It's Not Skiing If You're Going Mach 5

>> Friday, January 20, 2012

I thought I'd repost one of my favorite posts about my first -- and last -- skiing experience!  Enjoy!


I live in Colorado. There are mountains here. Mountains which are used for skiing. The natural equation would be Colorado + Mountains + Snow = Me Skiing.

You would think.......

I tried skiing........


It's not my thing and I'll never do it again. My vision of skiing includes a large beautiful fireplace, big comfy couches, a steaming mug of hot chocolate laced with Bailey's Mint Chocolate, and a good book.

My vision of skiing does NOT include strapping on 5-foot sticks to my feet while wearing restrictive boots that make me feel like I'm walking like Frankenstein and then hurling myself down the side of a mountain at Mach 5.
What follows is a testimonial to my first (and last) ski lesson.......

Shortly after My Marine returned from Iraq, we had a mandatory "reunion weekend" at a ski resort in Breckenridge. My Marine was so excited....not because we would have 72 hours together in a ski resort without our daughter, but because I could finally try skiing. I wasn't so sure......

As we check in, I browse the brochures and see all the other fun things we could be doing instead of taking a sleigh ride, ice skating, or even dog sledding!! I tried to use my womanly wiles to change My Marine's mind from skiing to dog sledding. But it seems that unless the sled was speeding down the mountainside dodging trees and other skiers left and right, I wasn't going to have much luck changing his mind.

My Marine comes back from the desk, grinning from ear to ear, saying the first ski lesson starts at 7am and all we have to do is walk around the resort -- and there it is!

My joy was obvious....whoopee......

That night, I called Nani (who was 2 at the time) and told her that mommy will always love her and told my mother-in-law to make sure to always show Nani pictures so she won't forget who I was. I didn't sleep. I tossed and turned and had nightmares of smashing into trees.

The next morning, I get dressed in my ski pants and ski jacket (that I got as Christmas presents just a few weeks prior. Do you sense a conspiracy here?? I sure did....) My stomach is in knots and I swear I was going to throw up. My Marine is all giddy, wiggling into his ski pants, all the while saying "You're going to love this. It's going to be so much fun. You just have to remember that you're going to fall....a lot....but keep trying, ok?"

Look at my face buddy....does it look like I'm ready to have a good time? I'm as white as the snow and my stomach is spasming in time with my rapid heartbeat.

So, we're off. We gather our stuff from the car and WALK...yes WALK to the ski area. Where's the shuttle? Where's the snow mobiles? Have you ever carried a set of skis and 400 lbs. of snow boots across the snow packed mountain tundra?? I was exhausted before the lessons even started!!

My Marine says, ok...let's get those snow boots on and get you on these skis. He puts his boots on, pops his feet onto the skis, and starts shushing off across the snow, leaving me there frozen in a locked position because my ankles are locked thanks to those boots and struggling to put my feet on the skis...because they kept sliding away from me. I will spare you the stream of language that came from my drool-frozen mouth....but you can only imagine......

I managed to get my skis on and start my way across the snow. Shushing, I'm was more like grunting and heaving as I struggle to push my body weight with those stupid ski poles. And we're still on the flat surface! My Marine is way ahead of me...."encouraging" me..... "Come on honey....push!!! You can do it!!" I shot him the look of death smiled and envisioned stabbing him through the heart with my ski pole tried again. It's only 8am.

We joined the rest of the group - which I was happy to see was at least a few other adults - and just wait for the instructor. I look at my surroundings and watch as people whoosh by me effortlessly. Children Nani's age whiz by on snow boards. I remember thinking, this isn't so bad. I can do this.

And then I saw it.....the medical snowmobile zooming by with the red light blazing. I panic and would have cried, but my tears were frozen as was the whimper in my throat. I checked out the hill of death bunny slope and told myself that it really wasn't Mount Everest and that I just needed to suck it up and give it a shot.

Until our ski instructor arrived......

I hear a whoosh behind me and I'm sprayed with a fan of snow. I turn around (as much as I can....remember my ankles are locked and I've got 5-foot boards on my feet) and see Cheech & Chong's younger brother standing there. You can literally see the cloud of pot hanging over him. He's about 50, with blond, straggly, should-length hair, wearing goggles, ski pants, and a "Ski Naked" tshirt. The first words out of his mouth were ---- "Duuuudessss......I loooooveeee this mountain and you're gonnnaaa loooooveeee skiing".

I whip around to give My Marine the look of death again and I see him doubled over with laughter -- again. I now see my second ski pole impaling his forehead.

And that's when it happened. It started slowly at first.....

I started sliding backwards. I start to panic. My Marine starts to laugh. The ski instructor is talking to the group while they frantically try to get his attention to let him know one of his students is in trouble already. I put my poles in the snow to try to stop but somehow that increased the momentum. So there I am sliding backwards down the bunny slope with increasing speed (or what seems like increasing speed to me.) Later, My Marine told me that Nani crawled faster than the speed of my slide......but it didn't feel like that at the time.

I managed to stop, but then I had to make my way back to the group -- uphill. I am NOT happy. I am NOT having fun. The ski instructor (who I have nicknamed "Bong" in my head) is telling me to turn and walk sideways up the hill. WTF???? Lifting my legs to turn them sideways was like lifting 50 lbs. on each leg and then you want me to walk sideways UP a freakin' hillside??

I hate Bong. I hate My Marine. I hate all the little kids shushing past me screaming "Move it lady!"

The rest of my morning went like this.......

* Learn the "pizza" technique for stopping. Good technique in theory...if I could only remember to bend my legs to stop. Grow weary of Bong screaming "Pizza, dude!! Pizza" as I hurl past him toward the group of skiers at the bottom of the hill.

* Feel totally humiliated as I'm tugged up the hill by the rope lift. I feel like cattle being led to slaughter. Feel even more humiliated as I get tangled up in the rope maze that led to the rope lift. Really?? Why would you put a maze full of turns at the bottom of the hill? And with turns that aren't wide enough to accommodate said skis. Don't they know that by doing that they were just creating a larger target to hit?

* Resent my Marine even more as he "shushes" down the hill twice past me while I take baby steps down the mountain.

* Feel a little better because I'm not the worst student when I see Bong skiing backward while holding another student's hand. Then feel resentful....why isn't he helping me like that? Why won't he hold my hand. Determine to become teacher's pet.

* Decide that Bong can find another pet and then feel like shoving my ski pole up Bong's ass when he tells me if skiing on your rear end was a sport, I'd have perfected it by now.

By noon I had had enough. I told My Marine that I was done and that I need some lunch. I didn't eat breakfast because I was afraid of throwing up during the lessons. But by now, I was starving and sore and all too happy to leave Bong behind. I get my skis and boots off and I honestly felt like I was walking on jello. I literally forgot how to walk normally. I wobble my way back to the car, throw my skis in the back of the Jeep carefully drop off the skis and head up to our room.

I told My Marine that I will never do that again. I genuinely did feel bad because I know he had visions of us lovingly skiing the black diamond slopes together, enjoying the risk and the wind whipping through our hair. I gave it an honest attempt....I really did. But it really just wasn't for me.

That night I sank my battered and bruised body into a hot, hot bath and took about 4 Motrin. The next morning, my body was locked. I couldn't move. I had to have My Marine help me out of bed and get dressed. Every muscle in my body hurt. My fingernails hurt. My eyelids hurt. It hurt to breathe. My Marine said that he'd massage my sore muscles and I screamed..."Don't touch me! For the love of God....don't touch me!!" And then mumbled painfully through bruised lips...."Never again...."

Hot chocolate anyone???


Brian January 23, 2010 at 11:05 AM  

It builds character!

Darcy :) January 23, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

Jen, I am so sorry it was such a bad experience. You are braver than me...I don't think I want to try it. I have to say tho that you had me in stitches this afternoon, my kids were wondering why their mamma was doubled over laughing. Love the way you illustrated it with words! It was great!

Annette January 23, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

I definitely choose hot chocolate over skiing. My experience would mirror yours if I were to try it.

Much More Than Mommy January 23, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

Was I supposed to be giggling uncontrollably while I read this account of your first time skiing? If I wasn't, I apologize -- because I did. And laughed out loud a couple of times!

I hope you recovered and were able to enjoy some of the weekend!

CailinMarie January 23, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

oh sweetie. I am just stopping in meeting new bloggers and I just want to give you a hug. I adore Colorado (live in Virginia) and I adore skiing and I'm reading this and just shuddering. I learned to ski when I was little and I'm convinced it is the way to go. Way easier, you are closer to the ground, you are more flexible, it hurts way less, and humiliation hasn't entered your vocabulary yet.

This sounds like me and mountain biking.
My ex-ski instructor husband (they aren't all 'bong') loves to ride bikes down those same terrains when they are not covered in snow.

I tried it once.
I have a 3 inch scar on my shin to prove it.
For the last 8 years my really flashing rock hopper has been used for pulling kids on pavement.
and that is all it will ever be used for.

sometimes you just gotta know who you are, and when the bruises go away, and he says "ski" again, you go shopping for spicy under wear and tell him to go skiing with the boys and you'll be ready when he comes home. ;-)

really, I'm sorry it was so awful.

Too Many Hats January 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

I like the dreamy fire and hot chocolate skiing much better too. I've skied once and you pretty much summed up my experience minus the ski instruction. Yes,I was given a quick do this and do that at the bottom of the hill and then foisted onto a chair lift and up I went for a real run - what the.. I'm just glad to be alive.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog January 25, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

Oh nooooooo! That's terrible! Don't worry, I think skiing is completely over-rated. Besides, I'd rather keep BOTH of my legs, thankyouverymuch!! :-)

Jenny January 26, 2010 at 6:26 PM  

I haven't skiied for years and that's a good thing. My first lesson (age 14) involved me and my future-brother-in-law. He told me to put my skiis between his and we'd go down together. I got scared halfway down and he ended up skiing over the top of me.

Linda @ My Trendy Tykes January 27, 2010 at 7:19 AM  

LOL @ "Builds character"

I'll stick with the Wii's version of skiing.


Turning the Clock Back January 28, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

Try cross country skiing! I went to college in New Hampshire...i also HATE sking! But I do enjoy cross country!

Aleta February 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM  

I'm laughing as I read this.... because I can relate oh so much!! I tried skiing three times. I did. I tried it and give it my best. But NEVER AGAIN! In fact, the family will be leaving to go to a ski resort (natives of New Orleans don't stick around during Mardi Gras time). My brother wants to teach his wife how to ski. I'm looked at her and laughed, "Good Luck!" Yeah, have fun. Uh Huh. NOT ME!

BUT.. I have to share this ski story with you. My Dad tried to ski too. He's a rather.. large man. He took his first ski lesson on the beloved bunny slopes... and fell... and it happened at the top fo the slopes.. and when he fell... he heard this loud... "RRRRIIIPPPPPP" sound from the pants... then it got a little "airy" and "cold" in the nether regions. His ski pants ripped from one side to the other from knee to crotch to knee.. He had to Walk down the bunny slope with people pointing and laughing at him. He shot them the "state bird" and said, "NEVER AGAIN!" Lol. Give me a sleigh ride any time. Let me build a snowman and have a snow fight... I'm happy with that :)

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