It happened like this: (That’s code for this is a true story)
When I was a teenager my church’s teen group went skiing. I had never been skiing before so I figured, hey, why not? *That was my first mistake*.
I had many layers on because I knew it would be cold. I found boots and skis to rent and hobbled outside to enjoy my first ‘run’ down the slope. I stomped my skiis a couple of times just like the other experts were doing. I had no idea why we were doing this, but hey, if they were I should to.
I cautiously made my way over to the bunny hill and happily noted it wasn’t too steep. I could do this. I pushed off using my poles and managed to make it a few feet before I toppled over. It took me a while, but I managed to stand back up and ski (slide) down a few more feet. It had to have taken me an hour (I have no idea for real), but I finally made it down the bunny slope. It was not fun.
The only way back up was on one of those J hook type ski lifts. You stand in line and hop on over when it is your turn and the J scopes you upish by your but and helps you glide back up the hill. If it were only that simple. I fell immediately after being scoped. Twice.
I finally made it up the hill. It was worse than trying to make it down the hill.
My friend Brenda* met me at the top of the hill and convinced me that I needed to try a different slope (even though I only made it down (and up) the bunny slope once). I trusted her. *That was my eighteenth mistake*.
I naively followed Brenda to a slope and she said: “Follow me”, and pushed off with her pole as she expertly skied down the slope. I pushed as hard as I could and followed her trail (for about 30 seconds until I lost sight of her). I swished back and forth and thought: “Hey, I’m getting the hang of this. This could be fun.”
The next think I know I am flying high in the air. Very high. You know those pictures of people going off jumps and their legs and arms are spread wide like an X. That was me. In that long short moment a flood of thoughts passed through my mind:
- A JUMP?
- She took me on a slope with a JUMP?
- If I live – I’m going to kill her!
- Maybe all of those cool pictures with people going off jumps shaped like an X aren’t really cool, but beginners being lead down slopes (by mean, evil ‘friends’) with jumps and having no idea what else to do but fling themselves wide open and pray to God that they land this stupid jump and can get off this mountain alive.
I landed the jump. And got a WOW by an onlooker (I have no idea why they were stopped on the mountain – go – ski – get off this mountain and save your life!).
I finally made it down to the bottom of the mountain hoping that by some miracle it was time to go home. It was not.
Brenda was there waiting for me. I didn’t kill her.
I was thrilled to see a ‘normal’ ski lift. But I won’t lie and tell you I didn’t hug that pole in the middle of the ski lift chair for dear life. I WAS NOT going to fall off of this ski lift.
At the top of the mountain I mentally considered the fact that our van was parked up here – not down there. There was no reason for me to go down this mountain in the name of fun again. But I did.
Brenda took me to a flatter slope as I requested. As we are skiing along I noticed little signs that I had seen before, but these were marked differently. At the time I didn’t know what they meant. Note to all beginner skiers: if the image you see on that sign looks like this >
Don’t, I repeat, D>O>N>’>T go down that slope.
As we worked around the bends and curves I start to notice my teeth were chattering together. And my feet were bumping and all of a sudden I’m dududududuudududududuing quickly around a bend and smack dab into a tree. I landed flat on my back spread eagle and turned my head to watch one of my skies gracefully glide on down the slope without me.
Some kind soul fetched it and brought it back to me. He could have kept it – I wouldn’t have cared. I walked up the hill/mountain to the lodge deposited all of my rental equipment and hoped I would be safe and warm in the lodge while I waited for the rest of the crazies I was there ‘skiing’ with to be done skiing.
I wasn’t safe. Or warm.
As I was chatting with Mrs. H (she was happy to be inside too) a teenager from our group meandered on over. The mornings events turned from terrible to shockingly worse as he knelt down on one knee and proposed to me.
I said NO!
And that is the story of my first (and only) time skiing.
*In most stories names are changed to protect the innocent. Brenda’s name was not changed > she was not innocent. (But somehow we are still friends)
**The image of the black diamond was found on Google images. I don’t know how else to give it credit – but I didn’t make it.