Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm trying to maintain my amateur status in hopes of competing in the Winter Olympics

Hubby and I are going skiing this weekend. We've only skied a few times before and just like to go away for a long weekend and have fun. We don't even own ski equipment - we rent. We live in the south, so we head to the mountains of North Carolina for a quick trip.

I can't go skiing without thinking of the first time we went. As I've mentioned before, I'm challenged when it comes to being graceful. Ahem.

A few years ago, hubby and I took a long weekend to do some skiing. We had never been before and it was just the two of us that went. No sense in embarrassing ourselves in front of our friends, right?

We'll embarrass ourselves in front of strangers. That's much better.

When it came to skiing, I just couldn't "get it." I was an avid roller skater as a child and tween, but skiing just didn't click with me. Hubby, on the other hand, took to it like a duck to water. I needed to take a class and he took it with me. We learned a lot, but it would be safe to say that if this were the public school system, I would have been in the remedial group.

Finally, it starts making sense to me. Class ends by riding the lift to the top of the beginner slope and skiing down. As we're going up, I see a Hill. Neither one of us thought that would be on our slope because it was definitely pretty substantial.

I get off the chair without a problem (I hear that's a challenge for some folks - I could do that all day long). We ease down the slope. The teacher taught us the best way to control your speed is basically by skiing pigeon toed. That comes to me naturally, so I wasn't really having a problem. The farther you separate your heels, the slower you'll go. When you are going down hill, you can bend one leg, then the other and you'll make "S" curves as you go down the hill instead of going straight down. It's a good way to control your speed.

Hubby and I are doing OK as we go down. Then we approach The Hill. Yep, it's on our slope.

Folks, I just stopped at the top of the hill. Stop. People are having to ski around me and I don't care. I kept telling Hubby and the instructor, "I can not do this." Hubby and Instructor encourage me and remind to just do "S" curves on my way down and I'll be fine.

Hubby steps off the hill and demonstrates perfect S curves. That comforts me and so I decide to step off, too.


I take off like greased lightning. I am flying down The Hill to what I surely think will be my death. I am literally screaming "Help me!!" "I can't stop!!" waving my arms wildly, with my poles waving in the wind.

Then, I did something really smart.

I turned around to see if Hubby or Instructor is coming to my rescue. (Like an idiot, I really expected the instructor to speed up and help me.) Hubby? Instructor? Can't see 'em. I'm on my own. So, I'm "skiing," out of control, down hill, not looking where I'm going.

Then, I had a moment of clarity: I told myself I've had a class. I should know what to do. Take the proper stance. Bend one leg, then the other. I'll curve and slow down.

And, you know what? That's what I did.

Granted, it took me a while to slow down from my breakneck speed, but I finally got in control, slowed down, went around a curve, and ended up skiing over to the side to wait for Hubby.

And I waited. And waited. What was he doing?? Why wasn't he skiing quickly to come help me, for goodness sake?

Finally, I see him come around the curve and he is skiing so. slow. He's looking to the left, then the right. Back and forth. I'm wondering what he is looking for. Then I realize what it is - he's looking for me amongst the trees on the side of the slope. Bless his heart.

Finally, he sees me waving and comes over. As soon as he comes to me, I start on him, "Why didn't you HELP me?? You or that instructor? No one helped me."

He said, "Honey, no one could catch you. You took off, went around the curve, and I couldn't even see you. Granted, I could hear you, but couldn't see you."

We had a good laugh and I let him know the important news I didn't fall!!

And, you know what, I'm stupid enough, I mean brave enough, to go back every year since.

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