Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Unlikely Skier

So I was kind of busy over the weekend. We went skiing with Andy’s dad and stepmom up in Canada at a place called Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario, Canada. See link:
Let me start by saying that I have only ever skied once in my life, and that was last February. Andy came home on mid-tour R&R and we went to Lake Placid for a long weekend. I wasn’t really scared to ski because I didn’t know what to be afraid of, other than falling. The first 5 minutes on my skiis cured me of that, as I tried to go down a little bump and fell immediately upon walking outside. It was then that I realized that Andy hadn’t told me how to get back up again, and there I sat, stuck on the ground while he was in the building trading Taylor’s snowboard for skiis. (He couldn’t even stand up with the snowboard.) Gavin came over to me, and after he proceeded to mock me (BRAT), he told me to get on my knees and stand up. Well, since I didn’t know any other better way to do it, and taking my skiis off hadn’t occurred to me at the time, I did just that. By the end of the day, my knees were so wrenched from turning them to the sides to get up, I could barely walk.
I was terrified most this weekend of meeting with my old nemesis… the ski lift. Last time, I didn’t even think I was going to have a problem getting on and off the ski lift. It looks so easy and graceful! You squat and sit, and then get off, right?? Uh, no bitch. That’s only in the movies. First, they had this little ramp you had to ski down right when it was your turn to get on the lift chair…so you have to move quickly. But then you have to stop on a dime, or you’ll keep going right off the platform!!! Every time we went down this little ramp, Taylor fell, so the operator had to keep stopping the whole damn thing until we could situate ourselves.
Then we get to the top, and EVERY DAMN TIME I thought I was home-free getting off, and then the back of my skiis would get tangled with Taylor and I would biff it. After doing this like 10 times, I lost my mind at Andy, who grew up skiing, and made him take Taylor with him. That was much better. But this was the one thing that stuck in my mind as we approached this year’s trip. One interesting twist to this year’s trip was that last Tuesday, Andy sprained his ankle. I mean, size of a grapefruit! But we got off lucky. We didn’t ski very long, because Andy’s stepmom has asthma and his dad has a bad back, so it was only a few hours Friday night and a few Saturday.

I would have to say my highlight was that the bunny hills had flat escalators, like at the airport, that took you up the hills, so I didn’t have to maneuver the ski lifts. I think that the world should have escalators all over the place instead of sidewalks. I just wanted to throw that in since it was relevant and I may not ever have an opportunity to mention it in my blog again. It was worth the almost 9 hour drive from Watertown. I didn’t realize that we were driving that far. I thought it was near Toronto, but the way my inlaws took us, it was 6 hours from their house. It’s right on Georgian Bay, which is part of Lake Huron.
The bad part of this years’ trip was when I let them convince me that a normal size hill just looked bigger because of where we were standing, and that it was no more steep than the bunny hill. So up to the top we went (On a normal ski lift, in which I managed to remain upright). It looked like a bunny hill for the first 50 feet, and then it dropped off in which I can only describe as a sheer cliff, before leveling out again. Now I don’t know if they got a lot of snow right before we went, or what, but this didn’t look like anything we should be going down at our current skill level.  Had I stopped panicking for 5 minutes and turned to my right, I would’ve seen the “sissy escape path” that went down to the bunny hill, however I didn’t notice this until several black and blue marks, two wrenched knees and a heart attack later.
Me walking down the death hill, PISSED!
I started to ski down the hill, then lost my confidence and fell. Andy thought it would be a good idea to come over to “help” me, by telling me to get up. Now, I tend to get a little bitchy when people feel the need to state the obvious. It insults me to the highest level to have someone tell me something my dog could figure out. “DUH…I need to get up. BUT I CAN’T, YOU ASSHOLE!!!!! So unless you have a crane or a hula hoop (I saw a parent doing this with a child) that you can drag me down behind you, then screw off and leave me alone to figure out what the hell I’m going to do!!” I also want to mention that I had no idea where my children were at this point. As far as I was concerned, they were on their own. I realize now that this was not the best display of parenting skills, but I figured that between Andy and his parents, they could deal with how to get the boys down.
Somehow I managed to get up and get going again, but as I approached the cliff, I panicked, and the next thing I knew, I was falling backwards and my legs were flailing around, bouncing off the mountain because my skis were still attached. I remember muttering, “oh shit” and then closed my eyes until I came to a complete stop. You would think after a fall like this, I wouldn’t have much further to go, but NO…I think I had only fallen about 15 feet and I was still above the cliff, only now, my legs were bent in opposite directions at the knees and I couldn’t move them because my skis were too heavy at that angle. I had to punch the bindings several times to release the skis, and then I picked them up and proceeded to carry them all the way down the hill, which proved to be almost as bad as skiing down it. When I reached the bottom, I was pretty pissed with everyone and myself, so I went to have a drink so I could cool off. I was in a lot of pain, and I didn’t understand why I felt no control of my legs, so I went and had my boots checked. Turned out, I was wearing a whole size too big, and my skis were too big too. After I got this changed out, I was fine the rest of the day and even did a little night skiing because I was having fun, and also because I went shopping while we were there and spend $500 on a new ski outfit and felt guilty. So now we are going to be stuck going skiing every year until I feel that I have used the outfit enough to justify the expense.
The moral of the story, is that I will not let anyone peer pressure me in to skiing down a bigger hill. I have fun on the bunny hills, so why is it necessary to force myself to go bigger? I am too old to become an Olympic athlete, so what does it matter? I was so tired each night that I didn’t even have the energy to drink any wine that I had brought, and I came home with a black and blue mark on each shin, the size of a fist. I am so glad it’s over.


  1. I have never been on skis and don't intend to at my age. Glad you made it home with nothing broken.
    Odie :)

  2. I love to ski and next time I plan to wear goggles and a helmet!!!

    You should find a place that has snow tubing, it's so fun! Or show shoeing, cross country skiing? None of those are as dangerous as skiing :)

  3. I am so down for snowtubing. I went when I was in high school, and thought I was totally cool because I got a zipper tag like the skiers had. When we went to Lake Placid last year, we also did snowtubing and I kept my jacket tag from that too. lol.

  4. Whoa, mama, that's quite the adventure you had there. So relieved that you didn't break anything.

    Hey, bunny slopes are awesome. =)

  5. You seriously need to take lessons. I almost ended it with my fiance 2 years ago on my 2nd time skiing, after lessons a few weeks prior. I too found out my skiis were too big when during my 2nd season, and 2nd lesson, my giant nordic instructors skiis were shorter than mine.
    We'll see this weekend.

    It's like being in a car accident, non stop.

  6. I've decided lessons would be pointless to me now, unless they were private. I am past the snowplow, and on to the parallel skiing, but I have NO INTEREST at this point in going on a steep hill. If we move near Tahoe and go a lot, I will take a private lesson. Otherwise, I am good on the baby hills.