Today, I invite you to come with me on a journey – of pain.
It’s that time of year again – the time of year when I hurtle my body down the side of an icy mountain and attempt to arrive at the bottom in one piece, all in the name of ‘fun.’ When and where will this ‘fun’ be occurring you might ask? You can witness it for yourself in Vail, Colorado, the last weekend of February.
Alright, if you can’t make it, I understand – I will post pictures when I return. IF… I return…
My very first time skiing, I was actually sort of a natural. The feeling was incredible. I could swoosh, and zoom, and race, and turn, and stop – stopping is important – and I looked SO sexy skiing, I didn’t want to stop.
But then we had to move off of the bunny slope cause it was time for the 3 year olds to have lessons.
My skiing lesson essentially over, it was time to conquer the mountain, and I was ready. Up we went on the gondola with our guide, an expert snowboarder living in Vail who knew the mountain by heart. “We will go down only beginner trails, I promise,” he said. Followed by “I think it’s this way…” Still, I was confident this would be a piece of cake. After all, Kenny had explained everything I needed to know about skiing before we arrived, and it all sounded pretty simple:
Bend your knees a little;
Ski from side to side to control your speed;
Keep your skis parallel and make a wedge to slow down;
Don’t ski off the side of a catwalk cause you’ll slide straight down the mountain and die.
Off we went, I was skiing side to side, using my wedge, left, right, left, right, on and on toward a catwalk that broke sharp to the right. Only, I was coming down fast, my skis pointing left when it was time to turn right onto the catwalk. Forgetting my wedge, and pretty much everything else I had ever learned in my entire life, I sat down on my butt in an attempt to stop…
and slid right off the side of the mountain. Yep.
All I could think on my way down was “Sonnnnnyyyyyy Bonoooooooooo…!!!”
I came to a stop upside down with my skis tangled in some aspen branches, my legs pinning my shoulders down in a 5 foot heap of snow. Kenny had to climb down, pop me out of my skis and dig me out. If I wasn’t embarrassed enough already, (I mean, I had totally blown it in front of our talented snowboarder guide, who was still trying to figure out which trail we should take) my sister-in-law was laughing her ass off so loudly that a crowd started to gather. And then ski patrol showed up asking if we needed assistance (which sounded a lot like “Do you need us to fly in a helicopter to get you off the mountain?”) “No, no, no, please…. I’m fine,” I said as a horde of 5 year olds whisked by onto the catwalk.
Although that incident lives on in my psyche, causing my knees to knock a little even now, I continue to return to Vail to try it all again and again. I don’t know why, so don’t even ask.
Anyway, all that time our house was under renovation, when we had no kitchen and were eating out every single day, I gained 10 pounds. I know that’s not much, but my ski pants were already a little snug last year when I was 10 pounds lighter. Not to mention, it’s become sort of important to me to at least look good when I ski into the trees and die.
I’ve never really been “fit” – I’m an asthmatic, and I live by my motto that ‘I run ONLY if there is a bear chasing me’ – and in South Florida, you can easily decipher how often that is.
But to prepare for all of this “F.U.N.” I’m gonna have skiing this year, I’ve decided to “R.U.N.” It’s insane, I know. I figure I will either lose those 10 pounds, become incredibly fit, and ski like a beast – or I’ll die trying.
I did a walk/run for the first time today, and I gotta be honest – I feel like total shit. I’m nauseous, my legs are screaming, and my head is pounding – yet, I already plan to do this again on Monday morning.
All in the name of FUN.
Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.