Like Riding a Bike

Posted: January 4, 2012 in AZ, Personal

So I went skiing on Monday for the first time in 20 years and managed to make it home in one, solid piece.

Taking a break

Me on a break at midday, Snowbowl, Flagstaff

I wore my new Angry Bird winter hat and prayed that it would not somehow curse me to run into things the way the birds do in the game.  Lady Luck was with me.  I had no major wipe-outs, of which I was proud.  However, I did come close.  At one point approaching the end of a run, near big yellow flag/signs that said “SLOW” next to the lift lines, I snow plowed to a stop but had moved too far to the right onto a very icy patch.  Unfortunately an attempt to turn around and face the lift lines resulted in my skis being pointed downhill and angled outward, stuck in ruts.  I ended up sliding downhill, my feet moving ever further apart until I was finally able to arrest myself before performing a full split position.  Although embarrassed, I was grateful that while I am not as strong, svelte or as swift as I once was, at least I was still flexible.

I skied for about half the day before I called it quits.  I had, a few days before the trip, tore half of the toenail off my left big toe and the skiing was just killing it.  Also, the slopes were pretty icy and in some spots bare, making control a major issue for me.  I’ve never liked skiing on icy snow…its just an accident waiting to happen, particularly in my case.  And here’s my last bit of whining about the day–the rental boots just didn’t feel right.  No matter how much I adjusted them, my right ankle and heel just felt like it was rattling around in there (I have narrow, long elegant feet, thank you very much!).  So every time I planted that ski it felt unsupported.  By my final run my feet were actually cramping, something I have never had happen to me before.  In any case, I repaired to the bar where I spent the afternoon and got in some decent writing on my nascent novel.

Middle of the Day

Middle of the Day, looking up to Agassiz Trail at the top of the mountain

It was a beautiful day though and by early afternoon I didn’t need anything more than my long sleeved shirt and synthetic/wicking undershirt.   The high was about 50 degrees.   Of course, other people were running around in mukluks with their faces fully covered…I scoffed at their wussiness in the face of such temperatures.  It was like a mild Spring day to me.  Not that I love the cold, but I have found since the birth of my son that I just don’ t handle the heat well any more.  I suspect hormones, but who knows.

The opposite direct

The opposite direction, looking away from the mountain, notice lack of snow

There were two things that I had forgotten in the intervening years since I last skied.  The first thing is just how boring the lift rides are.  And the second thing was just how steep the beginning of a run appears.  Every time I’m about to begin a run it seems too steep and the lizard part of my brain  says, “whoa, wait a second”, and then the human part reasons with the lizard and  says “if you start out too slow the initial turns will be difficult and scary,  better to just go and get some momentum”.  Then that is precisely what I did.


Sunset, End of the Day looking out from Bus

  1. alopecia says:

    Glad you skied and survived. I’ve never understood the attraction of sliding down a slippery mountainside with pieces of lumber* strapped to one’s feet, but whatever makes you happy.

    In any case, I repaired to the bar where I spent the afternoon and got in some decent writing on my nascent novel.

    Good for you (for your choices of venue and activity). If you haven’t happened upon
    yet, check it out.

    *Yes, yes, skis are made of composites (glass-reinforced plastic in mass-market skis, more exotic materials in high-end models) surrounding a core of wood, foam or whatever. Saying so would have killed the joke.

  2. drangedinaz says:

    I got the reference to “wood” right away…/no double entendre intended 😉 I used to love skiing…when I was young….and in shape. Maybe not so much right now…LOL I think it was to see just how far my youth was behind me? In all honesty, it’s something that is expected by all the guys on online dating sites. I caved to peer pressure, essentially. I knew I wasn’t really ready for it. But in the end, I enjoyed myself, and isn’t that all that matters. F*ck the people that think I should be slaloming the double black diamond run after having a kid at 41. Usually they’re of the male persuasion and they have never given birth much less taken care of their children for more than a couple of days non-stop. I’m showing my Freudian slip here, probably too much. I’m getting bitter and I don’t want to be that way. Maybe it’s time to let the dating sites subscriptions lapse. Right now they are only pissing me off (I’m laughing as type this….).

  3. alopecia says:

    But in the end, I enjoyed myself, and isn’t that all that matters.

    Absolutely. Anyone who thinks you should be skiing above your comfort level deserves to be beaten about the head and shoulders with a ski pole (people get weird about other people’s leisure activities).

    An uncle of mine didn’t give up downhill skiing until age 85. He enjoyed it—and he was smart enough not to be competitive about it—so why not? Taking skiing up again at 41 isn’t crazy, as long as you’re sensible about it.

    Oh, and the guys on the dating sites probably haven’t skied in years, either. They put that in their profiles to make it seem like they’re youthful and athletic. The difference between you and them is that they really would try a double black diamond run (and blow out a medial collateral on the first turn).

    I got the reference to “wood” right away…

    You got a dirty mind, lady. :^)

    • drangedinaz says:

      “You got a dirty mind, lady.”

      LOL, of course I DO? I’m a 41 year old single mother of two young children working her ass off to support them. Do you think I have time for anything else than a “dirty mind”? 🙂

      Thanks for the laughs tonight, I needed them.

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