Well, it's winter in Canada and we are getting so much snow in such a short period of time... I was e-mailing a friend today who had asked if I've ever gone skiing and I wrote out the story of my one and only ski escapade! It is such an... Inspirational?.. Yes, inspirational story I had to share! ha!
I have gone skiing... It was not really successful, hah. I had never been on skis before and I went with friends, two guys, three girls... NOT a good plan for a beginner, haha! When we first arrived at Crabbe Mountain we went straight into the rental building, the young workers gave me snow-blades because they are shorter and easier to handle because they don't cross over as much as original skis would... However they neglected to mention snow blades make you go faster... Once we were all suited up in our ski gear our to the hill we trudged. The guys and one girl immediately left us (we told the they could, I didn't want to be the newbie to hold them up while I was "getting a feel for the slopes."
I went down the bunny hill seven times that day and when I reached the bottom on my seventh run my friend, Melissa, said “oh yeh, you are definitely ready, it’s really not that hard..” she smiled with all the support and excitement I should have been feeling but I didn't. I decided, however, Dave's Dream would be like the bunny hill but longer and maybe just a bit more steep, right? WRONG! Dave’s Dream? More like Suzie’s nightmare! Haha.
Here are the things I didn't know at this point in my skiing experience:
- How to turn/weave (I still don't even know what the technical term would be) to make myself go slower down a hill or to steer around anything in the way, a child, a tree, a dear, it wouldn't matter, I'd most likely hit it...
- How to stop, I just fall over...
- They don’t powder any hills other than the bunny hill so the actual skiing hills may or may not be covered in jagged ice depending on last week’s weather... I got "lucky," it had been an ice storm two days before we went...
I will stop this list here so I can tell you how I made out "skiing" down the first half of the hill... Not well.
While skiing down the first half of Dave's Dream, I kept having to throw myself over every few feet because I was going too fast for a beginner, watching the shards of ice fly by was more than a little intimidating... You can imagine the thoughts of injury running through my head almost as swiftly as I was speeding down the hill... Of course the fear made me crouch down a little, which as you most likely already know would only make me go faster. So, throw myself down, at least that's a controlled fall? I would rather that than a bad, uncontrolled tumble down "the Dream" and break something or rip my face up. I fell so much it got to the point that I felt bad enough for my friend that I made her ski to the bottom and wait for me so she could at least have some fun... I then proceeded to try to make my snow-blades and bum a slide by spreading my feet a little more than shoulder width apart and dragging my hind parts in the snow... I also drug my poles behind me to slow me... Sorry to all of you skiers who are cringing at the thought of how ripped up I would make your precious packed down trail but I was trying to save my life here! ha! It worked! I almost ripped my arms out of the sockets but it worked, I made it to the bottom of the first half!
Oh yes, one detail I cannot leave out of my "skiing journey" on the first half: the snow patrol stopped to ask if I needed help.... That's right, you know, the guy on the ski-do (usually cute and this one was no exception) apparently thought I was flailing around enough to look like I should be helped and/or evacuated. Of course, embarrassed, I blurted out “no, no, this is how I do it...” Yep... Proud blonde moment there.
SO I get to the bottom and they have what looks similar to a cow corral... My friend tells me, with a smile and encouraging tone “okay, so, now we ski over there, in the same ‘lane’ and jump on the [always moving, never stopping] chair lift.” Continuing on with the list of things I didn't know:
- How to cross country ski, I just high-stepped sideways to get anywhere to this point.. Which I couldn't do in the "cow corral" because even though I was wearing the shorter snow-blades, they were still wider than the lanes...
- I didn't know the chair lift never stops you just get to sort of jump on, kind of like jumping into a double dutch skipping challenge, except with way greater potential of injury.
- That the part of the chairlift you bring down over your lap to hold you onto the chair wouldn't actually lock in at all so you just hold on for dear life...
- I didn't realize (although I should have.. of course, at this point it’s too late even if you do) the chairlift also does not stop when it’s time to get off.
Don't worry about me, I'm a problem solver, I just high-stepped over to the cow corral and then drug myself through with my, now maimed, arms. I swallowed my fear and jumped on without incident, hey, John Wayne said "Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway." so I did. Once we were mid air, Melissa kindly informed me “so, see where it’s turning up ahead? We just jump off there and you’ll automatically be skiing down the next hill...” again with one of her trademark smiles. That sentence, apparently, was my breaking point, my eyes welled up with tears and I cried “I CAN’T DO THAT, I don’t know what I’m doing!” I should probably now mention there was some poor snowboarder kid stuck in our chairlift beside me, the crazy, blonde, crying lady.. Oh, but again, no worries I consoled him “It’s okay, I am okay, I’m just scared, I've never done this before..” as I smiled through my tears... It probably scared him more and he didn't respond. All I could think was, "what if the never slowing chair cracks me in the back of the head and I get knocked out!? People will just have to jump on me until someone moves me out of the way..." or "What if I jump a little too soon and go backwards down a non-ski hill?" "What if I trip someone else?" "What if I just can’t get going?" Soon enough my thoughts carried me to the top of the hill and............... I jumped anyway! I made it over to the lift pole to take a minute to gather myself and skied down the bunny hill to safety. Thankfully, it was lunch time and the guys were waiting for us to go into the lodge for some much needed nutrition. After they ate they all went back out to enjoy the rest of the day on the slopes while I enjoyed a live acoustic band and hot chocolate by a fireplace in the chalet.
So the point of all of this, and the reason I decided to share is because I've been scared of lots of things, some more serious and others not. Some things I've been afraid of have held me back and now I wish I would have jumped anyway... You see, the point is, I didn't know what was going to happen, I only had scary experiences to compare it to... And no, I didn't start something I will probably ever really enjoy or maybe even do again but I did it and I was fine... Now I know what skiing is to me and I'm glad I do. So whatever it is that is scaring you out of possibly moving forward into the unknown, whatever leap you're not so sure you're willing to take, this post is just meant to be a little push. I jumped anyway, will you?