Went and saw the Bridget Jones sequel with the girls tonight. Funny! It’s a good movie to go see with your girlfriends. I especially enjoyed the skiing scene. Crazy things must happen to everyone the first time they go downhill skiing . . . and all this time I thought it was just me and stacy 🙂 We both went downhill skiing one time (though not together at the same time and a thousand miles apart at different mountains) and share shockingly similiar (though not totally the same) stories about our experiences. I went to Blue Mountain, north of Barrie in Ontario . . . Stacy went to a mountain near Edmundston in New Brunswick. I went with my boyfriend and another couple. Stacy went with her classmates from school. Stacy has some pretty funny (and painful) stories about the t-bar . . . while I rode a chair lift. Stacy didn’t quite make it down the hill on her own speed (they had to go get her on a snowmobile) . . . while I journeyed down the slope all on my own. Both our skiing stories are rather Bridget Jones-like, which makes me think maybe that’s just what happens when you go skiing the first time.
Skiing was one of those things I did with Kevin that I can’t imagine doing with anybody else . . . I’d be too afraid and I wouldn’t even be able to imagine the fun of it. Out of all my boyfriends (there really haven’t been that many) he was the one who constantly had me out of my comfort zone and trying crazy things. Not that skiing is crazy . . . although the way I did it . . .
So, we went to Blue Mountain with Jim and Yvonne (she was a few months pregnant, which is kind of weird in retrospect), rented equipment and hit the beginner slope. The men were good skiers, neither Yvonne nor I had ever skied before. The first terrifying thing was the chair lift, of course. I don’t do heights very well. I really don’t do dangling legs very well at all, let alone with great big heavy clunky skis weighing down those legs. There wasn’t even a bar across the front to give some false sense of security. The chairs go round and round and you just stand in the right spot so it sweeps you off your feet and slide off when you reach the top.
Terrified is putting it mildly. We were pretty high up in the air and it was quite a long ride to the top. I might not have been quite so freaked out by the time I reached the top, if Kevin hadn’t remarked that he was surprised the bunny slope was so high. That was always the way, like the time on the looping rolling coaster, I was fine until I looked at him and saw the horror on his face.
Anyway, it’s safe to say by the time we reached the top I was a little rigid with fear. It didn’t help to see what was happening to the people in the chairs in front of us. They were standing up when the chair reached the ledge (maybe two feet wide with a sheer drop straight down into the valley on one side) and sliding down a little hill (maybe 10 feet) to get to the level part at the top of the mountain where you would start your descent back down the slope. This was an unexpected development and looked like it would require precise timing in order to escape injury . . . so, I froze up.
I mean when the time came, Kevin slid off and down the little hill and I stayed in the chair. It all happened very quick then. The chair made a sharp turn to head back down the slope and pick new skiers up. When it whipped around the turn I was thrown from the chair, landing on my feet, and sliding full speed into a chain link fence (perhaps put there just to catch runaway skiers like myself). This was the first cartoon moment of the day. My face and body crashed into the fence and bounced off. I flailed in the air holding my balance for what seemed like minutes where I was suspended backward defying gravity and then I fell flat on my back (more like dropped really, straight as a poker) skis sticking straight up in the air.
They stopped the lift to make sure I was okay and by the time Kevin got to me I was laughing uncontrollably at the spectacle I had made of myself.
If only it had ended there . . .
Jim and Kevin gave me and Yvonne some instruction on how to ski — bend your knees, turn side to side, move this way to turn that way, that way to turn this way, do this to stop, and so on. Off went Yvonne down the hill . . . at a snails pace . . . while I gathered my wits and courage after the fence thing. I could hear the strain in Jim’s voice as he tried to coach Yvonne, she was bending her knees all right, and turning her skis from side to side . . . so much so, that she was practically standing still. After five minutes they were still right there, a snowball’s throw away from the top of the hill.
So, I decided to take the plunge and started down the slope . . . not bending my knees . . . keeping my skis perfectly straight. I shot down the hill picking up speed so fast that Kevin couldn’t keep up. I didn’t know how to stop, was figuring out how to turn as I just barely missed groups of kids and skiing instructors. The more speed I gained, the more terrified I grew, and the stiffer and straighter I held myself, which only made me go faster. I thought for sure I would break bones if I made myself fall in order to stop . . . yet I was almost to the bottom and I didn’t know how to stop.
I zoomed past all the people waiting at the bottom of the slope and didn’t slow down until I hit a snowbank at the edge of the parking lot. It was a pretty big bank and I expected it to be soft, that I would stick into it and maybe even be thrown over it and onto the hood of a parked car. I braced myself for impact . . . but the bank was frozen solid and slippery. My skis went right up the side . . . if the bank had been shorter I would have skied right over the top and onto the cars in the parking lot. But instead gravity took over and I fell backward onto the ground with my skis elevated up the snowbank. This was the second cartoon moment of the day.
Kevin was relieved I think when I told him to go ski the moguls and enjoy his day without me because I was going into the lodge for drinks and I didn’t intend to return.
About 45 minutes later, Yvonne joined me in the lodge, having just completed her only run down the slope as well.
So, that’s my skiing story and I’m sticking to it. God, I love going out with the girls!
Listening To: I’m a Dog, Kid Rock
Hair: Seen Nick Nolte’s mugshot recently?