It all started a few months ago, when Boyfriend said something about wanting to go skiing because he hadn’t been in awhile. I had never skied, so I thought hey, that’d be a fun activity to do together, right?
he kept reminding me I realized his birthday was rolling around, and happened to think about that earlier thought about skiing being fun – and a surprise ski trip would be even more fun. And lo, a birthday plan was born.
After tracking down ski gear from friends and loading up my pretty new Ford Escape, we were on our way to a weekend in French Lick – centered around skiing at Paoli Peaks.
Ah, that fateful day.
We woke up Saturday morning ready to face the slopes. Outfitted in about 10 pounds of winter-appropriate clothing – seriously, I had on a tank top, spandex pants, a full set of long johns, my dryfit, thermal-lined quarter-zip jacket thing I use for winter running, two pairs of wool socks (I would have gone for three, but Boyfriend needed one), ski pants, a ski jacket, gloves lined with mittens and a snow headband – we waddled to the parking lot and trekked down the road to the ski park. (Park? Club? Place of small mountains?)
After about 30 seconds, I was sweating like crazy, but I was warm outside for the first time in months, so I guess that’s a win for winter clothing.
Anyway, we got our lift tickets and went to the rental area, where I subsequently had to lose one pair of socks in order to be able to
break my ankles trying to shove my feet into ski boots. Then, after a five-minute struggle trying to figure out how to get my goggles and ear-covering headband thing to both stay on at the same time, I attempted to walk to our rental locker, all the while trying not to Three Stooges the innocent, much more proficient skiers with my skis and poles, so we could head outside.
(Have you ever tried to walk in ski boots? No? Great. Go get some stilts, then bind them to your ankles super tightly, then bend backward like you’re going to do a backbend except not quite as far, and then hold yourself there. Then, pick up four planks of wood, two a bit shorter than the others, and try to hold them all without hurting yourself and/or others. Then walk.)
Honestly, if you think skiing is exhausting, try just getting ready to ski.
Finally, finally, Boyfriend and I were outside (still sweating). He taught me how to lock into my skis, then we hit the bunny trails ever so carefully.
I’ve never fallen down so many times in a row in my life.
It was pretty scary, but after awhile, I sort of starting getting the hang of it. Getting off the lift was pretty iffy to start, but I sort of figured that out, too. My main issue, though, is that while I’m able to plow if I start out plowing (or going slowly, for you non-ski aficionados. Like me.), if I start going fast, I very, very quickly get out of control and Boyfriend yells for me to plow and I think I’m plowing but I’m not slowing down so I’m obviously not plowing and then I give up and just fall. So overall, that’s pretty much my ski strategy.
So we started testing out some of the longer runs. I think the thing that freaks me out about the longer runs so much is the fact that they’re just that: long. In the bunny practice area, you can very clearly see the end and the lift where you come back up. In the longer ones, you have to wind around some wooded areas and never think you’re going to finally get to the end, and when the hills are there and you just keep speeding up and can’t plow and think you’re going to die, it’s pretty much just shear terror.
And I don’t really like being scared.
But I got past it, and felt almost confident when we tackled the longer ones again after lunch.
The trail had suddenly gotten crowded, some kind of group ski thing or whatever. That made me more nervous than anything, just picturing myself getting tangled up with the other innocents and snowballing our way at warp speed until we Sonny Bono’d (too soon?) into a tree trunk. But it started to thin out, so we went. I was plowing at the start and going at an okay speed, so I wasn’t terribly freaked out. We reached a plateau, then started down another hill (the last one standing between us and the lift).
And then, everything pretty much went to shit.
I started off way too fast and kept barreling down, with Boyfriend shouting “Plow!” alongside, and then I looked up and there was this cute little kid in a Carhart outfit with his dad stopped right in the middle of the slope. And I didn’t want to be that jackass that mowed down a little kid (I assume they frown on such things), so I tried to veer around them while trying to plow while trying not to die.
And then, as expected, I fell.
And then, as unexpected, my knee popped.
The next few minutes were a bit of a blur. Me screaming to Boyfriend to get him to unlock my skis because they were pulling my legs in funny directions, and lots of pain, and Boyfriend running to get someone who worked there, and them (somehow) running back up the hill carrying lots of gear (why does skiing have so much gear???), and them radioing the medics, and this medic guy named Jim talking about there being a danger of me getting blood clots because I’m on birth control, and me crying because I’m terrified of getting a blood clot-slash-my knee still hurts, and them putting a wooden splint around my leg and then tying me to a sled on the back of a snowmobile and zipping up a body bag around me, and me still crying, and people keep staring, and the snowmobile driver guy is cracking jokes to try to make me feel better but keeps joking about me falling off the back of the snowmobile down the hill, and me being scared I am going to fall off, and him blowing his whistle to get people out of the way of the snowmobile with the sad, pathetic, crying injured girl strapped to the back of it, and people staring way more with the whistle thing happening, and them pulling me up to a side door and putting me on a gurney and wheeling me into the medic area, and me having to take off my 18 layers of clothing and two pairs of pants (I could keep one on, thank goodness) and shove off the ski boots without breaking my ankles, and them commenting on how professional my borrowed gear looked but making jokes about how much clothing I have on, which me feeling even more like an idiot, and us having to cut Boyfriend’s birthday weekend short and go home.
Then, after a weekend of rest and ice and elevation and getting reacquainted with my crutches (I should probably name them by now), and after an X-ray and an MRI (which means I’ll probably hit my insurance deductible, like, tomorrow), I found out today that I have a torn ACL and a torn lateral meniscus and I have to have surgery.
And all because I tried to be one of those cool people who know how to ski.
Quoth the raven, “Never more.”