Throughout the year, The Aquinian thought it would be fun to have me try different things I have never tried before and write about them. So far, I’ve tried yoga and being vegan for a week. Some experiences were better than others, but overall this inspired me to try new things out on my own, without the influence of my editors.
I’ve always figured if you can stay on perfectly flat ground, you should, unless you’re taking a plane. But after suffering ridicule from friends about my athletic ability, they finally managed to shame me into hitting the slopes on a set of skis. And hit them I did.
I’m a 25-year-old Canadian and I had only skied once before, seven years ago. I would describe my first attempt as a dismal failure at best. But two weeks ago I went up with four friends who have all been snowboarding or skiing since they were young.
It was the busiest night of the year at Crabbe Mountain; the line up for rental gear took forever. After standing in line for an hour, I couldn’t feel my toes, hands or face. Strapping fiber glass sticks to my feet and throwing myself down a hill to inevitably come back beaten and battered was the last thing I wanted to do.
If you’ve ever seen a newborn foal try to walk, then you can imagine me trying to make my way up the slightest incline after putting skis on.
Even though my friends tried to force me to go down the first run in a trial-by-fire, I convinced them to let me go down the bunny hill first. Terror, fear, regret and the thought of calling my mom to tell her I loved her one last time crossed my mind as I got to the top of the easiest part of the mountain.
Luckily for me, this was the one night of the year my friends weren’t being a bunch of jerks and actually gave me some solid help and advice.
With minimal laughter at my expense, they explained how to balance, how to turn and how put your ski back on after you somehow manage to lose it. They followed me all the way down the hill making sure I didn’t die in the process.
After going down the bunny hill a couple of times, the adrenaline was pumping and I got the courage to finally head down the first actual run.
I was easily the slowest person on the hill, carving back and forth from edge to edge, so I didn’t get too much speed. I felt like a child, and there was no bigger hit to the ego than watching small children bomb down the hill past me going full tilt.
Surprisingly – probably because I was going at a snail’s pace – I only fell a couple of times. The falls weren’t bad, they were minor spills or me getting my skis crossed and falling over.
Making it to the chair lift and getting off without incident was the greatest achievement of the night. It meant I had made it. I had succeeded. I had overcome the ridicule and the suffering bestowed on me for years. Afterwards, my friends still told me I sucked and I was slow, but what are friends for?
I went down a couple more times, making mistakes as I went, but I got faster and faster each time I went.
I even went back a second time. Not only did I go down a couple blue-square runs, but my amazing friends tricked me into going down a black-diamond run; which I successfully completed with only one spectacular fall.
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