The past couple of months here in China has been very boring for me. I confess that I have watched a lot of television, surfed Pinterest, and crocheted. While I was watching television, I often saw shows about surfing and skiing. I'm getting older, and had never done either of these two things, and began to think about how I might not have the health as I get older to do them. Call it a midlife crisis if you want, but I really began to feel that if I don't do things now, I may not be able to do them as I age. So I determined to do something new when I went home to the States.
My son is working at a ski resort in northern Utah. He just works on the ski lifts, but has a free ski pass so that he can snow board whenever he is off duty. I decided that I wanted to go with him to learn how to ski. I purposefully didn't tell my mother about this. She has had enough stress surrounding the death of my father. I still haven't told her. But I did tell my husband what I was planning to do, and he was worried enough for both he and my mother. But I really wanted to do this, so I started preparing.
A few days before I was due to go skiing, my sister "Nene" was walking across the snowy lawn to her car when she fell and broke her ankle. You might wonder how you break your ankle walking across the lawn. Well, I'm not sure, but she broke it so bad that she had to have some pins put in, and a plate put on her tibia. She didn't just break it. She broke it good!
This experience kind of worried me just a little. My other sister "Inklings" just had knee surgery to repair some damage. All of these things were going through my mind as I contemplated my upcoming ski adventure. But I really, really wanted to do it anyway. I thought about it a lot. I always make it a practice to follow the "little voice" that tells me what to do, and in this case, the little voice kept telling me it would be okay for me to try to ski. I decided to follow my instincts, and the little voice, and go ahead with my plan. The clincher came when I thought to myself, "My sister broke her ankle walking across the lawn. Am I going to stop walking across lawns now?" My answer was no, and my resolve was that I wasn't going to live in fear of what could happen. I would just try to be careful, and continue to follow my instincts.
I had planned to get an instructor to teach me how, but somehow my son convinced me that I could "learn by doing". I told him I needed to start on the "bunny hills". He put me on the ski lift, and took me to where I needed to go.....I thought. As it turned out, his "learn by doing" attitude extended to putting me on the slopes where I would "sink or swim" so to speak.
I started out okay. I kind of had the "snow plow" understanding, but wasn't really making my "pie slice" as big as I should have, so kept going fast. But I instinctively knew how to use my outer ski to stop myself by turning to the side. But all the same, I wasn't really getting it, and I knew it. But I persevered down the slope a little ways. But suddenly we came to a section of the mountain that was quite steep. I had only fallen once, and then it was more of a "stop.....fall over" than a "fall". But I knew that if I went down this steep section, I would get hurt. Actually, I did fall one more time, and tweaked my knee a little. I knew that I couldn't do the steep part, so I took off my skis and walked down.
Can I just tell you that I think I embarrassed my son to death? This was his place of work! These were people he knows! I think most passersby thought he was my ski instructor, so weren't worried about me. But occasionally a skier would pass and ask if I was okay. My son kept saying, "Seriously Mom, if you don't put your skis back on, Ski Patrol is going to come get you." I think that would have embarrassed him to tears. But at that point I told him I would be happy if they came and got me. I told him to go ahead and ski down, and I would meet him at the bottom. This particular son is quite loyal and wouldn't leave my side. So he had to suffer the humiliation of his mother walking down the slope carrying her skis. I call it pay back for every thing bad he did in his teenage years. :P
After a lot of effort I made it to the bunny hill. This was what I had wanted all along! Finally I was in my element! I was able to actually ski! Sure I was with a bunch of little kids, but I was skiing. Sure I had to hold the hand rope to have it pull me back up the hill, but I was skiing! My son came along and talked to one of the instructors there. He was a little embarrassed to explain about his old mother. But I told the instructor where my son had taken me. He said, "Yea, we usually have people practice here. Then we have them go down this hill over here, and if they are comfortable with that, THEN we have them go on the slope." My son kind of said, "Oops..."
So my ski adventure didn't go as well as planned in some ways, but actually went quite well in other ways. I had fun. I spent time with my son. I didn't break my ankle. I fufilled a life dream. Next time I'm going to try to learn to surf....