Skiing Part I: The Day I Should Have Died.

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As I sit in the middle of Wisconsin waiting to go skiing tomorrow (by the way, it is a lot warmer than it was in Canada), I am reminded of the time my wife tried to murder me.

Just for the record, that may have been the best and most interesting first paragraph that I have ever written.

Although the fact that I am here today kind of tells you how the whole “murdering” thing turned out. Crashing While Skiing Tends to Hurt.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have the opportunity to go skiing. Something about it costing money and we didn’t have any (the details are blurry, but that is the gist of it).

I always believed that skiing was something rich people did. It was right up there with polo, boating, going on vacation, and eating out (things were tough, what can I say?).

My wife (from here on known as “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth”) and I got the chance to go skiing for the first time about 3 years ago. It was very exciting and a little nerve racking, but surprisingly not that expensive. I am still surprised that the cost is not that bad (better than gas, razor blades, and bottled water).

By the way, skiing does involve me buying gas to get to Wisconsin, but at least I don’t have to shave while I am not working. For those scoring at home; that’s Me 1 and Gillette 0.

That first time my wife and I got to go skiing, we had big plans to take lessons and learn everything that was needed to be successful.

As educators we know the power of knowledge. We were going to be excellent students and soak up every bit of ski knowledge that the instructor had to offer.

But the best laid plans. After arriving at the mountain (for real skiers a hill), we discovered that the next lesson would be in 30 minutes. We lack patience, so on to plan #2.

Plan #2 was to learn on the fly. Bad plan. It was more of a learn on the fall than the fly.

About 2 seconds into this adventure/certain death, I realized we had absolutely no clue as to what we were doing.

We started on the Bunny Hill (which should be known as the “everyone here is in pre-school except for you two old people who should get out of our way and go take some lessons hill”). I guess the name Bunny Hill is easier for people to remember.

After a few slightly successful trips, and by successful I mean no one was hurt (me, “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth”, pres-schoolers, or innocent bystanders) she was ready for a bigger challenge.

I wasn’t as confident. I was pretty sure that I hadn’t mastered the sport when my only way of stopping was by throwing my body face first into a pine tree. At this point I didn’t know much about the sport, but I knew there must be a better way to slow down than eat pine cones.

On the upside, my breath did have a certain pine freshness to it.

But back to the murder. “The woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth” called me out. She questioned my manhood and challenged me to go down the next run which was located right next to the Bunny Hill.

Looking back, there were several things terribly wrong with this idea. One, I couldn’t ski. Two, and more importantly, I couldn’t stop. Then the kicker. The run next to the Bunny Hill wasn’t the next run in the sequence of difficulty; it was the fourth. If you ski, I think I just heard you gasp.

For those who are new to skiing, you should work your way up from the easiest, to the second hardest, etc. Never, ever skip from #1 to #4.

We both work in schools, therefore we don’t listen very well. Evidently, we also didn’t look at the giant 20 foot map that shows the runs and their levels of difficulty.

So, we start down the nice “little” run next to the Bunny Hill. Turns out my troubles were just beginning.

I should have suspected something was wrong because this particular hill was called “The Devil’s Armpit ”. But as I look back on those 7 minutes (seemed like 4 hours and 22 minutes) of my life the name should have been a clue, but I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

As we started down the run it took me about 4 seconds to realize that I was about to die and I would always be known as the first husband of “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth”.

She went down the hill slowly and under control. I on the other hand went careening down the hill at an estimated 1,400 miles per hour. Except when I crashed which happened 47 times that I remember. Somewhere about halfway down I think I sustained a concussion, so I may have crashed more but after several blows to the head I lost track.

I will never be able to apologize to all of the women and children who were kind enough to break my falls as I slammed into them.

As I barreled/stumbled/rolled towards the bottom, I could hear “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth” laughing a little bit like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

I must have looked like the agony of defeat skier from Wide World of Sports, except much, much, much worse. I had snow in every part of my body (and I mean every).

At least it was cold enough that my tears froze. Nothing worse than a bad skier, except a bad skier crying and screaming like a bratty 2-year old child as they fly out of control down a hill that they have no business being on.

When I finally made it to the bottom, “the woman who says that I will never understand the pain of childbirth” and I realized that if we had taken a lesson they would have probably taught us how to use the ski lift so we could get back to the top.

Getting on the lift is another story (hence, Skiing Part I).

I had never felt this kind of pain. Parts of my body are still sore 3 years later. I can tell you when it will rain 72 hours in advance.

After making it to the top, I limped back to the car and then crawled across the lobby of the hotel. Once I pulled myself onto the hotel bed, I knew that I now had a better understanding of the pain of childbirth.

I should send my wife flowers for the whole birthing thing, but she did try to kill me. I think we will just call it even.

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4 Responses to “Skiing Part I: The Day I Should Have Died.”


  1. diane
    on Dec 26th, 2007
    @ 6:35 pm

    I once dated a skier. I bought a nifty pair of corduroy (quite the style in the early 70s) and hit the slopes.

    We took a chair lift to the top of the slope. I fell getting off. The day went downhill from there.

    I’ve been married to a wonderful man for 34 years. He doesn’t ski, but has been known to snowshoe occasionally. I send him off with a smile and cozy up next to the fireplace. This girl is no fool.


  2. diane
    on Dec 26th, 2007
    @ 6:36 pm

    Sorry, that was corduroy knickers. You had to be there.


  3. Skiing Part III: Everytime I Drive by Dairy Queen, I Flinch. | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Mar 27th, 2009
    @ 7:10 pm

    [...] you have it. No more skiing. No more dropping my daughter off the lift. No more falling. No more risking life and limb just to slide down a mountain with metal slats tied to me feet. No more taking a [...]


  4. Skiing Part II: Am I the Only Parent to Drop Their Kid Off a Ski Lift? | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Jul 17th, 2009
    @ 6:57 pm

    [...] visited Wisconsin shortly after the holidays and I wrote Skiing Part I. Days turned into weeks and I never got around to writing Part II. I could say it was because I was [...]

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