|This is not the slope I skied, but it's sort of in the neighborhood.|
I went to a company Christmas ski party. It was great.
That's how I'm going to tell it. Nobody needs to know that I never ski, or that I have passed on ski parties before. Last year I figured that if you don't learn to ski by the time you're forty, you might as well stay home.
This year I realized:
1. I am mortal.
2. I never know how long the health and energy I enjoy now will last.
3. I have not yet raised my children to adulthood, though they're getting to the age where what I do has a lot more impact on them than what I say.
4. My children may be learning caution from watching me. One of them may need that lesson, but not all of them.
These thoughts took me back twenty-one years, to the last and only other time I put on skis and rode the lift up. After that I pointed myself straight down the mountain (why did nobody tell me there was a bunny hill?) at terrifying speed. I was almost relieved when I wiped out--until I hit the snow superman-style. My earmuffs continued with the forward momentum and landed ten feet in front of me. I was winded and my face was coated in snow, and my skis slid off into some evergreens. I wasn't seriously hurt, but I was scared. I'm not proud of it, but I had no intention of skiing again. I planned on hiking down the mountain in those super-uncomfortable boots, lugging the skis with me.
Instead, a nice expert skier-guy took pity on me, held my hands, helped me on my feet and steadied me down the mountain. Then I went inside the lodge and played board games with a different man. (Incidentally, I married the man I played board games with, nine months later. The short skiing career had a happy ending.)
After that I tried cross-country and snowshoeing, but I never went downhill again until last week. I decided I'd do it so my oldest child would know there was one person in the group who was more afraid than she was. (She had her own really scary snow experience a couple of years ago, on a sled. I won't go into the details, but I will say she has her reasons for avoiding snow sports.)
We went to the ski party. We took lessons and never left the bunny hill. And we had a good experience. I want to go back and try the next slope up, but by the time I built up some confidence I was exhausted and it was time for dinner.
"That's the second new thing I've done this year," my girl said. She was smiling.
Yep, I went skiing and I had a great time. I didn't fall once. If anybody wants to know more than that, they can read my blog.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope the holidays bring you what you need, whether it's the excitement of winter sports or simply a little time to catch your breath. I'm hoping for reading time and a chance to catch up on my favorite bloggers.