Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More thoughts on Breck

Though wildly fun, skiing is not what you'd call a relaxing vacation. But I did learn a few things about myself and the lovely sport of skiing while JB and I were in Breckenridge.

1. Skiing requires a lot of eqipment and lots of it is heavy.
Skis, ski boots, helmet (lots of people wear them now, I'm not really a giant dork), ski poles, goggles, parka, ski bib pants, cold gear underclothes, fleece jacket, gloves, HotHands, HotHands for feet, scarf/skimask/head cover. And the skis, ski boots, ski poles and helmet together weigh about 900 pounds. Every day we shlepped our gear back and forth, I longed for a sherpa.

2. Ski pants aren't sexy.

No woman who weighs more than 120 lbs is going to look good when everything you wear adds at least five inches to the circumference of your body. See above example of me. Strangely, men don't seem to have this problem. And apparently the only alternative are the skin-tight spandex ski pants. Which isn't really a solution at all.

3. I have a big head.
JB and I rented most of our equipment, including helmets. The lovely ski rental man tried three helmets on me before deciding I wore an Extra Large Helmet. JB, a man, wears a Large Helmet. And he does have a big head, but apparently mine is bigger. When we returned to the rental store the next day because my helmet didn't have the strap on the back that holds goggles in place, the man who got me another helmet checked mine and said: "Wow, you sure have a big head."

4. At first, skiing will make you feel like an idiot.
Trying for five full minutes to get my ski boots latched onto the skis while others zoomed around me is not exactly a confidence booster. Basically every thing you do will make you look clumsy. Luckily, it does get easier.

5. If I fall, I can't get up.
On the first day, on my first run, I fell down a large hill. I landed on my butt and literally could not get back up. I felt kind of like a beached sea lion. Then one of the mountain workers actually came by on a snowmobile and watched me flounder for a moment before asking if I needed help. I finally called "Yes!" and he hefted me back up while two other people who had been riding on the snowmobile's back section watched, smirking. Luckily just my pride was bruised. Oh, and I broke a ski pole.

6. Just because the little kids are doing it, doesn't mean you can, too.
If you had asked me a week ago how old children should be when they first start skiing, I would have guessed 10 years old. There were actual 5-year-olds on the Breck slopes. I know this because JB talked to one. And they're good. JB and I were waiting in line at the ski lift and a ski instructor with a group of little ski schoolers asked if they could cut in front of us. We said of course, and he said, "Don't worry about them getting on the lift; they ski the blues." As in blue slopes. The intermediate slopes. My mouth hung open because JB and I had been skiing nothing but the green slopes, which are the "easiest". Oh, and I had, about an hour before, been clipped in the leg by a ski lift chair when I couldnt' get out of the way fast enough. The bruise is pretty spectacular. Probably would have been worse if the ski lift operator guy hadn't jumped to intercept the chair before it knocked me on my butt.

7. Walking in ski boots is deathly uncomfortable.

8. My sense of balance is pretty good.
I think balance makes me better at skiing than I am at other sports. And that's a big confidence booster. Can't wait to go again next year. Maybe then I'll get the courage to hit the blues.

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