Monday, January 3, 2011

Skiing is for people with a death wish.


So, did you guys read the story last week about the ski lift in Maine that came off the track and a bunch of people fell twenty-five feet to the ground (which, luckily, was covered in 2 feet of new snow that softened the landing)?

You know what was most shocking to me about this story? That I wasn't on the lift when it happened. Because I'm pretty much convinced that if I get on a ski lift (or anything remotely like it) that it will break, or I will slip off, and I will plummet to my death. And if somehow I manage to make it to the top of the mountain, I will surely die while skiing down it.

My first time skiing was in 6th grade. We had a class ski trip. I took the free lesson and reluctantly got on the lift with my friend. I white knuckled it all the way to the top, convinced I was going to die. Then, when it reached the top, I had no idea how to get off. I proceeded to fall on my face and get knocked in the head by the seat as it passed over me. They had to stop the lift while they helped me up.

And then? Then I was too chicken to actually ski down the hill. I took off my skis and walked down the mountain.

I decided I'd be better off sticking to the bunny hill. I did just fine for about 10 minutes, but then I fell. And I could not get up. And I couldn't get the skis to release so I could take them off. So, there I was--an eleven year old fat kid stuck on the ground begging the people who walked by to help me up. No one would, the bastards. I was stuck on the ground for close to an hour. An hour! I finally managed to get one of the skis off and got up. I spent the rest of the day in the lodge.

My second experience with skiing was many years later when I was a nanny during college in Utah. The woman I worked for invited me to join the family at a night-skiing event hosted by her employer. For some reason, I accepted. Because, you know, skiing in the dark is so much safer than in broad daylight.

This time I opted for a much more in-depth lesson, and I told the instructor that I was pretty sure that I was going to die. He was really nice, and he rode up on the lift with me and helped me get off it without causing them to stop the lift or giving myself a concussion.

But then I had a panic attack when he suggested I ski down the hill. What? Look, getting me up here was a major feat, buddy, and now you want me to ski down? No thanks.

But he was persistent and got me to try. And this is how it went down: I screamed and cried and hyperventilated. He ended up going down the entire mountain backwards while holding on to me, all while moving maybe a foot per minute.

Right now some of you might be thinking, "Brandi! You should totally try cross country skiing! No mountains!"

Yeah, I tried that too. Admittedly it wasn't bad. I may have even enjoyed it a little. However, 15 minutes into it, we started seeing blood on the trail. And the further we went, the more blood there was. By the time we reached the end of the trail, someone had clearly lost enough blood that it's doubtful they walked out on their own two feet. So, obviously even cross country skiing can be deadly.

So, in conclusion, skiing is evil. It killed Sonny Bono and Natasha Richardon, and it's been gunning for me since 1986.

Just say no.

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