Monday, December 06, 2010

Falling well

It's been snowing around here for days now but strangely while mostly constant, we haven't had an overwhelming accumulation. Today's a different story, though, and I just finished the season's first snowblower (or as they say in the North Country, snowthrower) foray. This is being followed by the season's first laid-out-on-the-back-suck-every-watt-from-the-heating-pad adventure. Whoo hee.

Yesterday I went through the instructor seminar at the ski area where the elementary school kids get to ski through the official winter program. This is a wonderful program where the kids basically get a half day of school and then are bused off to various winter-type activities, the most popular of which is downhill skiing. This is my third year of instructing the kids and thus my third instructor seminar. The first two years went fine.

And then there was yesterday.

Due to changes in the blah blah blah, we spend the first hour and a half on the bunny slope (is it still politically correct to call it that?). When we went up the big mountain, we were a bit cold, my broken down body was a bit stiff, but when they told us to get loose by skiing down for a bit on our own, we took off one at a time. I was third in line and tried to let out the big dog eat, get right into some aggressive turning, get the feel of the skis that you just can't get from the vertically challenged bunny hill.

The snow was mostly man-made stuff, so it was a bit sticky, but it was on top of a lot of ice. The terrain wasn't consistent so it was a little bit of a challenge but nothing particularly difficult. Until I slid out of a snow patch onto an ice sheet and crossed my tails. I was going pretty fast and I immediately spun out, going backwards down the mountain with my tails crossed, thinking this is going to hurt when I fall straight backwards on my head. With all the stuff wrong with me, skiing only works if I DO NOT fall, so this wasn't good.

And then, boom, just like that, I was on top of it and could spin out of it, and not go home with the massive headache that I really didn't want. I came around, finished the free ski bit, and waited for the group.

Which included the two people instructing the course, who immediately gave us all a stern lecture about spinning, and how that may be appropriate to teach but not your school kids, and not here, and not now. Someone could have been hit, there would have been paperwork to fill out, and other unpleasant things.

I'm listening to this thinking that, yes, I agree with her, I wonder who was hot-dogging it down the mountain in those conditions in that setting. And then a nagging thought began to tuck at my nearly concussed brain.

Apparently my near wipeout-last-second-save was elegant enough for them to not have recognized it for the personal disaster it almost was, and maybe I should have just sucked it up and smashed my skull into the ice at a high rate of speed. I suppose I wasn't thinking. But I certainly wasn't showing off, just the opposite, I was crashing and burning.

At the school today I told this to two of the people that had been there. They, of course, think this is very funny. "That was you?" they said. They remembered the lecture, of course, and were only too happy to ridicule me.

I got in trouble for not falling. Oh, well, maybe next time.