Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bad Ski Day

Alas, the snow in Colorado is quite lacking this year.  That is the excuse I'm giving for all of the debacles that follow.

The week after the New Year dawned, we drove to Telluride for a "Ski Holiday," as the Europeans would say.  It's a short 12 hour drive door to door.  We West Texans take long drives in stride because we are 5 hours from everything it seems.  This year the drive was a peace of cake compared to last year when we had to pull over several times so that Bryce could "froak up" on the side of the highway.  That drive was followed by the Worst Ski Week Ever.

Of the 5 ski days, I skied just two.  (My stack of new Christmas gift novels and some Telluride shopping took up the other days.)  Although I have been skiing for about 18 years, my skill level can be described as "advanced beginner" at best.  I love tearing up the green runs.  In Telluride they have runs designed just for the likes of me - double greens!  The fine print under the designation says "advanced beginner."  Ahhh, yes.  

Ski Day 1.
I was a ski warrior.  I flew down those double greens with the wind whistling past my ears!  Of course, the boys easily flew past me during the few runs they politely skiied with me.  Alan always stays pretty close.  I think that he's figured out that if I fall, he doesn't want to have to trudge very far up mountain to help me up.  Anyhoo...the snow was well-groomed, the slopes were pretty deserted, and I was on the top of my game.  Guess how many times I wiped out.  OK.  I'll tell you.  Zip.  Zilch. Zero.  Nunca.  My feet didn't hurt.  My legs didn't burn.  Hurray for Advanced Beginner me!

Ski Day 2.
Reed and I decided to laze around reading that morning.  We joined Bryce and Alan on mountain at lunch.  After lunch, as I was walking towards my skis I dropped my gloves not one but three times.  Reaching down to pick up anything while you're wearing ski boots is rather irritating.  Heck.  I can't touch my toes standing barefoot.  Add ski boots into the mix, and I come up panting.  The third time I dropped my gloves I turned to Alan and said, "I'm pretty sure that dropping your gloves 3 times is a bad omen."  I was wrong.  Dropping my gloves three times was a message from God.  "HEAD BACK TO THE HOUSE!  READ A BOOK!  STAY OFF OF THE MOUNTAIN!  THOU SHALT NOT SKI TODAY!"  Did I heed the warning?  Nope.  Do I regret not heeding the warning.  Yes, oh, yes.

Gloves on.  Skis on.  Goggles on.  Alan and I headed towards my beloved double green runs.  I could tell that I was off to a rough start.  My feet began to complain.  I couldn't make my turns very smoothly.  It was almost like I forgot how to ski - a phenomenon which occurs quite regularly when you're me.  With all of the beautiful sunshine and the lack of snowfall, the snow had become rather icy.

I skiied the first run rather sloppily.  During this run Alan said what he often says at times like these, "You probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take a 1/2 day lesson every year."  Don't even get me started.  I have had many 1/2 day lessons in my time -private and small classes.  The German guy with the ponytail at one resort will tell you to step on your left toe to turn left.  The French guy with the good teeth at another will tell you to bend just so and "apply pressure" with your left foot.  "Laft foooot.  A-ply presh-air!"  

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I replied to Big Al, "I had a great ski day on Tuesday.  I KNOW how to ski.  It's just that the snow is icy.  I can see little patches of grass."

Fall 1.
After the first run, I told Alan that I wanted to go down a plain old green run with all of the beginners so that I could get my "ski legs" back.  That was one of the few times that Alan zoomed down the run out of sight.  I was schussing along tentatively building up speed when all of a sudden I lost control.  I somehow spun around backwards and fell face down in the snow with my skis pointing downhill crossed in a big ugly "X."  As I lay there spitting snow, little 4 year olds zoomed past me.  I kept waiting for some instructor to warn them, "Don't ever do what that lady did!"

Fall 2.  
After the first fall, I insisted that Alan join the boys on runs named things like Polar Queen Express and Boomerang.  I, on the other hand, was going to laze around on my beloved Galloping Goose and Double Cabin.  It was actually on my favorite run, Bridges, that I had my foretold 2nd wipeout.  There was some rolling involved along with some grunts and groans.    I came down really hard on my right knee.  I laid there a bit trying to decide whether or not I needed a ski patrol rescue.  It was there coated in snow with my skis and poles scattered around me that I began to sniffle.  My car keys had been ejected from my ski jacket pocket upon impact and were splayed out in the sparkling snow just out of my reach.  "Yes, LORD.  I see the car keys.  I'm listening to you now."  My eyes swelled with tears as my left ski rejected my left boot the first 5 times I tried to snap them together.  I was panting.  Crying.  Missing my novels.  I gathered myself up and began to oh-so-slowly ski down to the lift.

