To Ski, or Not to Ski
(Or Snowmageddon: One Man’s Failed Attempt to Get Down the Bunny Slope)
I keep a list of all the things I can’t do. For instance, I can’t win at video games. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to master the art pressing of the all minuscule buttons in a specific order with split second accuracy while simultaneously telling my opponent that he plays like a little girl. I’ve tried, I’ve failed, I’ve accepted it. I also can’t play sports. My hand-eye coordination just never matched up to my peers who had spent their lifetimes mastering the art of throwing, running, tackling and jumping while simultaneously telling their opponents that they played like little girls. I’ve tried (occasionally), I’ve failed (horrifically), I’ve accepted it (begrudgingly).
I bring this up because I’ve recently discovered another fun hobby at which I am woefully untalented: skiing. One may be under the impression that it is easy, but this, I’m sad to say, is a mocking understatement to the unparalleled skill that one must posses in order to fall gracefully down a giant snowy mountainside….or, at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. If it really is easy, then I am even more uncoordinated than I first believed. Allow me to walk you through the embarrassment of my recent trip.
The day started off well enough, I enjoyed coffee and snacks with Jessica and her best friend Sarah on our way to the ski resort while listening to the musical stylings of Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. Once arriving at the slopes we all suited up and readied ourselves for what was sure to be a fun filled afternoon of gaily sliding down newly tufted hills of snow before retiring to the fire and drinking hot chocolate into the early evening hours; laughing and enjoying a great orange sunset over the white peaks. Unbeknownst to me, however, was the mocking torment that one feels as they slip and slide and fall on their butts with everyone watching while they’re on the slope and their ski has fallen off on their right foot and they try desperately to get it back on but for some reason it won’t snap into place and you keep slipping down the hill and falling over and you happened to have crashed right under the ski lift so everyone is right above you watching as you make an ass out of yourself and your stupid boot won’t click into the stupid ski even though you try over and over…but I digress.
After purchasing our tickets and renting our equipment, we were soon out on the slopes. Jessica and I opted for skis while Sarah decided to snowboard, a choice which would be made clear to me in time. I should have foreseen the danger of the skis when, before we had even moved ten feet, Jessica fell while trying to maneuver around a couple of twelve year old boys (who, by the way, were skiing so well they may as well have been in the Olympics). We made our way to the bunny slopes, where by some sheer act of God I didn’t run into or injure anyone, and then (stupidly) decided it would be fun to tackle some of the larger terrain; the bunny hill 2.0 if you will. We cautiously made our way to the ski lift and before we knew it, were looking out on the great spectacle of seasoned skiers making their way down the hillside with grace and skill that would make a ballerina jealous, juxtaposed with skiers who were obviously on their first day and spent more time on their butts than they did upright.
As we were getting off the ski lift, we were forced to either go left or right off the runway. I went to the right as I didn’t have a choice because that’s where my skis decided to go, and Jessica went to the left (I’m assuming for the same reason). We could see each other on either side of the lift and I saw Jessica motion for me to come to the left side with her. I couldn’t very easily get to that side so I made the dumb assumption that since we were skiing down the same hill, we would obviously end up in the same spot….I didn’t see her again for another hour and thirty minutes.
I made my way to the edge, Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” playing in my head as I prepared for the epic fun that was surely about to ensue. The first 7-9 seconds were great fun! With the wind in my face, I was rapidly approaching speeds of four miles per hour, and then it happened…I tried to turn (beginner’s mistake) and before I knew it I had landed face first in the snow, one ski gone and both my poles ten feet back up the mountainside. This, however, was not embarrassing. Of course I fell, it was my first time ever skiing. I had mentally prepared for the fact that I would fall several times throughout the day. What I had not prepared for, was how unbelievably hard it is to get going again once you have fallen! First of all, you’re halfway up a slippery mountain side, rendering it difficult to do anything. Second, if your ski falls off, it is a nightmare to get it back on! There are clips in the back of the ski that must be pressed down in order to put your ski on (thanks for explaining that one equipment rental staff), and when it falls off as you crash your ski boot gets packed in with snow that you have to clear out before it will clip back in, which is all but impossible as it’s extremely hard to stand on one foot on the side of a mountain.
As I ask myself who in the world would do this for fun, I crawl the ten feet back up the hill to grab my poles with one ski on and one ski off which makes me look like a wounded deer with mental problems. I slide back down to try to get the other ski back on, all the while six year old ski prodigies are zooming past me and laughing. I attempt to put the ski back on, falling and slipping over and over again for several minutes before some kind young person on the ski lift (which, by the way, was eight feet directly above my head), told me that I needed to push the tab down in the back to put it back on. I finally get all equipment back in it’s proper place, and compose myself as I prepare to make it down the remaining 95% of the slope.
All in all, I go through this exact routine six times and let me tell you; it does not get any easier, nor any less embarrassing as it repeatedly happens over and over again. But as going back up the hill is not really an option, it must be endured. At the bottom of the hill I spend nearly forty minutes cross-country skiing looking for Jessica and Sarah. I finally find them back at the lodge taking pictures and laughing. It seems as though they had gotten down the hill after many falls of their own, decided to use the restroom and had been at the lodge ever since.
This all being said, I had a great time! Sure, it would have been nice to have actually “ski’d” once, but nevertheless, any time spent outdoors is time well spent, especially when it’s with the ones you love. Next time though, I think I’m gonna bring my sled.
Be kind to each other,
P.S. - If you would like to watch this failure of ski trip, check out my video on my YouTube channel!