My son began skiing this winter and he has been a natural at it from his first time down the slopes.  I am thrilled he has found a sport he loves as much as he loves this.  His enthusiasm is unparalleled, even by his love for video games.  Skiing completely energizes my son.  YAY!

Two weeks ago my husband decided he would try skiing, and though he will not wax poetic, I can see he, too, loves this sport.  I think he likes the silence.  I know he loves the time spent with our son.  He also feels he has conquered something he tried once before and now can do with success.  That is a big moment for anyone and I completely get it.

Up until last night, I have been happily ensconced in the lodge on my large round arse blogging and knitting and staring out the window at the beauty of this snow covered mountain.  When snow is falling and people are out there skiing, it brings to mind Hans Christian Anderson…his stories and images that I love so much.  However, being an overweight 47 year old woman missing my Monday night workouts at the gym I thought:  “Why not at least try this?  I ice skate…I am sure I can figure this out as well.  It will be exercise, it could be fun and the fresh air will be good for me.”

Before we left the studio yesterday for the Mountain, I asked my friend Donna how she liked skiing.  Donna is amazing.  She can sail, she can ski, she can do pretty much anything she sets her mind to doing.  “I loved every minute of it…so much fun.”  I sighed inwardly.  I do not sail.  My father took me once.  There is a rope.  The rope controls the sail.  Holding the rope made me feel safe…at least until the boat was going to tip.  Dad said: let go of the rope.  NOPE. Dad: please let go of the rope.  NOPE.  The boat lurches, Dad rights the boat and grabs me by the back of my swimsuit.  We go back to shore.  No more sailing for me.  Conclusion:  Donna is good at things that require counterintuitive responses.  Clearly, I am not.  Ergo Cogito Sum:  skiing is going to be a hurdle.  I sighed and buried this thought deep.  I am going to keep a positive attitude.

Have you ever seen people walk around in ski boots?  I have and it is hysterical.  They look like big chested male lumberjacks trying to walk like Jimmy Walker from the old TV show “Good Times”.  No exaggeration.  What is the first thing I have to deal with?  These boots.  Two men snap me in.  First assessment:  giving birth was easier.  Giving birth twice was easier than just trying to get these boots on my legs.  I think I said this out loud because the whole ski shack went up in gales of laughter.  Next comes the skis and then the poles.  These have to be carried down ice covered steps to the first level of the snow.  I got there with help.  So far so good.

Glasses fog up real easy out there in the snow.  Only problem is: no glasses, no can see where to put feet in boots onto the skis.  Big challenge.  Should have worn contact lenses.  Got the skis on…sliding…slam tips of skis together…stopped…whew!  We “ski-ed” back and forth on flat ground for awhile.  Legs completely cramped…please explain to me the meaning of this statement:  You must stand up straight on the skis AND lean forward in the boots…?  I send my husband to go take a run down a slope, any slope.  Please go.  I find a place to rest my weary everything.  This is good.

After a great deal of trudging back and forth (they would not let me on the baby hill…I tried…they said they had to protect the kids from me)…I sucked it up and decided to ride the lift up the “bunny” slope.  I get to the first red line and stop.  I am so proud.  I sail down to the second red line and…WHOOSH!!! I am laying on the ground on my back staring at the sky.  A very nice young man removes my skis while I roll like a beached walrus trying to get up and stand.  Skis back on, arse on the lift,  in the distance a voice:  “That woman is going to need help getting off the lift!”  Yeah, I know I am that woman and I am just fine with that.  Second nice young man comes out and talks me through the process.  I get off the lift with grace and some shred of dignity intact.

I am now at the top of the “bunny” slope.  My son is there with me.  My husband is there with me.  There is no way in hell I am going down this slope.  My legs are still shaking from just getting up the damn lift, are you kidding me?  I send them down the slope and say I will be right behind them.  Yes, it was a lie.  It worked.  I am not proud of it…I just needed to time to get my heart rate down from the fetal rate it was racing at.

I did get down that slope.  It took two tries.  I have decided I do not mind falling at all.  Falling down gives me time to rest and accumulate courage for the further trek down.  Besides, the night sky is so beautiful.  After the “bunny” slope I was allowed to go to the baby slope.  Go figure.  I did about five runs down and this slope is just my speed.  My husband has a new name:  Magic Carpet.  I go down the slope, take my skis off.  He carries the skis back up and I do it all again.  He was patient and it only took one serious death threat to get him to stop saying phrases like:  “Just lean…just do this…”  Just implies ease.  I hate that GD word.

My son checked in long enough to see me go down the baby slope one time and then he went back to skiing down slopes, now without the need for any poles at all.  Amazing.

I worked hard last night and am rather proud of myself.  I will go back next Monday night.  I have learned one further lesson:  I am looking forward very much to going tubing.  If I am going to ride down slopes on my arse it may as well be in a tube and comfortable shoes.