Since the last couple of weeks had the Olympics in overdrive, this week’s Spin Cycle is all about sports. Now I’m not a sports minded person, though I do love to watch a good game of hockey (Go Red Wings!) and used to host a killer Super Bowl party each year no matter who was playing (I simply chose the underdogs to cheer through the game). And of course have a blast playing Wii Sports with Princess Nagger. She still kicks my butt every time we Wii bowl.
But the one ‘participation sport’ I absolutely loved to do was downhill skiing. I miss living where there are actual mountains to do that on. Pennsylvania mountains are a joke – more like mole hills. This story may sound familiar to two some of you, since I did share it when I didn’t have very many readers. But it’s worth re-sharing. Especially since I edited it.
A group of us used to ski at least once a month at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort in Washington State. I’m no ‘advanced’ skier by any means, but loved the rush of racing down the mountain, especially on those days where there was fresh powder and the sun was shining brightly.
All of us had bota bags – the leather pouches you can keep water in so you don’t become dehydrated. Our group, however, always filled them with the liquor of our choice (I know – the antithesis of keeping ‘hydrated’). My choice was always slightly watered-down Peppermint Schnapps…nice and refreshing! Also a little liquid courage inducing.
We had been skiing all morning, and as noon approached we were taking healthy swigs from our bota bags on the chair lift ride up the mountain. Perfect way to ‘warm up’. The sun continued to shine brightly, and was beginning to turn the powder into slush, which meant we had to be careful around moguls since ice lurked in the shadows.
On our last run before taking a break for lunch, we all gathered around one of the ‘black diamond’ signs, contemplating the idea of going for the gusto. Normally we’d stick to the intermediate runs, because none of us were expert skiers. But our liquid courage gave us enough push to decide, for this last run of the morning, to go down that black diamond run.
I should probably add that it was a double-black diamond run. Or maybe a triple black diamond, I don’t remember. I do remember it was more than just one black diamond.
We were flying down pretty amazingly, and I was discovering how considerably steeper those runs were compared to the intermediate ones. And the excessive number of moguls you had to swish around.
I also discovered how ungraceful one can be when tripped up by one of the many moguls.
Halfway down as I was gaining speed and careening like a crazy person around the many moguls, I missed a turn and ran my ski tips right into the sturdy mound of a mogul. Since I had some good momentum going, I flipped right on over.
My ski bindings didn’t release like they were supposed to, so the next thing I heard was a loud pop from my hip and felt a burning pain travel down the length of my leg. I ended up on my back staring up at the clear blue sky, with my legs twisted and my ski boots still firmly attached to my skis – which were still firmly embedded in the stubborn mogul.
And of course, being a steep slope, my head was on the downhill side, and it felt like I was hanging upside down. After my initial shriek of shock and passing worry wondering if I had broken my leg, I started to giggle. Then I started to laugh.
My brother and his fiancé stopped and tried to side-step their way back up to me since they had been flying down the mountain ahead of me. Luckily there were one or two friends that were still behind me, so they stopped and tried to release me from my stuck upside-down position. One of my friends used his ski pole to hammer my bindings free so I could try to upright myself. But I was laughing so hard at my predicament, I couldn’t move.
My friends thought I had totally lost my mind, but were relieved that I was obviously all right, and since laughter is contagious they started to laugh too. My hip was sore, but nothing was broken. Needless to say, I couldn’t get my skis back on as that area was too steep and slippery – so I tried to walk partway down to get to a better spot to reattach myself to my skis…only I slipped and slid on my butt for a good portion of the way before I was finally stopped by a nice big snow drift.
I finally managed to get my skis back on and finished skiing down the rest of that run, and was the brunt of many jokes during our lunch in the lodge (and for quite a number of years afterwards). After lunch we continued to ski the rest of the afternoon away – playing it ‘smart’ and sticking to the intermediate slopes.
Until the final run of the day as it was getting dark and we were running out of liquid courage in our bota bags…you know that saying about ‘getting back on the horse’? Well, we decided that for our last run of the day, we needed to ‘conquer’ that black diamond run one last time. Well, OK, I needed to conquer it because everyone else already had done so successfully! Luckily I didn’t have a repeat of my earlier mogul mashing.
This Sporty Spin Cycle was brought to you in part by Jen, who is a good sport and always running a marathon as Sprite’s Keeper. Head on over and check out the other good sports!