“You know what you need? You need to do SOMETHING that will get you out of your box…to kick start yourself. What can we do, I’ll be in Pennsylvania next week.”
And so went the conversation between my friend Carol and I. Some ideas we kicked around were ice skating, ice fishing, roller skating, and skiing. We picked skiing as it was really outside BOTH of our boxes and after much research we picked the place and day. Then came the most difficult part – what to WEAR! At this time of year, I found that most stuff was on sale, and I picked up a ski outfit at Dick’s Sporting Goods for 40% or more on each item. Despite picking all this stuff out, I still couldn’t figure out if I’d stay warm or not.
On the ski day, we did some shopping beforehand at the local Victoria’s Secret (why? because it was fun!), then met our friend Andy for lunch. That was a trip; we all seem to revert back to our high school, juvenile selves when we’re together. Lots of fun.
So then we set off to Whitetail Ski Resort. Andy is all set; he’s got his skis, boots, all ready to go. Carol and I go up in our ‘street clothes,’ because surely an upscale resort such as this has a changing area? Um…no! We get changed in the bathroom then head out for our boots. It’s like putting on a pair of space boots. After 25 minutes, we have our boots on, off we go to get our skis. Finally, we are ready for our lesson.
We learn about our skis, poles, how to put the skis on, and how to get around in them. We are ready! Now, I won’t go into detail on who fell down first, or how many times…but we were having a blast. We spent about an hour or so with our lesson, and the instructor decided we were ready to tackle the beginner slope. We rode up a moving sidewalk, which took us halfway up the hill. A moving sidewalk isn’t too difficult…in the airports! But when you have skis and you’re a beginner, it’s like a newborn foal trying to find its legs…all you see are legs and skis flailing. Then you get to the top and it’s the same story.
So there we are, at the middle of the hill, ready to zig zag and snowplow down. I still don’t exactly know what happened, but Carol takes off down the hill like greased lightning. Straight down the hill. The instructor zooms off after her, and miraculously, she doesn’t fall getting down there. Very impressive! Her next trip, though, she had to hold on to the instructor. Me? I zigged and zagged but had problems snowplowing.
We went down that hill a few more times, and Carol was done. Truth be told, I was getting tired but I felt like the outing would be complete without a ride up the “real” lift, so Andy & I head up the lift. Getting off was the problem. Andy was a good helper, he helped me up and retrieved my poles. Then he said, “How about we go down THAT hill instead of this one?” Now, THAT hill was a bit steeper. I was nervous. It was like staring down from the summit of the K-12. But I thought, Hey, what’s the worst that can happen? I will regret NOT doing it.
So, off we go. Zig #1 – fail. Andy tells me, if you get in trouble, lean back and fall. This only caused me to pick up more speed. So after a spectacular wipe out, he retrieves my hat and poles, and off I go in the opposite direction – Zag #1 – fail. I thought, I’m not falling down again so I tried to snowplow; and wound up in the trees; actually in a thorn bush. Now, I have friends who told me, “I can’t wait to hear how many times you fall” vs. “Hey! I can’t wait to hear how many times you successfully make it down the mountain,” so this story is for them. So I recovered from the thorns, and again Andy (in true southern style – Bless His Heart!) brings my poles and hat. I’m exhausted. I’m halfway down. Off I go again. Zig #2 – this one was the best yet. I wipe out and snow goes up (or would that be down) my pants…up to that point I was pretty warm but snow down your pants is pretty cold. I’m ready for the final approach now. The only problem is, if I can’t stop, I’m running into the Lodge. Maybe that wouldn’t be bad, just cruise in for a latte while I’m at it? So off I go. I’m picking up speed and can’t stop. Thankfully Andy (Bless his heart!) is in front of me and runs as a block.
Now some folks would get hung up on how many times I fell down. But, I take pride in the number of times I went up (and successfully down) the beginner slope AND went down that steeper hill; I made it to the bottom without breaking anything or hurting myself; I’d say that’s successful.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. It was a fun experience, made better by sharing it with good friends who had an equally good time laughing. I’ve come to really appreciate friendships that were forged many years ago. It’s not often you find folks that you’re absolutely, 100% comfortable with…but with these guys, I’ve found that.
Afterwards, we went to the pub and celebrated, a perfect way to end the evening!