Monday, February 1, 2010

Downhill and mostly upright

I don't get skiing. Maybe its because the slopes are hours away from my house. Maybe its because my tootsies stay frozen and numb when its under 40 degrees. Maybe because its impossible to wipe the snot off your face when you have thick gloves on. Or maybe because after six or seven runs, my knees and thighs scream and feel like they will never work right ever again.

You'd think after taking a week and half off the week before last I'd be done taking time off work to play. Well, you'd be wrong.

Before I went to Mexico, my mom cornered me about going skiing. She hasn't gone in at least a decade (I haven't gone since 2002) and because my dad and grandma no longer require our care, she's got lots of time to fill. Lots. Of. Time. She was so excited about the thought of going skiing; I was lukewarm at best. Skiing? In the winter? Its cold. It requires lots of falling on my ass. And the boots and the walking in the boots and, did I mention that its cold? But how I could I say no to a woman who has spent every moment of the last 3-4 years caring for everyone but herself? The answer is, you don't say no. You paste a smile on and say "wow mom! What fun! I've got lots of vacation time! Let's go!"

So, I took yet another day off work today and we headed to the mountains. Thank god she let me drive - I don't know which one would have been scarier; careening down a mountain skidding on ice created by the constant scraping of snowboarders, or being in the passenger seat while mom drives 50 mph in the left hand lane on a 65 mph highway.

When we finally got there (forgot to print out directions and there was a notable lack of highway signage), it took us at least an hour to rent our gear and figure out how to get it all on. I swear to you. At one point, mom was latching up my shoes and pulling at my snow pants zippers like I was three. But, seriously, I couldn't do it myself. I needed my mommy to get me dressed. Path-et-ic.

I tried to convince mom that we should start on the bunny slope/training hill. She took a look at it and said "Nah. Let's just go." I pictured her swooshing down the mountain without a care in the world, while I walked my ass down, defeated and broken. So, onto the lift we went; and started down the longest, scariest "easy" hill I've ever seen. I landed on my bottom once, and had a hell of a time figuring out how to get up, but got it eventually. Halfway down, I had to stop (I should have just fallen again, it would have been easier) because my thighs were burning. Burning worse than they do in Pump class after the 18-millionth squat. Burning, burning burning. And the lodge was sooooo far away. I don't know how I made it to the bottom, and I sure as hell wasn't sure that I could do it again. But how could I not? Am I going to let my 60 year old mom kick my ass on the ski slope? Well, my thighs said yes, but my ego said no.

And then, we hooked up with S and J. S went to Mexico with us and lives near the mountains. I mentioned the mom ski trip and she was instantly enthusiastic about meeting up and trying to ski together. J is her business partner, and just so happens to be a ski instructor. Oh. My. God. They are my new favorite people. He immediately offered to give us some tips on the next run and we took him up on it. We spent the entire afternoon with them, with J following us down the mountain, helping us figure it out, helping the thighs not burn quite so bad, giving us little exercises to do the whole way down the mountain. "Do this one with your arms out, chest facing downhill!" "Step the traverse" "Gain some speed!" "Lift your uphill foot." "Step through the turn." "Keep your eyes forward - don't look down." "Keep a smile on your face!" Thank god he kept saying that smile thing, because I was Frowny McDowner there for a little bit. I was concentrating - I can't smile and concentrate at the same time. Hey! We all have our limits.

We skiied until 4:30, then I threw in the towel. I was tired. If I had gone down one more time, it would have been ugly. Amusing for those around me, but ugly.

Skiing is never going to be my thing, but I was really glad that I was able to spent time with my mom and help her do something she's been wanting to do for a while. And now, I'm going to finish my wine, and put some ice on my knees and pray that I'll be able to walk tomorrow...


kristen said...

next time send Connie my way - i'm DYING to go skiing - havent done so since 1993, i dont think, but i'm DYING to do it!

Ms Behaviour said...

Wow, you are a much MUCH better person than me!

Unknown said...

I love posts like these. And I love skiing. Great job!