Fall 3.
I was so relieved when I finally reached the crest of the gentle slope that lead to the lift.  I began making a left turn as I made my way down when suddenly my right ski came off.  I mean it went flying in another direction.  The same ski that I had been skiing on since Fall 2.  This fall included some "Whoa!  Whoa!  Whoa!"-s and some rolling accompanied by "Ouch!"-s each time I whacked my right knee.  Oh, the tears began to flow down my face.  I  had to lift my goggles and use my neck gator to wipe them away.  I pulled myself up, gathered up my gear, and began to limp down to the lift.  A cute college boy skiied up and asked me if I would like for him to take my skis down to the lift for me promising that he wouldn't run off with them.  "Thank you.  Yes, that would be great.  And, you can HAVE my skis."  With a wink and a grin he was off.  My hero.

I had to put my skis back on to ride the lift towards freedom.  I figured that if they came off while I was on the lift or when I got off it would be hunky dory with me.  A man behind me in line said, "Ma'am, did you know that your Camelback (backpack) is unzipped and seems to be filled with snow?"  "I figured as much.  Can you zip it for me," I replied.  I wanted to add, "And, can you carry my skis to the car and help me get these stinkin' boots off?  A cup of hot chocolate would be nice."

The Grand Debacle of the Day.  (Yes.  There's more.)
I had parked the car in a lot by a particular lift earlier in the day.  Sloppily carrying my skis and poles, I cried with wild abandon in the deserted parking lot.  I could feel my knee swelling.  I ached from head to toe.  Once I reached the Suburban, I propped my skis on the side of it and fumbled to find my keys in one of my million coat pockets.  I opened the back, threw my gloves, gator, goggles, and poles in hully-gully-get-out-of-my-life disgust.  Then, I commenced to take off my ski boots.  My cozy Uggs were lying before me whispering sighs of sweet comfort.  The struggle with my boots turned ugly when I realized that I was pretty much incapacitated by my ever-swelling knee.  I think that it was then that I actually said "dammit." 

My weeping crescendoed kinda like this: 

Alan called me on my cell a couple of times during my slow exit from the mountain.  But at that moment when I heard his ringtone (the theme from Superman), I began to wail. "Do you need me to come help you?" he asked sympathetically.  "No......I don't want you to have to leave the boys when you're having fun,"  I hiccuped.  ""You SUUUURE?" he asked knowingly.  "I want you to come help me!!!!!!" I cried.  "Just sit in the car and wait for me.  I'll be right there," he said trying to soothe my hysteria.

So, I climbed up into the Suburban in the deserted parking lot and cried to my heart's content.  After a few minutes, I decided that it would make Alan's trek to the car easier if I carefully drove to a different part of the parking lot.  Testing my ability to step on the brake and gas pedals to see if I could operate them in boots, I decided that I most certainly could ease the car to the other side of the lot.

I slowly pulled out of the parking space.  As I pulled out, my back tires ran over something. I figured that it wasn't a small child because the parking lot was empty.  "Hmm.  Must be a speed bump," I reasoned.  I put the car in drive and pulled forward.  Again, bump-bump.  I pulled up further and looked in my rearview mirror.  There on the pavement lay my skis.  I had run over them not once...but twice.  (See video clip above.)

Oh, I could tell you about how hard I cried when I told Alan that I had run over my very expensive 3 year old skis.  I could tell you that the boys and Alan examined them and could find nothing broken.  I could tell you how hard it was to get out of my ski pants with my bum knee.  But, I'll just say that I will not be needing a new kneecap.  And, I lived to see the Cotton Bowl game that night.

Will I ever ski again?  Yup.  Will I buy a helmet?  Yup.


Anonymous said...

Next time I am that frustrated, I will think of your post and it will make me smile! I hope your knee is much better now

Carolyn Lackey said...

Anon, I must say that it takes a LOT to get me frustrated... However, skiing can take me from 1-100 in minutes. {;-) Yup. My knee is better!! Thanks!

Carrie said...

Im glad that you're not giving up...and that you didn't break your skis!
"don't ever do what that lady did!" hee!


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