I’ve only been skiing once. It was a family trip with my youth group and we went to Copper Mountain, Colorado. And I haven’t been skiing since.
Now, you should already know that I am not a natural athlete (if you have any doubts, please check here and here.) But skiing is basically controlled falling down a hill, right? I should have been golden. “Should have been” being the operative words.
I spent THREE DAYS on the bunny slopes. Me and the infants. I could not get the stopping down and if there’s anything I hate, it’s an out-of-control slide down a slippery slope with trees and people as obstacle courses (Short aside. One time, my sister and I went longboarding around her college campus. We were going downhill and I got going too fast and tried to jump off the board and straddle it so it could shoot between my legs. That didn’t work as well as I wanted it to. I almost died.) I spent alot of time inside the lodge, sitting next to the fire, making up stories about how great at skiing I was.
Then, on the second to last day, the boy that I was head over heels for with asked me to do a green slope with him. How could I refuse? My motto was, “Even if you might die, do it if it could possibly bring you closer to getting a boyfriend.” So, I geared up and we got on the ski lift. We got off the ski lift. I fell down immediately- just a little heap at the bottom of the ski lift hill, an extra obstacle for those behind us. Once I righted myself, we started downhill. Here’s how it went:
Ski 10 feet
Go too fast
Take 2 minutes to stand up
With each fall, I could see my chances of snagging a boyfriend slipping away. I mean, he was nice, but who wants to date someone after you’ve seen them crash face first into a snow bank while a four-year-old Olympic skiier taunts them? Halfway down, I gave up (loudly), took off my skis, and walked the rest of the way down the mountain.
My pride and my body were wounded after my gigantic failure of a ski attempt, so I opted to ride the shuttle back to our hotel. My friends Lauren and Kim accompanied me.
Here’s another reason why I would hate skiing even if I was good at it- the equipment is too bulky. It’s like trying to carry two surfboards, two astronaut boots, two giant toothpicks that could impale any part of you at any second, and then the requisite, goggles, jacket, pants, sweater, scarf, hats, etc…Lord help you if you brought a book to read in the lodge or some sandwiches for snacking on the slopes. Who can really carry all of that successfully? And don’t say Picabo Street. She has people.
The shuttle, for some reason only God knows, pulled up at the back of the hotel’s parking lot, so we had to carry 300 pounds of pokey things across an icy parking lot of doom. Kim and Lauren got off first. I took three steps and fell down.
Now, normally, this would be a “I fell down in the parking lot and we all had a good laugh” story, but let me remind you that I am carrying heavy, cumbersome ski equipment. When I fell, my ski accouterments fell with me. When I fell, my neck fell on my ski pole. (THANK THE LORD IT WASN’T THE POINTY END or this story would have a very different ending.) Yes, the rubberized handle of my ski pole guided my neck to the ground, where I promptly slid under a car and just laid there, resting and thinking about how much I hate skiing.
My “friends” paused and then laughed uncontrollably all the way back to our room, where I discovered that my ski pole had given me a raspberry on my neck that looked suspiciously like a hickey, which I, of course, wore like a badge of honor for the rest of the trip.
Unconsciously, this situation became the guideline by which I lived my life in high school. Instead of impressing boys with my athletic prowess, my inability to do anything remotely physical resulted in me getting hickeys from inanimate, sports equipment instead of actual males.
But at least I have a good story.
(In case you don’t believe me, you can see my original blog post from 2004.)