Thursday, February 9, 2012

Most Improved Skier

There are some days when early on, God is blatantly sending you the message that you should probably just quit and go back to bed. Day 1 of our ski trip to Breckenridge, Colorado was one of these days for me.

The first clue that Day 1 was going to be an epic failure was the fact that I could not get my ski boots on without feeling like I was ripping my ankle tendons to shreds. Now, I don’t have the most experience with ski equipment, and I know your ankles need to be securely fastened, but when my tiny petite ankles can’t fit into a boot one size up from my normal shoe size, that’s a little extreme. After recruiting my husband and friends to assist me, I was finally able to get the boots on, but wasn’t surprised to find major bruises on my ankles at the end of the day.

So with boots finally on my feet, we grabbed up our equipment and headed to the shuttle. I was the last in line as we loaded onto the bus and despite my bright pink ski jacket, the driver must not have seen me because as I stepped onto the bus, I felt the doors close around me and the bus lurch forward on the way to the ski lift. After a few seconds of me and my group yelling at the driver to stop, he finally did. After a few more seconds, he was even courteous enough to reopen the doors allowing me to actually move onto the bus.

I should have gotten off right then. I should have gone home, took my stupid boots off, and went back to bed. But because I love my husband and my husband loves skiing, I just silently cried as we rode that evil bus to the ski lift.

Now, if I couldn't manage to get onto a stopped bus with my ski equipment, I should have known better than to attempt getting onto a ski lift. You know how sometimes when you are riding on a ski lift, it just stops for a few minutes seemingly without reason? Let me solve that little mystery for you. This is why:

So as soon as I got my skis on, Jonathan gave me a quick and wildly inadequate refresher course on how to get onto a ski lift. Something about waiting for the chair to pass and then lining up at the yellow line and sitting down when the lift hits your legs. Before I’ve processed any of this information, he says ‘go’ and while he sprints forward, I move my skis and nothing happens. I finally manage to move about 6 inches while he is 4 feet ahead at the proper loading area.

So the ski chair hits my butt and I instinctively sit down and hold on the side for dear life while people are screaming at me to move to the left. Instead, I’m dead center on the chair and hit Jonathan with my skis. He then falls on top of me and they have to stop the ski lift to untangle our skis from one another. I was so mortified. I think it goes without saying that I cried again at this point. However, I now feel sympathetic instead of annoyed whenever my ski lift stops.

At this point in the day, I know I’m done for. I’ve resolved immediately that as soon as I got off the ski lift, I would ski my little butt down the mountain and get back into bed. However, panic started to set in when our ski lift kept going and going, on and on for about 10 minutes. By the time we got off of it, 2 miles of ski slopes stood between me and my bed. I guess at that point my plan subconsciously evolved into hurting myself badly enough to warrant being snowmobiled off the mountain because I began repeatedly falling down this so-called “green” slope.

After my third tumble, I insisted I could not go on. I may have told Jonathan that I hated him. I may have insisted that he buy me a Michael Kors bag for Valentines’ day to make up for forcing me onto this mountain. I may have cried for the third time that morning. It wasn’t my proudest moment. Obviously, I should have still been in bed.

Somehow Jon convinced me to put my skis back on and I only fell one more time before reaching the base and my reward of sweet peppermint hot chocolate.

Now there is something powerful about being in a warm bar drinking hot chocolate after a traumatic experience such as mine. It makes you forget, much like the sweet smell of a baby’s head makes a mother forget the pain of childbirth. Yes, sipping hot cocoa in a warm a snuggly bar makes you agree to put your skis back on, get back on a ski lift, and try again.

Luckily at this point, I discovered the “magic carpet” ski lift (conveyor belt which carries you to the lift chair) which lead up to a nice and wide green slope perfect for novices such as myself and several other beginners between the ages of 3 and 8. The kids were very gracious to share their turf with me and I was much more relaxed for the remainder of the day.

Well until I fell and twisted my wrist. And then fell and twisted my wrist again. And then when my twisted wrist disallowed me to put any weight on my arm to put my skis back on, I had to walk down the mountain in my ankle crushing ski boots. So finally, at that point, I did what I should have done hours before- took a gondola home and went back to bed.

Day two of skiing was much more successful. First off, the couple that we went skiing with, Bianca and Paul, had all this fancy ski equipment such as boot warmers. They let me borrow these for my stiff ski boots and it was amazing how much easier my boots were to get on once the heat made them more pliable.

Secondly, I started my morning off right with a round of Tylenol. Then I successfully got onto the shuttle bus without getting trapped in the door. When we got to the ski lift Bianca gave me way better advice than Jonathan when she told me to just tell the operator that I was a beginner. When I did this, he actually pushed me forward and his partner reached out and stopped me right where I needed to wait for the chair. It was even more effortless than the magic carpet. I did however ride solo because Jonathan wasn’t willing to risk being assaulted by my skis again.

While riding the lift up, I spotted a short cut to my kid-friendly slope and easily skied down the mountain without a single fall. In fact, I continued my no falling trend all morning.

The only fall of Day 2 came when Jonathan convinced to get on a big kid ski lift. Getting on was simple enough, but I guess over the past two days I got used to my slow motion kid lift because I didn’t get out of the way in time when exiting and got smacked in the back of the head by the chair. I was humiliated, but managed to get out of the way before anyone exited on top of me. At this point, we took “The Four O-clock” run which leads all the way into town, dropping us right off at our condo.

Jonathan skied me home (what a gentleman!) and caught the shuttle back to hit some blacks before the lifts closed for the day. I spent the next two hours finishing The Girls From Ames in the comfort of my pajama pants. So to recap: Fall count on day one: 7; Fall count of day 2: 1. I definitely wasn’t the most skilled skier on the mountain, but I just might win the award for most improved.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laine,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable and I hope that you won!
    I was looking for blogs about the Four O’Clock run to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)