How's your subconscious? And how do you know how your subconscious is if it's your subconscious?
Mine is randomly bringing up memories of mortifying experiences from my teenage years. Seeing as I tend to be socially awkward and rather clumsy, I have a lot of those. This one came up at last week's family breakfast. Please, have a laugh on my account ... or shake your head in dismay and feel sorry for the incredible hardships I've faced in life.
It was a rather warm March day, meaning the snow was slushy and there was more than a bit of mud. My dad was taking us skiing for the first time and I was reallllly excited. I was positive I was going to be one of the cool kids who hops on the lift, zips up the mountain, shoots down a double-black diamond and ends it all in a dramatic but amazing stop that sends snow flying nine thousand feet into a crowd of screaming fans.
My dad, my three younger brothers and I got to the slope, rented our skis and headed out. We started out on the bunny slope, which was so small you got pulled to the top with a rope attached to a pulley (technically a pony lift). I only fell five times, which of course gave me an over-inflated sense of confidence. I was all, "Yeah, let's go! Imma master this mountain from top to bottom, yo! Fo shizzle!"
Except I may not have said "Fo shizzle!"
*please be advised my weird gangster alter-ego keeps popping up in the rest of this post*
|MASTERING THE MOUNTAIN, YO!|
WITH MY FACE, YO!
For those of you who don't know, a pomalift (or button lift) is a type of ski lift. Instead of sitting on metal (and frigging freezing) benches dangling high in the air, you put a disk (or button or "pom") between your legs and get pulled up the mountain while upright.
It's all good, yo. Just needed to get a feel for things, yo.
So I tried again. This time I got it.
I got it so well, in fact, that the force of the pomalift swept me right of my feet and onto my face.
Now people behind me were starting to get a bit annoyed. I was all:
I made it exactly 15 feet up the hill before disaster struck. Dad had told me to keep my knees soft so my skis would glide over the bumps and I wouldn't fall. I over-softened. The evil pomalift saw my weakness, laughed maniacally, and dumped me onto the side of the run. I heard shouts of "GET OUT OF THE WAY!" from the other skiers zipping up the mountain behind me, so I frantically dragged myself over a few feet and collapsed in a heap.
A smart person would have removed their skis and tromped down the hill while humming a happy tune and enjoying the beautiful blue of the Colorado sky.
Not I, said the fly. In my addlepated adolescent state, I was quite sure it would be much less embarrassing to ski back down.
Savin' face, yo. Or possibly breaking it, yo.
|Mad skillz with computer drawing, yo.|
So I picked the tree-free side.
All I had to do was stand up. Check.
Locate my ski poles. Check.
Start sliding really fast toward the bright orange snow fence separating the pomalift track and the ski run. Check.
Slam into the orange snow fence and get snow fence burn ON MY FACE while simultaneously tangling skis and poles together. Check.
|Just add snow fence (and take away the Olympic suit).|
You took your skis off and started walking?
Nopey, nope, nope.
I disentangled myself, lifted the snow fence with a ski pole and slid under it. I was now officially on my first-ever ski run.
It was TERRIFYING.
Someone official-looking came up to survey the mangled snow fence. I was pretty sure snow fence mangling was a serious offense, so I acted nonchalant and whistled a little. The guy looked at me suspiciously (little wonder ... whistling? Really? I would make a TERRIBLE criminal). I panicked, popped up, and prepared to ski for my life, yo.
I promptly fell back down. Of course, the run was steep enough that I gained momentum and started sliding down on my butt, shrieking like ... someone who shrieks. REALLY LOUD.
I was sure I was going to die.
But then I slammed into an padded post and I WAS SAVED!
Not really. I slid the rest of the way down on my butt, shook myself off and decided to do it again.
And I totally nailed it the second time.
Not really. I ended up falling off the pom doodad again. But this time, I was all, "YOU AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE, YOU EVIL THANG!". I grabbed the disc with one hand and got pulled all the way to the top on my belly with my skis splayed out behind me. It worked really well, actually.
If I ever encounter a pomalift again, I may use this strategy.
So, I made it to the top, took one run (without much trouble), and it was time to go home.
Of course, it could have been worse ...
Good thing they didn't let me take the regular ski lift.