For the record, I do not ski. I am the house Mom. My original plan was to get back up on skis this year. Ah, what they say about the best laid plans.
As promised the other day, here is my story of skiing from four years ago and what led me to this glamorous title.
But first, some background:
In 1991 I went out to Colorado to ski at Copper Mountain on a glorious, amazing, solo Club Med vacation. On the last run, of the last day, I heard, from behind me, "Holy shit, I can't stop!" That was followed by me getting plowed down and becoming a human mogul. My left leg was broken. I was tobogganed down the mountain. Good times...
We arrive at the mountain at 11:00 in the morning on Tuesday and suit up for a gorgeous day of downhill fun. I've got the kids and I set to have lessons at 1:30. I am excited about the prospect of skiing again and the kids are bouncing out of their own skin at the very thought of it!
I drop Peter & Bella off where they’re supposed to be and head off to Day 2 lessons. Experts have heard my tale and have deduced I can start at Day 2. I am met by Rob of Massachusetts – he’s probably about 50 or so, so I feel comfortable with him. I explain my last time skiing and it’s “broken ending” and he decides that even though I can probably handle Day 3 lessons he’ll start me at Day 2 so I erase any fears I may have. My group lesson turns out to be a private lesson as no one else shows up. I am giddy.
We start with basics – I am doing quite well and feeling confident. We go up a few lifts (nothing too high) and travel through the mountain to a more difficult lift. My confidence is at 100% and I am almost giggling at how easy this all is.
We are met by a five year old at the bottom of our run who has lost his group. We lead him back to the area where the groups are and Rob tells me since my lesson has ended up as a private he only has an hour with me and now he will need to leave me to my own devices. However, he is certain I am A-OK to carry on on my own and bids my adieu. I thank him, think about arranging lessons for the following day and go forth to find my little lift.
I miss the little lift, end up on the biggest lift, panic ON the lift, get off at the tippy tip and am met by ice. Lots and lots of pretty ice. Terrorized. That’s what I feel. I take Lamaze breathes and go s-l-o-w. What the heck I was thinking I still cannot answer.
However, Vermont versus Colorado is a whole ‘nother animal when it comes to snow conditions as well as the width of the trails at the top of the mountain. I had been very spoiled learning in Colorado and there is NO WAY I am prepared to handle the rigors of the end of the day ice at the top of the summit. I can’t stop. I fall. A lot. At one point I hit my head SO hard that had I not had a helmet on I fear I would be in the hospital and not home. I am helped up by numerous people. Very experienced people pass me yelling up to each other to be wary of the ice.
At one point I take off my freaking skis and try going down on my butt. I don’t recommend that. I get them back on and a very kind, very lovely woman named Jackie helps me down a short part of the mountain. We are met at a turn by a kind man named Dave who says, “Are you Jackie?” She says yes. He looks at me and says, “We heard you were in trouble up here, we’ll get you down.” Relief floods through me. Then he says, “Wait’ll you see the folks we’ve got lined up.” We turn the corner and are met by another three Mountain Ambassadors. Yep. That’s what their jacket says. And thank God for them. So, Dave and Hy (none of these ambassadors are under 35 – I love that I am being helped down by very experienced people). One stays in front of me. One stays behind me. Down, traverse, reverse, down, crash. At this point it is after 4:00 – my kids lessons ended at 3:30. Fran, Kristina and Brian have no idea where ANY of us are. Dave says, “Maggie (he knows my name, rank and serial number by now) do you want us to radio you a taxi – AKA a snow mobile?” I am brave and say no. Then I fall again and it’s just too much. YES. YES please I will take the taxi. By now I am shaking, I am nauseas, I have a skull splitting headache and I want off of the mountain more than you can imagine. It turns out I am less than 20% of the way down. Holy mogul. We wait. And wait. And wait. I finally reach someone (my kids told me last night it was Kristina) or maybe she reached me, by cell phone, and she tells me they have my kids. After what seems a crazy long time my chariot shows up. I load myself on – I am so woozy at this point, grip onto the side bars and fly down the mountain to the base. I get off of the snow mobile, thank they man for helping me down and start towards where my family and friends have been patiently waiting for well over an hour.
Fran sees me heading towards the building and tells me the kids are all in the car and asks me how I am. I cry. I stutter. I am so in la-la land it takes me the better part of 20 minutes to get out of my jumpsuit and into my pants and shoes. We head outside after I change and now I am feeling REALLY awful; disgusting, gut wrenchingly awful. So naturally I throw up. (In a grocery bag so as not to harm my surroundings…)
I get in the car and we head to the real estate agency to pick up the keys to the condo. I am so not with it. Yep. And I need to get sick again. In a grocery bag. Oh, it’s fun being me and I imagine it’s just as much fun being the passengers in this car…
We get to the condo and ALL I can do is get changed and into bed. It’s probably 6:00. I wake up at 9:41 to the last contestant on Idol and have my kids call home. I babble incoherent statements and go back to bed. I wake up again at 12:55 and notice Bella isn’t in bed. I head to the living room and find the lights on, the TV on and Bella curled up on the love seat sound asleep. I wake her and send her into the room. I sleep until 7:45 the next day.
Over coffee, Fran and I realize I must have a concussion. I call Elaine, Athletic Trainer to the Goddesses (the Radio City Rockettes) and tell her my symptoms. She forbids me from taking any further medication (I had taken two Advil) and she informs me there is NO WAY I AM TO SKI AGAIN THAT DAY. She then starts tossing out statistics – 80% of secondary falls with a concussion end in death. OK. You don’t need to tell me twice. I need to name her kids. I do, including middle names and am allowed to stay in Vermont.
I ended up in the house for a day and a half while my friends and family conquered the mountain. Including the trail I failed miserably at. (I did tell them to take it early in the day as Dave & Hy had told me even THEY don’t like that trail at the end of the day due to the icy conditions at the top…great…just great…)
I’m sticking to the little mountains, the little trails and much less drama the next go round. Or, perhaps I will do what my friend Claire does while at Stratton (I called her from my mountain to her mountain) and continue on as the House Mom…making breakfast, lunch and dinner while admiring the splendor and beauty of the mountains from the warmth of the house…
Because you see, my kids, of course, well, they love the sport. And they’re good at it. Maybe I should have started younger…