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Emails to my Therapist

Getting Back On the Skis

On an impulse this week, I sent out an email to about a dozen or so friends whom I thought might have sufficiently flexible schedules and adventurous spirits, asking them to go skiing with me Monday afternoon.  The trip from here to Beech Mountain:  an early morning four hour drive, then four hours or so of skiing, and a ride back home that night.  Total cost: $36, which would cover both rental and lift ticket.  And I would be driving my cozy little red Ford Escort.  (I really didn't expect a crowd.)

RSVPs started coming back almost immediately.  Brenda's complete response, sent from her phone:  "Can't have fun." Now that's not true.  I decided that she meant for the punctuation to be understood.  Surely she meant:  Can't.  Have fun.

Her response had gone out Reply All , so then I heard from Angela who said:  "Brenda can't have fun and I can't ski!"

This was followed by Christina and several others who all offered a very slight variation on: Thank you for even imagining that I would do this.

And then came Jennie's answer:  Yes! Let's do it! And my mother owns a condo there that we can use.

Yay!  And so we go: Sunday instead of Monday, to spend the night instead of making the trip in a day.  Jennie hasn't skied since she tried it at 17, and I haven't skied in that many years at least.  Back when I was doing a lot of travel writing, I wrote stories from the point of view of a beginning skier.  That story angle was my only option, since I never advanced.  I was a slow and timid skier. 

Once I was even rescued, from a catwalk on a glacier in Switzerland.  Snow was falling so thick that I couldn't see ahead, couldn't tell the difference between sky and trail.  I stopped and sat down — and I sat and sat.  Then a fellow came along who'd been something of a loud drunk jerk in the bar the previous evening.  Up there on the mountain, sober and soft-spoken, he had the countenance of an angel. He offered me a ride, told me to stand behind him, then slide forward putting my skis between his, and lean against his back.  And relax.  Then he took off down the mountain, skiing for both of us.  Best skiing I ever did in my life.

But then I switched from travel writing to fiction.  And then a doc told me that my bones were a tiny bit on the porous side, and so I didn't get around to skiing after that.  But now, after much weight-lifting, calcium etc., I'm ready to go again, with full medical approval.  And I hear that the skis now are so much better that they almost ski for you.

I'm ready and excited.  Except for knowing what to wear.  I do still have one thrift shop bib/jacket that was old decades ago.  It looks like a Seventies from-the-slopes-to-the-disco outfit, John Travolta does Star Wars.  I will find some alternative to wear for this comeback occasion.

Please wish me luck.  And I will let you know how it goes.  

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  • Catherine
    January 27, 2012 at 4:41 am Reply

    Oh, Peggy!  I'm thrilled for you!  What great fun this will be — and by all means a very bold move. The whole enterprise of sliding down a slick surface with no brakes strikes this timid soul as counterintuitive.  Think I'll stick to water sports, but I'm so glad you'll be out there being brave and having a blast.  Can't wait to hear how it goes!  Good luck. 

    • January 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm Reply

      Thanks, Catherine. Water sports can be just as adventurous, I think.

  • January 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm Reply

    I hope you ski fast enough [but not too fast], to relax & enjoy the adventure safely.    I consider downhill skiing somewhat dangerous, partly inherently & partly from the other skiers. Aiki

  • January 31, 2012 at 6:00 am Reply

    I was at Weymouth when your email came through and thus in a sort of "wonderland" of my own – but I was thrilled to be on the recipient list (and love what it says about my life) and since I have never ever been skiing on snow, I was tempted to jump up and down and say YES!

    Might this be an ongoing thing you do? Find something you haven't done in a while or at all and send out the call to some other bold adventurers? I love that thought.

    • January 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm Reply

      I too love the idea of an ongoing thing. I hadn’t thought of it that way. What are some other adventures? Dancing comes to my mind. The ski trip was wonderful.

  • January 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm Reply

    I love your spirit of adventure, and also your bravery!

  • Frances
    February 4, 2012 at 9:43 am Reply

    I just this week heard myself ask my mind-body-miracle-worker if it was too late for me to take up skiing. I would love to know how you answer that question. The last time I tried it, I was in my 20s, and the the skis were too long, and the snow was melting due to the 40 degree sun, and one could stand there and the glaze would melt and start you going any which-a-way. My last run of the day was backwards from the crest of a hill I was standing atop. There are no brakes when going backwards that don't involve your face in the snow. Starting with smaller steps, I am ready to snowshoe, if the world would be so kind as to offer some snow. 

    • February 6, 2012 at 10:00 am Reply

      Oh, do try skiing again, Frances. Just put it in forward this time. And snow shoeing too. That’s something I want to try.

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