Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some People Ski

Today, a friend asked me to describe my one skiing experience, and I was surprised...I have repressed that set of memories for so long that it's seemed more like a distant, fading dream (uh...nightmare?) than reality.

But it DID happen.

And today, I share it with you.


My friend Debbie and I decided to go skiing in Windsor (Nova Scotia) at Martock. It was the first time for both of us…I'd say we were 19. We drove there, and being diligent and cautious, decided to pay for a lesson first. It was a good lesson and we got the basics down. I could snowplow with the best of them, baby. I had the techniques mastered!

The last part of the lesson was going down the bunny hill. It was at that point that I discovered that even the teensiest smidgeon of speed blew my technique out of the water and I instantly became a train wreck.

The skis felt wrong. My feet were not supposed to be that long! The boots were all stiff! It just wasn't right. And you had to like…balance and stuff.

Anyhoo my friend Debbie was amazing. It was natural to her. She flew down the easy slopes and watched me from the bottom, cringing. I fell every time except that very first time during the lesson.

We bought cool hats and were proud of how hot we looked. We decided to take pictures of each other on the top of a teeny little hill nearby (most likely just a pile of leftover snow). She got a sweet picture of me before I fell on my face.

We went up in the chairlift thingies and I immediately fell upon exiting the damn thing.
We decided the chairlift thingies weren't my thing and took the "easier" way up: these little bars you sit on while your feet are still on the ground? Yeah it took like half an hour for me to get up the hill because I kept falling off the stupid bar. I let it drag me for a while, but the employees of the place seemed to frown on that.

Tried the chairlift again (Debbie was sure it was just bad luck!). This time I fell ON someone.

I was disenchanted.

Debs decided to try a harder hill. I watched her from the bottom, resting on my poles. She flew down the hill, shooshing from side to side. It was graceful. It was gorgeous. It was inspiring.
When she reached me, her face was bright and happy.

"I'm going to do it without poles!" She announced. My stomach flipped, but I encouraged her.

She did do it. Easily. Smoothly.

I was inspired.

Somehow, in my stupor of exhaustion and disenchantment, the continuously negative experiences of the day faded under the light of my friend's enthusiasm and obvious talent.


Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "UH OH."

And you are right to think that.

I lost my confidence about a quarter of the way up the chairlift. I was frightened.
After I fell off the stupid chairlift AGAIN, I stood at the top of that monstrous hill and watched Debbie sail down it again, effortlessly.

By the time she reached the top again, I was feeling a touch desperate.

"Just snowplow all the way down!" said she.

And off she went again, like the wind. Like a cool breeze…like grace itself.

So, I went.

I started very slowly, meandering back and forth, snowplowing often. About a quarter of the way down, I was feeling relieved. This was going to be okay!

Then it happened again. That little burst of ill-obtained self confidence that had no bearing in the real world.

And I went a little faster.

Once I started going a little faster, there was no slowing down. This was a steep hill. I just kept going faster and faster and faster and was feeling rather terrified when I had this thought:

I'm going to fall.

The power of the mind is amazing, isn't it?

I fell. I fell so hard that I rolled and tumbled and slid and rolled some more…smashing my face into the hard, packed snow, losing first one ski, and then another, and then one boot and then the other…I didn't realize my glasses were gone until I dug the snow out of my eye sockets.

When I finally came to a stop, all I could do was start to cry. It was like every bad event of the day had culminated in this final, painful climax, and I was JUST. SO. DONE.

Like I said, I had snow packed into my eye sockets, so I couldn't see. Once I solved that, I realized I couldn't hear. Getting all the snow out of my ears was difficult. The next order of business was clearing my mouth and nose. Yes, every orifice in my head was packed with the evil stuff.

My socks were covered in a layer of snow, and it was packed up into my snowpants so tightly it was like having my legs encased in ice.

After clearing myself of the snow, I began the search for my skis. Please keep in mind that I was crying quite freely the whole time. It was pathetic. So, when a ski patrol person finally happened upon me, I was crying and my nose was running and I was crawling around trying to find my boots and skis and stupid glasses.

She found my glasses right away, and it was like the heavens had opened up and showered blessings upon my soul.

One of my boots was waaaaaa-haaaaaaa-aaay down the hill, so she got that while I put the other boot back on.

When she came back, I had composed myself a bit. She offered to help me put my skis back on.
I remember how incredulous I felt when she said that.

How sure I was that she was insane.

"Um…no. I'm going to walk down."

Wait…was she…yes she was! She was looking at me like I was crazy!

She commenced to try and convince me that everything would be fine; that I could make it no problem; I was halfway down!

I had fallen a loooong way.

Somewhere in there, in her attempts (smiley, sunny attempts at that) to convince me, something broke.

In my brain.

And I started to cry again.

I walked away from her while she was still talking.

I slowly made my way through the traffic of skiers to the edge of the hill, and trudged down, crying silently this time, feeling miserable.

I remember the patrol girl shooshing past me, glancing at me with concern on her face.

I hated her.

Debbie waited for me at the bottom of the hill, her hair blowing in the wind, her cheeks rosy.

"What happened?" she exclaimed.

"I want to go home now" I replied.

And that was my first and last skiing experience. I just don't think I'm cut out for it. And even if I am? I will most likely never be motivated to find out.

The End.


At 8:37 PM, Blogger deepoet said...

Oh Treesey, such a sad, funny story. I had one and only one night on a real ski hill (Sugarloaf in Maine)and ended up being transported on a stretcher to the lodge, I wiped out so spectacularly, so I can sympathize. Your Aunt Patsy was the skiier, seems she was one of those maddeningly natural skiiers.
Love you girl,

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Tree said...

AAaaaaaaahhhh! So it's a GENETIC thing, this inability to ski!
You could have warned me, Dad...
I think I need to hear that Sugarloaf (and stretcher!) story in full.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger ~M~ said...

Coming out of lurkdom...I had been wanting to try skiing lately, but I think you may just have changed my mind after reading that!

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Tree said...

Don't let me discourage you! Maybe you'll be like Debbie!

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never tried downhill skiing. Had made plans to try it before going to Oz but my friend and I decided it'd be better to wait just in case I sustained an injury...

Someday I just may try....


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Mark said...

Skiing is one of the best feelings in the world. I loves it. Practice makes perfect. Don't let one smidgely little crash dissuade you forever. You're really missing out on something fantastic. The one run where you're completely alone on the hill, and the only sound you hear is your skiis gliding across fresh powder... It's enchanting.

At least, it is for me. :D


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