Monday, March 20, 2017

Not my best ski day: Careening down a mountain headfirst, on my back

Some days, the snow is powder, the sky is blue, and the skiing is fine.

But that doesn't describe my latest adventure in skiing.

The powder snow had melted, and then turned to ice. It was raining shards of ice that pelted my face and obstructed my vision.

Skiing on sheer ice is difficult for an experienced skier. For a novice like me, it's a death wish. How do you control your turns and your speed when skiing on a sheet of ice? Very carefully.

One minute I was skiing and in control. But the next, I was careening down the hill on my back--headfirst--so I couldn't see where I was going. Apparently, I also was screaming.

I couldn't get my legs out in front of me to stop. As I slid down the mountain upside down, I prayed I wouldn't slide right off the edge into nothingness. Or hit a tree. Or another skier.

I didn't.

Eventually, I stopped. Amazingly, I still had both skis and poles--not to mention my limbs. No damage to the wrists either.

Shaken, I popped off one ski, and pulled myself back up. Am I crazy for trying to learn to ski at age 57--so soon after breaking both wrists? Many normal women my age are content with keeping both feet planted firmly on the ground.

Maybe I should take up knitting or scrapbooking like a normal woman? But I've never been normal.

A few minutes later, after giving myself a quick pep talk, I was skiing on sheer ice again. As I made my way clumsily down the mountain, I fell several more times. None were as spectacular as my earlier agony-of-defeat head-first death plunge.

When I finally made it to the bottom of the hill, my heart rejoiced. Even though I'd been shaken and scared by the fall, I'd pulled myself together to finish the run.

The next day, I awoke in a body that felt beat up. Large, purple bruises emerged on my right leg.

Some days are golden, with fluffy, powdery snow and blue skies. Other days, we're careening down the mountain on our backs--headfirst--with no view of the danger in front of us.

Just another day in this adventurous life.

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