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Snow my gosh! (Icy what you did there.)

12 comments

This weekend I went skiing for the first time.

(Well, technically I went once when I was eight, but I refused to get a lesson or learn how to stop, and thus spent a morning hurling myself down the beginner slope and falling over at the bottom — and then walking back up, because I also refused to go on the tow thingy. (I know I’ve said it before, but MAN, sometimes I feel sorry for my parents. Little Katie was a pain in the ass.))

We drove up Friday night. I neglected to take any pictures, so here is an artist’s impression of the house:

Nice, right?

—–

We were up and on the mountain at an ungodly hour of the morning. I was the only one of the group who’d never been skiing, and everyone except Jeffrey vanished immediately to do daring things at high altitudes. Jef was itching to impart some knowledge, so, gear acquired, he lead me down to the bunny slope to put on my skis. I almost fell over just getting them on.

“Okay,” he said, once I was upright. “This is a pizza slice.” He demonstrated. “Got it?”

“Got it,” I said, approximating his stance.

“Sweet. I’ll be back in half an hour.”

He zipped away. I pointed myself downhill, assumed my pizza position, and pushed off.

You guys, skis go FAST.

I also learned fast as I hurtled, out of all control, towards a class of six-year-olds. I managed to dodge them but, in trying to turn, lost my pizza. I picked up more speed. A group of beginner snowboarders milled in front of me. My legs wouldn’t bend. I had no idea how to turn. I clipped a fallen outlier, which slowed me down enough to dodge a toddler and his father and find my pizza slice again.

Somehow, millimeters from the queue for the magic carpet, I managed to stop. Later, Jef said to me, “you must be a fast learner — I saw you as I was leaving and you were going really fast!”

Not on purpose, dude. Not on purpose.

—–

Later, he came back to check on me. I’d been practising my pizza for half an hour and was pretty sure I could now successfully come to a halt. Eventually. At very slow paces. In a straight line. “Want to go up further?” he asked me.

I WANTED a hot dog on a stick.

An impression by the same shitty artist.
You’ll note my skillful stance and confident demeanor.

(For reference: a five-year-old. He is passing me. Probably while texting.)

—–

My lesson was at 12. I strapped my skis back on, post hot dog, and pizzaed my way there. The instructor looked at me. “This lesson is going to waste two hours of your life,” he said. “You don’t need it.”

“All I can do is stop!”

He pointed at the rest of the class. Three of them were stuck on top of a foot-high drift, too scared to jump off it. One of them was on his ass in the snow. The others gazed dimly around, skis in hand. “Look at these retards,” the instructor said to me. “In two hours, most of them probably still won’t be able to stop.”

This didn’t sound right to me. I had no idea what I was doing. I’d paid for a lesson. “Are you sure?” I asked.

We watched a chubby Asian tourist attempt to jump off the tiny drift. She fell over, rolled onto her back and lay there. “Oh,” he said, sounding despondent, “I’m sure.”

—–

I went back to what I was doing. An hour later, I was pretty sure I was an awesome skier. I could point myself in a direction and eventually get there. I could come to a stop at varying speeds, and I hadn’t fallen over once. (I ran into a fallen snowboarder at one point, but since his upright friend broke my fall, I wasn’t counting it.) I’d even mastered the platter (I gots the lingo!) (I googled the lingo), so I was pretty sure I was basically a pro.

I got a text to say the others were at the café for lunch. “I’ll be right there,” I replied, and leapt onto the platter. This shit was old hat. I zipped along, poles tucked neatly under one arm, chuckling fondly at all the beginners around me still doing their beginner-y things.

Re-creation: I’m awesome! I WIN at skiing!
Ha ha HA, plebian newbies, watch me and see how this shit is done!

Thirty seconds later:

…My limbs 😦

—–

By the end of the day I’d more or less mastered turning in the direction intended in roughly the time frame desired. I could stop, go and not fall over almost at will. I came off the mountain ready to celebrate, and promptly crawled into my bunk and slept for 12 hours while everyone else went drinking.

Skiing is awesome. I can’t wait to do it again.

