We are going skiing in a couple of days. This is our 3rd year to go with this group of life-long friends from Texas. We meet them in Durango, Colorado and it is always a wonderful time. Except for the beach, I am pretty sure God mostly lives in the Rocky Mountains (ok, technically, Durango is in the San Juan Mountains, but you get my point!) It is absolutely beautiful there...beautiful in a way that nothing man-made could ever be. There are a couple of places at the top of the slopes where I keep taking pictures, trying to capture the awesomeness, but a photograph can never do it justice. And yes, the picture here is one that I took last year.
I think skiing is actually kind of funny...funny strange, not funny ha-ha. We pay a lot of money to put on incredibly uncomfortable shoes and then strap our feet onto slippery pieces of metal...actually, they may be a kind of fancy plastic, I don't know. We then ride a lawn chair suspended from a pole way above the ground (as in, you-will-likely-die-if-you-fall-off, way above the ground) to the top of the mountain. In order to successfully de-board said chair lift in the sky, one must move up to the very front of the seat in preparation for it slowing down (not stopping, mind you) long enough for you to slide forward, desperately attempting to get out of the way of the next group without falling down. I am able to do this successfully about 80% of the time now. Then you wait for your group as they also attempt to get off the chair lift without falling down. Now we are all poised at the top of a very steep hill (some steeper than others...me, I'm on the not-so-steep ones.) The only way down now is to point the slippery metal things toward the bottom of the hill and begin sliding. On purpose. Did I mention that during this whole time, we are outside where it is probably between 20 and 40 degrees...if we are lucky? Because of this we are wearing A LOT of very expensive clothes.
You may be getting the picture by now...me skiing is...well, not very pretty. I am the worst adult skier in our group...ok, most of the kids are better than me too. Actually, one of the littlest kids in our group has been sick the last couple of years and slept through most of our trip...I might be better than her. Of course, she is 6. My biggest issue is that I am a big ole chicken. I am scared on the way up on the chair lift...particularly, if my children are riding with me. I am terrified that one of them is going to fall off when we lift the bar and do that scooting forward thing in preparation for exiting the contraption. Then, I am scared on the way down. I don't want anyone to wait for me, because I am the slowest...but I don't want to go faster because...well, I guess I just don't like to go fast. Something about sliding downhill at breakneck speeds on the little slippery metal things just seems...I don't know...dangerous, I guess. Sort of against nature or something. At certain speeds, it seems falling down might be terribly painful and potentially damaging to my 40 year old body (yes, I know, actually 41.) I do like going slowly down the very easiest slopes and taking the time to really enjoy the view; as I said, it is gorgeous up there. However, this does not seem to be the point of skiing for most people, so I am a bit of an odd ball when I ski really slow and look at the mountains and (don't tell anyone) occasionally sing praise songs. And, of course, the topper to all of this is that one apparently uses completely different muscles to ski than one uses living our everyday lives...I generally can barely walk by the end of the first day and the next morning....well, again, it isn't pretty.
So in order to combat the distinctive unprettiness of my skiing, I dress really cute. Steve and I attended a company boondoggle last year where we got free skis and other ski paraphenalia. Along with the ski equipment, we have also invested in the appropriate ski apparrel over the past three years. I'm going primarily with basic black and cool sunglasses. The most expensive pair of pants that I currently own would be the ones that I will be wearing to fall down that mountain next week. But I will look darling doing it! By the second day, I may be walking like an 80 year old woman in storm trooper boots, but my whole outfit will match. I just can't decide which earrings to bring to complete the outfit :-) It is sort of a theme I am trying to teach my children to whom I have passed down my athletic ability; always look darling when making any attempt to participate in a sport...just in case. I'm just kidding...sort of!
Ok, I am being a little silly. We actually have a really good time and everyone is very patient with me. (I do have a whole stack of books to bring, just in case.) We have been friends with these people since we were 10 or 12 years old....we are talking 30 years here! It is a joy to see our kids play with their friends and learn a new skill...they love to ski! And this is as relaxed as I see my hard-working, sports-lovin' husband all year. Having the 4 of us together, skiing through those beautiful mountains is truly some of the best times we have as a family. It is for that reason that I agree to swallow my pride and voluntarily participate in an activity where I feel incompetent and foolish...isn't pride a terribly destructive emotion sometimes? I wonder how many things we miss out on because of pride...being afraid to make a mistake or look silly. Hmmm, pride....when I am in a more serious, reflective mood, I will write more about that subject! But for now, I am leaving my pride (and perhaps my self-respect :-) here in Virginia...Colorado, here I come!! I'll be the one in the cute ski outfit...sliding down the mountain on my butt!