If you’re not on skis, please take a seat
“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea,” husband-head said doubtfully, raising an eyebrow. “You know how accident-prone you are.”
“Oh fiddle-dee-dee,” I brushed him off. “I’ll be fine. I’m sure it’s just like riding a bike. .”
I had informed husband-head that I was going skiing the following morning with Marianne.
“You haven’t skied in YEARS,” husband-head pointed out. “Not since you broke your leg hurling yourself into the lake off that boat.”
“I didn’t KNOW we were stopped on a sand bar and the water was so shallow,” I said defensively. “At least I didn’t DIVE. .”
Husband-head began counting on his fingers.
“What about the time you sprained your ankle falling down a flight of stairs,” he continued. “Or the incident when you slammed your finger in the fridge? And let’s not forget your recent episode of splitting your lip wide open walking across your friend’s lawn. .”
OK, so I’m not the most graceful person in the world. But I wasn’t about to admit to husband-head that I had my own reservations about skiing.
“What if I fall off the chairlift trying to get on?” I thought to myself. “What if I fall off the chairlift trying to get OFF? . What if I don’t remember how to ski at ALL?”
Actually, I grew up skiing as a kid when we lived in Europe. In fact, we had to take lessons as part of our school program.
“BEND ZE KNEES!” is all I remember our Austrian ski instructor yelling at us.
But that was a thousand years ago. .
Marianne picked me up bright and early the next morning with a vanload of noisy kids. I wasn’t sure whether I was more nervous about the prospect of skiing or being cooped up in a car with a bunch of people under the age of 30. .
“Are you ready?” Marianne yelled over the din. “It’s going to be a GREAT day!”
Yes, as long as it ends with a cocktail on the deck of the lodge and not in the local emergency room. .
When we arrived, we headed straight to the rental shop where we were required to fill out a form to be fitted with equipment. We needed to provide information about our height, weight, age and skiing ability.
Marianne took her form up to the counter first as I waited next to her.
“Umm . ma’am . we need to know your age,” the nice rental guy said to Marianne as he looked over her form and noticed she had left that line blank.
Marianne glared at him and then told him she was 24.
“She is NOT,” I piped up. “She’s 41!”
Marianne glared at me and then told me to shut up.
The guy asked me what level of a skier I was. “Your guess is as good as mine” was not the answer he was looking for. So we settled on “intermediate.”
But I successfully made it onto the chairlift and then made it off at the top of the hill. Now it was time to test my ski legs. .
As it turned out, remembering how to ski proved not to be the problem at all. Trying to avoid the obstacle course of snowboarders sitting all over the mountain WAS. .
“Do they ever SKI or do they just sit there all day?” I asked Marianne on our seventh consecutive run, my out-of-shape leg muscles starting to hurt and longingly wishing I could sit down myself.
Marianne ignored my whining and sped off down the mountain. I tried to follow, but ended up taking a huge face plant moments later. .
By the end of the day, tired and sore from trying to keep up with Marianne – who was hell-bent on trying to prove she was still 24 – I begged to go home.
As I limped into the house, husband-head eyeballed me, looking for any visible signs of injury.
“So, Grace, how’d it go?” he said with a smirk. “I don’t see any major injuries. You get your ski legs back?”
“Oh, it was just like riding a bike,” I assured him as I drew a hot bath for my aching body. “But I think I’m going to take up snowboarding. .”
New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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