Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Am I a skier?

No, I'm not. I have skied, yes, but I really prefer not to. Cross Country is okay, but I could go the rest of my life without downhill skiing and I would be just fine with that.

Why am I so bad at it? I think it's because I'm scared of speed. You cannot be a good skier if you are afraid to point your skis down the hill. I can only remember one ski trip that was fun for me, and even that one had a little mishap at the end. I think I was in 7th grade or so, and we took a bus up to Belleayre (?) for the day. I did very well in my lessons on the bunny slopes, and was pretty confident going up and down the lift. Granted, the hill was all but flat, but I thought I was pretty hot stuff.

Most of the day, I skied alone, because my skill level was, well, unmatched among my friends (I was by far the worst). Still, I was happy. On the last run of the day I decided to take another route down the mountain. I zigged when I should have zagged. To my horror, the path I chose was a dead end with a funny looking lift that I had never seen before. It was a T-bar. I was get to the bus I would have to take the T-bar to the top and then ski down the main slope. And I was almost late already.

"Okay, I can do this." I got in line for the lift and when the T-bar came my way I did what any normal person would expect you should do...I sat down. The bar of course did exactly what you would expect it to hit the ground. They had to stop the lift so I could roll off to the side and get back in line. The second time the lift operator offered this advice: "Don't sit down." Thank you, really. I tried to stay calm, I tried to relax, but I was starting to panic. When the bar hit my heiny it threw me completely off balance, and I fell again. Again the lift stopped, to the back of the line for me.

After 5 or 6 tries, I started to cry. A very nice mommy-type lady saw me and agreed to show me how to get up the hill. With her help and 3 more tries, I finally made it. My adrenaline was pumping and I just flew down that bunny hill to meet the bus. To my relief it was still in the parking lot idling, waiting for us stragglers. Turns out that adults don't trust 7th graders to be on time anyway. I probably could have made another half dozen attempts before anybody would have noticed I was missing.


Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr