Skiing, or Falling Gracelessly Down a Mountain

Yesterday evening, I decided to go skiing with my boyfriend and our friend.  I had all the tools: skis and boots, warm clothing, goggles, and friends to either laugh at/motivate me when I would inevitably fall.

I realized I was in trouble when I was on the ski lift.  Correction: I realized I was in trouble as I was getting on the ski lift.  I had no ski poles, which would turn out to be a major oversight later, and it was quickly obvious that I wasn’t going to get onto the ski left gracefully or without being hit by a moving chair.  As the boyfriend watched, and glimpsed a hint of what was to come, a helpful attendant took me by the arm and glided me over to where I was supposed to be.  I successfully got on the chair lift, and there was no going back.  I was going to have to ski down this mountain.  It was at this moment that this realization began to sink in, along with many other discomforting thoughts and questions.  (When was the last time I’d been skiing?? Ten years ago? Hadn’t it taken me a while to get down the mountain? Hadn’t I been run over by a skier before? What if I fell off the ski lift? Were there bobcats out here??)  I also remembered my fear and trepidation of getting off ski lifts.  I have never gotten off a ski lift successfully or gracefully, and I did not break my tradition yesterday.  I fell pretty much immediately after leaving the chair.  My boyfriend helped me back into my skis, and we headed towards the run.  It was at the top of the slope that I completely lost my nerve.  I was on the verge of tears. and a heart attack. and peeing myself.

Let me stop right here to explain my fear. I am not afraid of heights, and I never have been.  I’m not even really afraid of falling.  I’m afraid of skiing off into the woods, breaking my limbs, being left for dead, and being eaten slowly by a bobcat that I can’t fight off with my broken limbs.

My boyfriend finally convinced me to take the plunge and I was off…for all of five seconds.  What’s worse than falling after 10 feet with skiers and snowboarders whizzing past you?  Falling after 10 feet and not being able to get up with skiers and snowboarders whizzing past you.  This would prove a problem for the rest of my skiing adventure.  When I would fall, oh and I would fall many, many times, I could neither push myself up nor get my skis off.  Eventually, I wouldn’t even try any more.  I would just lie helplessly in the snow.  Actually, some credit should be given to the other people on the mountain, who always gave me plenty of room despite my erratic skiing and falling.

I could go into more details about my falling and inability to get up, which became the recuring theme of the evening, but I’ll spare us both the pain.  What happened was this: not even halfway down the mountain, my boyfriend, friend and I realized that my skiing attempt was better left for another day.  So, I walked with my skis the rest of the way down and waited in the lodge while my boyfriend and friend continued skiing.

I figured I’d already lost my pride up higher on the mountain when the skiers had started lapping me.