Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ski Trip

A pic of nearly all the gang.

Me coming down from a successful (no falling) ride!

Ahhhh….. my first time skiing ever! Visions of flying face first into snow crowded my anxious yet eager imagination. Sixteen teachers from SNET, nearly everyone plus an additional two Koreans joined in on the ski trip expedition. Saturday morning was not the glorious typical sleeping in morning; rather, we met in the office at 7:15 am to catch our bus into town. The chilled wind nipped at our few areas of exposed skin, and snuck into the crevices between the loosely woven fabrics. Korean women in their miniskirts exposing long legs and delicately small feet in their high heels to the icy wind, obviously choosing fashion over searing pain passed by us as we huddled together waiting for our bus.
Once we were at our hotel, we were given a room with a heated floor, a balcony, but with no chairs nor beds, we unraveled ourselves of our multiple layers and relished in the warmth of the heated floor. In fact, I might have rolled around on the floor a bit, willing the heat to enter my body at any possible angle. Spread eagle on my back, spread eagle on my front, one cheek, next cheek, forehead, the warmth just felt so good, I couldn’t get enough of it! After my clinically diagnosable insane behavior ceased, we ate kimbop (looks like sushi, but is Korean style and no fish, just veggies) and passed the time with a game of Bullshit as our appointments at the ski rental weren’t for another hour.
Once we arrived at the ski rental store, we discovered that trying on ski wear that looked either like pajamas, warrior gear or a mental patient outfit, was nearly as fun as skiing. The stiff ski boots caused us to walk like robots as ankle use was impossible and walking required lifting the entire 20 lbs heavier leg from the knee. I felt super sexy in my baby blue ski pants, pink ski jacket and robo boots. And what was even more hilarious was going up and down steps. Images of a cracked skull with green brains oozing out at the bottom of the steps, kept my concentration in line. So the images of guts were not funny, but anyone watching our group traversing those perilous steps, probably would not have been able to contain full out rolling on the floor laughter. We looked nothing short of ridiculonkulous.
Like everything else, skiing has a learning curve. One might even call the curve, a hump or a slope for skiing. (Aren’t I soooo clever.) Our first lesson, by our very own skilled ski instructor, a teacher at SNET, was how to get up from a fall. This was by far, the hardest lesson to learn. As you may know by now, I hate the cold, and everything about the cold. I hate how the leaves dry up and wither into ugliness. I hate how when you stub your toe when you are cold, the pain doubles and triples until you can’t imagine anything, even childbirth hurting worse. So in order to protect myself from the horrid cold, I layered; two pairs of long johns, sweat pants, ski pants, a long-sleeve shirt designed to keep cold out, two fleece jackets, and my ski jacket. I felt as bundled as the little brother in the movie “A Christmas Story,” but I would be warm. In fact, not only was I warm, but I nearly sweat to death. A mere thirty minutes after my first intentional fall, so that we could learn how to lift ourselves up on our own, I was able to get back up. Obviously a piece of cake. WRONG!!

Step 1: Hurl your body, pushing with all your might, but not too much might. Grunting is allowed and encouraged. I did plenty of grunting
Step 2: Catch yourself miraculously mid-hurl and then hover over your skis without falling. Requires balance and coordination…. Um, I don’t have either of those.
Step 3: Stop your body weight from continuing in the motion towards the other side of the skis. Yep, I definitely was not successful in that step during my first couple of trys and just ended up on the other side at an awkward angle and in more pain. Yippee!
Step 4: Stand up with nothing to hold onto, using only the strength in your legs and abs. Hmmm…What??!!

Next was stopping. My first attempt at stopping ended with my face eating snow. Yummy snow! It was totally on purpose, I was just… just trying to make my fellow newbies feel good about themselves, yeah, that’s it!
Christy and me showing our mad skills!

As I rode down the baby slope on the bunny hill, I prayed for a miracle that my klutziness would remain under control, and that face first in snow would not be habitual mark of Vanessa, only a first time blunder. It was frightening knowing that if your attempt at stopping was unsuccessful you could very likely roll down the hill or run into an innocent bystander. Somehow, however, my klutziness remained tucked away on all of my rides down the hills only rendering it’s hideous face when I was on flat ground, in crowds of people. Three times I fell from my inability to keep my extended ski feet from tangling together into an unmanageable knot while on solid ground far from a slope. Falling hurts, and my battered hips and bruised ego have the marks to prove it.
We skied Saturday and Sunday. My skiing skills improved slowly but surely as I increased the difficulty level with speed, turns and steeper hills. It was a wonderful experience, one that I will most definitely do again, especially when Kyle finally arrives, as we had always wanted to ski together for the first time. My only complaint, besides my bruises, aching muscles, and my block of ice feet at the end of the day, oddly enough were the heated floors. We were given comforters to sleep on, which is the custom. However, as the night progressed, so did the heat continue to warm the beds and floor, until I felt as if the owners of the hotel might be hungry for some sizzled foreigner meat. My sleep was restless and my body covered with sweat. Others have told me that floor beds are often more comfortable and less like a frying pan than that one, so I will not base my opinion solely on this experience, and look forward to trying out hopefully better future floor beds.


Ashton Sanders said...

Wholly beans. That looks like the worst place to learn how to ski. I can see more people in that picture than there are in Montana ;)

We'll take you up next time we see yall. Happy New Year.

Veggie Mom said...

Wow...I'm afraid of skiing. I'd rather go to the beach, any day. But looks like you had fun, anyway! BTW, congrats to Kyle on his graduation!!

Tiffiney said...

I am not big on darn love your blog..I think it is so cute that both you and your hubby write in it...I do have to say you are a very cute couple. I look forward to reading more.. :)