Patti (whipartist) wrote,

I'm alive, but creaky

I'm not normally a skier. I tried it twice, about 20 years ago, on artificial snow in St. Louis. The first time was kinda fun. The second time the so-called snow was really a skating rink turned sideways, and I wound up in a situation where I could bend my left knee or put weight on it, but not both. After having a chat with a doctor the next day about possible knee surgery, I decided that perhaps strapping sticks to my feet and hurtling down a mountain was not right for me.

The PLHB is a snowboarder, and he's been after me for a year to come up to the mountain with him. He does a pretty cool daytrip called Snowbomb, which involves getting up ludicrously early, getting on a bus, arriving at the mountain in the morning, and leaving just before it gets dark. Sure, what the heck, I'll try it. Skiing, though, not boarding-- the whole snowboarding thing doesn't even look like fun to me.

I rented skis yesterday. Signed up for a lesson when I got there. Managed to only land on my butt three times during the lesson, then actually got down the baby bunny hill with something that approached control with maybe a tiny smattering of grace, if absolutely nothing in the speed department. The best part was finishing the run and coming to a perfect stop three feet in front of the instructor, exactly in the spot I was aiming for.

And then I met the PLHB for lunch, where I figured out I was way freakin' dehydrated. I poured a couple of bottles of water into myself, ate a salad, lounged about for a bit, and chatted about the rest of the day. I told him that I had a goal and a stretch goal for the day-- the goal was to not get carted off the mountain by the ski patrol, and the stretch goal was to not land on my butt again.

After lunch we headed back to the baby bunny hill. I did two runs, piece o'cake. I wasn't exactly flying, but I was never anywhere near anything other than complete control. And although I swore I wouldn't, I was feeling slightly cocky.

So we decided to try the grownup bunny hill-- still an easy run, but much longer, and just a hair steeper in places. The steeper part turned out to be somewhat above my novice-green head, and significant amounts of not-fun were had while I attempted to deal with it. And I blew my stretch goal a few times. My knee was getting bitchy, and every time I got back onto the skis I realized that this was a way bloody stupid thing for me to try to do-- I just didn't have control. Plus, I was getting dehydrated again, although I didn't realize it at the time. I eventually walked and then slid on my butt down the part that I shouldn't have been on, then put the skis back on and comfortably finished the last part of the run. At that point the bus was leaving in 15 minutes, so I headed straight for it while the PLHB collected our gear.

Earlier in the day he'd warned me about deciding to finish the day by trying something a little bit harder than what you'd been doing-- "It seems like a good idea, but at that point you're tired, and it won't go well. When it doesn't, you convert a day you feel good about into one that feels crappy, because you're finishing on a low note." Then he led me into exactly that trap, and I let myself do it.

So I survived, and I'd do it again, though this time with much more caution. We climbed into a hot tub after getting back to Berkeley this evening, but I'm still giong to be Way Bloody Sore in the morning. But that's OK, as long as I haven't done anything to upfuckimate my knee. And I managed my goal of not getting hauled off the mountain in a bucket, although there were a few minutes when that sounded like a damned fine way to get down. Had I not tried the steeper run, I probably would have hit my stretch goal too.
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