Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Winter Olympic Sport

Here I sit watching the skiers and the boarders swishing and swooshing and gliding along. They are red nosed and rosy cheeked. They have on their snow pants and their jackets. Some have helmets some have beanies. There are all shapes, sizes, styles and types. It is like a big mixed bag of nuts. I say nuts because I want to know what possesses a person to strap little 1 X 6 boards on their feet go out in the freezing cold with sharp pointy sticks in their hands and the hurl themselves down a snow covered mountain rife with trees and rocks? I really don’t get it. I kind of understand cross country skiing if you live in the North Pole and that is the only way you can get around but for fun?

I don't know who these people are but I bet she isn't smiling she's grimacing.

I am sitting in the day lodge drinking coffee. It is lunch time and the lodge has filled with people. They are eating sandwiches brought from home and soups from the canteen. They are filling their cups with hot chocolate and cider. The kids are grabbing candy bars and gummy bears for a quick pick-me up on the top of the mountain. It is noisy and crowded and people are talking excitedly about this run and that run. “Hey did you see me bomb the Hell Roaring?” Says one kid to another. There is a little girl about 4 who is telling another little boy about 4 that she can ski better than him because she doesn’t need a hula hoop anymore.
Everyone converged in the lodge at exactly Noon. Then they all vanished into the mist and snow.

Yet here I sit with my whole family up on the slopes freezing their buns off and I am still at a loss. I mean I totally get the challenge, the thrill the charge a person gets from skiing and snowboarding. What I don’t understand is why you can’t do it in 75 degree weather. Why is it necessary to wear 45 pairs of socks and 4 pairs of pants, 6 sweaters, a beanie and a hood attached to a coat that makes you resemble the little brother from The Christmas Story “I can’t put my arms down!” the child would cry. Then the mom would try to put his arms down for him and they would just bounce back up. Ralphie would roll his eyes and grab Randy’s hand and haul him out the door with his hands held straight out at his sides like airplane wings. Ok I admit it; I’m a wienie, a whimp, a sissy and a total fraidy-cat. I am afraid I will get out there on the slopes fall down and lie there like an upside-down turtle my arms and feet flailing along but nothing happening. There’s that and the fear of a broken leg.

I don't know who this poor fellow is but that is exactly what I'm afraid of.

Years ago I went to a ski resort and was lodge sitting. Hey don’t laugh. I think they should make lodge sitting an Olympic sport. I would be a contender that is for sure. I have had lots of practice and I am quite accomplished at tea sipping, internet browsing, fire place heat soaking and chair warming. I need more practice on my laying on the couch in front of the fire place sleeping. I’m just unable to accomplish sleeping in public places. I mean what if I snore? What if I drool? What if someone paints my face with a sharpie? I digress. I was sitting in the lodge watching the skiers take the base lift up the hill. Only the lift wasn’t a chair lift it was a rope lift. I watched as a fresh faced young teenage girl walked up to the rope and gave it the once over. She sized it up then with the grip of a professional arm wrestler she grabbed a hold of the rope and with one smooth motion she turned a complete somersault. Now I know she didn’t mean to do this and it took her by surprise as her skis were slid out from under her and she saw them rise over her head as her head grazed the snow. Her look upon execution of this gymnastic feat was hilarious and I am sure she has told that story to numerous others. I learned a valuable lesson DO NOT GRAB ROPE. See lodge sitting is educational.

I was relating this story to Techman who then added a story of his own. Several years ago he and one of his close friends Firefighter Boy came up to this very ski lodge. They donned their boarding gear and strapped on their boards. They took the lower chair lift to the upper chair lift. They traded the upper chair lift for the T-Bar lift to go to the back side of the mountain. Only they had never used a t-bar lift. They had never seen one.
They being young intelligent and indestructible slid over to the lift and accessed the situation. Figuring how hard it could be, TM waits for the next disc and grabs hold. Firefighter boy does the same. Only they didn’t know that the T-bar extends to fit the height of the skier and as the lift takes off up the mountain the pole extends and TM is facedown being drug on his stomach. He keeps his grip on the bar and turns to look at FB who is in the same situation. They made it up the hill on their stomachs. They thought it was great fun but figured that since they looked like a couple of doofuses they would pretend they meant to do it. Now see the difference is if I had done that every one within 16 miles would have seen me do it. A couple of hundred Japanese tourists would have taken video as well as the complete graduating High School class from Podunk Indiana. They all would have posted said video on You tube and entered it on funniest home videos. Only no one would have bothered to get my name so I would have gotten none of the notoriety.

So I’ll just sit here in the warmth of the lodge, sipping my lemon rose tea working on my next gold medal.


Girly Stuff said...

I am a former skier turned Lodge sitter. Like the Olympic ice skaters that just do ice capades now. And proud of it!

Queenie said...

Hello Sister! You noticed when I hosted a snowshoe/cross country skiing adventure last Saturday at my house, where was I? Drinking wine and stirring the soup. Inside. No fool am I. I have also accomplished "standing with wine, gazing longingly out the window, as if I really wanted to be outdoors but was being FORCED to stay inside because of my hostessy duties." Pass the tea, I'll be on the couch next to you.

Meg said...

I am one of those stay in the lodge until at least lunchtime then drink at least two alcoholic beverages before going to the top kinda works fabulously for me ~wink~!


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes! Lodge sitting is the only way to go skiing. When I was much, much, much younger my family went skiing IN ILLINOIS, which is much different than skiing in Montana, I'm sure. I stayed on the bunny hill all day and hardly made it down without doing a triple sow cow.

A couple of years ago my son convinced me to try snow boarding. I really wanted to try it and figured it would be something we could do together. So, I hired an instructor, rented some gear, and promptly fell before the lesson began. I knew I had broken my arm, but I pretended I was fine because the instructor was cute. So, I tried to do some awesome "carving", man, but when I fell again and hit the same arm in the same place, I new it was time to stop. I politely went back to the lodge and sat completely still as my friend and I waited for our kids to finish up the day. And yes, I did break my arm. That was the first and only time I will try snowboarding, skiing, or any other type of winter sport. I do enjoy cross country skiing, but I would much rather be a snow bunny who sits in the lodge and sips hot chocolate from now on.