So I went skiing on New Year’s Day.
A year ago, I went downhill skiing for the first time ever, if you don’t count sliding down the hill at my old junior high…the short side, where the toddlers get to go sledding. My friend Chuck taught me how, and I stayed on the bunny hill, partially due to time constraints and partially due to pouring rain and partially due to being all worn out by the time I got the hang of it. Or thought I had. This year, we did one trip down the bunny hill, and I thought, hey, I kinda remember this, let’s go on up the mountain!
I had no idea that I was afraid of heights, but dangling from the ski lift, I made this discovery. Who invented these things, and why did they not install some sort of restraint? Nothing kept me from plunging to my death (or at least broken limbs) but my own iron grasp. And I was wearing gloves. In the movies, this never turns out well. Chuck assured me that people never fell out, not even small children, although some teenagers jump out on purpose. I assume this is because their brains are not yet fully developed. Then he mentioned some occasions where ski lifts are stopped. He’s a scientist, so I was surprised that he wasn’t alarmed by the fact that we were sitting unrestrained on a forward-moving object that might stop, leaving us to be objects in motion that tend to remain in motion. And then the ski lift stopped. Chuck used this as an object lesson as to why I should follow his disembarking instructions very carefully, so that people would not laugh at me, and I would not risk their lives by causing the lift to be stopped again.
Clearly, I survived, but I’m not entirely sure how. The trip down the hill was even more harrowing. I did not know I could move that quickly, and I was not altogether comfortable doing so, so to break my speed, I was forced to occasionally tip over. Apparently this method of progress was noticed by some, including a gentleman that offered to buy me a beer, should I ever reach the bottom. I did reach the bottom, and the gentleman was nowhere to be found, but that is just as well as I’m not a beer drinker.
I intended to risk life and limb at least one more time just to prove that I wasn’t too afraid to do so, but after lunch I found that though the heart was willing, the legs were not. Until next year!