought this would be an approved activity for me. Dear God. I am an idiot. I knew jumpropes were out of the question. This is jumproping[minus]rope[equals]jumping. Just jumping. Honestly. The things that go through my head.
Anyway. I do try to play along, and I have struggled to keep up with my husband for years. Skiing is one sport, I can honestly say, I am just not built for. I crosscountry skied a lot back in Illinois, and thought downhill could not be THAT different. I was WRONG. It could not be MORE different.
Still, I was a brave girl. We went to Boreal several times early in our relationship. I got on my little rented skis and took my lessons and snowplowed my guts out. But, mostly, I fell.
I like cool weather. I do. Crisp is my favorite thing. But to be chilled to the bone? Not so much. Also? Hate the heat. Hate to sweat. Skiing gives me the worst of both worlds. I can freeze til I ski. Then, I can sweat. Then, I can freeze my sweat, enabling my armpits to stick together. Nice. Really. Wonderful. How could I have missed out on that all my life?
And the lifts…well, I am about as fond of heights as I am of spiders. So, not my favorite thing to be dangling over a hard, icy slab of mountain in a tiny little basket on a wire with giant, slippery popcicle sticks strapped to my feet. The most fun part is knowing I will be slammed onto my rather ample fanny as soon as said wire basket dumps me out at the top of the hard, icy mountain. YAY! Can. We. Do. It. AGAIN? “What the hell am I doing here?” is my usual mantra for the day.
The last time I skied was quite some time ago. We were at Boreal, I had taken my morning lesson. We had eaten lunch. It was getting chilly and the shadows were getting long, but Steve was still raring to go back up. He wanted me to go on an advanced beginner run that was longer than the one I had been skiing, and I was game. So, up we went.
It was a gorgeous run, and I did really well. Right up to the last downhill leg. Most of it had been pretty gentle, and even the parts that were kind of fast, I had handled really well. I hadn’t been on my hind parts the whole afternoon. Then we turned down the hill.
If you’ve ever been skiing, or ski-fall-ing, you know how fast you can think. There are things going through your mind in the span of 10 seconds that would fill a good-sized book.
On this day, on this run, my first thought was, “What is that snow stacked up on both sides of the run? It is sort of in my way of doing my swishy sort of turns to keep my speed down, because they are about every 10 yards or so…” My next thought was, “Hey! I have seen those on the Olympics…those are called Moguls. Crap. What am I supposed to do with those? Maybe, if I just get past them, I can start doing my swishy-slow-down-turning-stuff I learned in my lesson.”
So, there it was. I had a plan. Get past them, then do the swishy slow down turns. No problem. Right? Yeah…well, except for the part where the speed of my fat butt going down the hill became such that no amount of pointing my toes together was going to brake me. Snowplowing, crap. I was snowplowing for all I was worth. I was NOT slowing down.
I could faintly hear my husband yelling, “Cyndi! Slow!! Down!!” Not a damn thing I could do about it. So, I continued with my plan. Remember my plan? Yup. That was all I had.
I saw the end of the moguls coming and got ready for my transition from speeding locomotive to graceful, swishing snowbunny. OK, snow-puffalump. Still. Anyway, I eased into the right ski a little, then a little more. Then I woke up.
I was suddenly cartwheeling down the hill. I never could do a cartwheel on purpose, so for a split second I was a little excited about it. Then my ski hit me in the face as it flew off my boot. A pole went one direction, then another ski flew off. My other pole went chasing the others, and then I landed…and spun in a slow circle on my back until I stopped. In the middle of the run.
After a few seconds I reached up and pushed my goggles off my face. OW! OK, my forehead hurts…big lump…need ice. I felt around beside me and grabbed a chunk of hard, icy mountain and stuck it on my pretty-much-already-frozen head.
A woman skied up to me and said, “Oh, my God. Are you alright? Should I get the medics?”
My brain was still scattered and thought something like, “[Bitch, still upright, on your skis. DON’T talk to me. ugh.]”
My mouth, still somewhat human, weakly said, “No. I’m fine. Thanks.”
She: “Are you sure? You really took a nasty fall!”
Brain: “Like I really TOOK it. Shut up. Don’t make me hurt you.”
Mouth: “No. Really. Fine.”
She shrugged and skied away, along with several others who had gathered, bringing bits of my gear with them. I had apparently exploded all over the run. Great.
My husband skied up at last, carting the rest of my wayward equipment. “Geez, baby, are you OK?”
The tears started to form in my eyes. “No. My head hurts. How am I going to get down from here?”
“Well, you’re gonna have to ski…”
I shrieked at him, “SKI?? SKI??? Did you NOT just SEE me SKI?? Have you lost your MIND?”
He chuckled. “Well, yeah. I did just see you. You reminded me of the ABC Sports ‘Agony of Defeat’ guy. Before that it was looking pretty good, but…”
He stopped because I was shooting bullets out of my eyes at him. Somehow, they were not penetrating like they should have, but they must have at least been making a noise. He bent and picked up my skis.
“Hey, how come you didn’t slow down like I told you…didn’t you hear me yelling?”
I snorted. Frozen snot came out of my nose. I absolutely did not care. “Of course I heard you! I WAS TRYING!”
“Honey. You weren’t snowplowing.”
“Well, not enough…listen, we have to move…we can’t just stay here in the middle of the run…you have to ski down this hill. It will be fine…” He bent to pick my goggles. “Wow! Your goggles broke right in half!”
“Did you not SEE my head?? Oh, my God. I probably have an orbital skull fracture and you’re making me ski down this hill…”
“You told the lady you were fine. She woulda gotten the medics.” He helped me to my feet. “Come on. Pop these on…here’s your poles….”
I got back on the horse…um, skis…you know. Anyhow, I skied down the rest of the hill. Steve wanted to go on one more run. I told him I would sit this one out.
He went up to his “Diamonds”. I marched…well, as much as you can march in skis…but I went right over and got on the damn bunny lift. Went up there and skied down by myself. Stayed on my feet, too. The whole way. Got to the bottom. Kicked those suckers off, turned them in, and have not been on a pair of skis since.
I got your “Agony of Defeat”…right here…