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Posted by

Writer of things. Annoyer of cats.

12 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. My shoulders still hurt! I couldn't work out how to get up the little rises sideways in my skis like everyone else was doing, so I was pretty much planting my poles and using them to drag myself up. I do not have the upper body strength for that!

    FUN though.

    Reply

  2. Found you through the Twitter-verse.
    ^ That sounded a lot less creepy in my head.

    Compliments on your mad word skills and sick flow. That was a pleasure to read.

    Illustration could do with a polish, though. Check me out, I'm constructive.

    Love your work.

    Ac.

    Reply

  3. Thanks, Anon Ac! Twitter-stalkery is never creepy. It's ALLOWED. ENCOURAGED, even. Twitter was designed to enable better stalking.

    Or maybe I'm projecting.

    Thanks for saying nice things!

    Reply

  4. My pleasure, new internet friend. My Mum always said that if I'm going to say something, say something nice.

    That's not to say I had something negative to say that I didn't say because of what my Mum said. That's not what I'm saying. I just love my Mum, and that quote neatly packages my approach to life.

    You did ask me to summarise my life approach, right?

    Ac

    Reply

  5. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I asked! Thank you, mysterious e-pal.

    I would stalk you throughout the Twitterlands too if I knew who you were. But I do like this clandestine, shadowy meeting-in-the-darkened-comments-section thing too.

    Reply

  6. Allure. That's what I'm going for. Mysterious allure.

    I'm the untarnished lotto scratchie, filled with promise. The letter you receive with your name carefully scribed by hand (no return address).

    I'm the lucky dip at the school fete; the heart-fluttering thrill at the sight of a fresh email from that one special person, or the coleslaw that everyone's raving about (brought to the bbq by that fringe relative who 'keeps to themselves mostly').

    Looking back over those, I can't help but notice that once the mystery is removed, they're all quite disappointing.
    I'm sure that's not true in my case. A veritable Trevor-trove lies within. Promise.

    Reply

  7. The lucky dip at the school fete was always depressing. The choice, the coloured paper, the funny shapes and odd sizes… hype hype hype, followed by the crushing disappointment of realising your longed-for space octopus was actually a box of used pencils and a tennis ball. And your friend would never let you trade it for the rest of their candy floss, either. Average.

    I do like that coleslaw at the barbeque though. That stuff is delicious.

    Reply

  8. I never longed for a space octopus, until now.
    Are you imagining an octopus that originated from space, or one that acquired the skill of space travel through sheer determination and a passion for all things spacey? (not Kevin, despite his impressive body of work).

    Perhaps you just meant an octopus that likes his or her own personal space. Some clarity on the octopus would we warmly received.

    For the record, I'll take the earth-born, space-bound variety any day. At least I know that's a special octopus.

    Sadly, I can't agree with you on the coleslaw. My experience suggests the secret ingredient may have been cat hair, and not secret. I guess this means we can't be friends. Shame, you didn't seem like a dirty 'slaw lover from your blog. I thought I knew you, Katie.

    Still, if you could get back to me on the octopus that would be great.

    Reply

  9. I had initially imagined an inter-galactic octopus – a genial cephalopod from a distant star system, wandering the universe looking for a friend.

    At first he wouldn’t be sure of me, with my pink outer layer and lack of jet propulsion, but, after overcoming his prejudice against my impractically inadequate number of limbs, we’d be the best of pals. He’d crack things with his space-beak; I’d manipulate them with my handy thumbs. And then we’d stick him to surfaces with his suckers, and OH, how we’d laugh together.

    But now that you’ve raised the possibility of ordinary earth octopi learning to manipulate space craft, I’m wavering. Spacetopus, I think, would consider himself a bit superior, stuck to earth as we are like flies in paste. And if I didn’t share my toys I think he’d threaten to find a better planet, where he could make a friend who could hold more than two things at once.

    I have a feeling Spacetopus would find our spines laughable. Also, he’d point out that even though octopi sounds cooler, it’s technically incorrect.

    Suck it, Spacetopus. Let’s see you play Jenga.

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    Reply

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