Jan 30, 2012

Living On The Edge....Of The Bunny Slope

1/30/2012 — cori
Last week, for my 39th birthday, Chuck proudly handed me a homemade coupon for a special date day - at the local ski hill.  I was super excited since I had no clue what to expect (yet).  Plus, it was a whole day with my beloved - how could that not be fun?!

And then as the icing on the cake, he handed me the best gift he's EVER given me - thermal foot warmers!  I did not know these existed.  They are my new best friend to survive the Minnesota winters with.  I will now stick them all over my body, not just my feet.  I screamed with joy upon receiving these miraculous inventions.  They stay HOT for 9 hours!  All you do is stick them to the bottom of your sock and voila - hot feet.  This is huge for a person who's feet and hands go numb within 30 minutes of being exposed to the elements (even with gloves and 3 layers of socks on).  I can now enjoy the beauty of the snow and frigid temperatures with the rest of humanity.  My life is now complete.

But I digress...back to my ski hill story.  So, the coupon was actually for snowboarding, something neither of us have ever done.  We're obviously not getting any younger.  If we don't start now, I see the probability of starting decreasing with each new year.  Seize the day, right!  Oh, we seized that and more!

We were both giddy with excitement.  We're layered up in multiple layers of clothing as well as all our snow gear on top of that.  We look like some middle aged michelin men.  Not quite the look I'm going for on a date with my husband - but at least we look the same and can laugh with each other.

I then ask Chuck, "So, what time are our lessons?"

"Lessons?  Who needs those.  We're going to figure this out on our own.  It can't be that hard.  John said just to watch a how-to video on youtube."

"Seriously?!?" Nervousness is starting to set in.  I quickly google "how to snowboard".  I wish I'd googled "how to attach yourself and unattach yourself to the snowboard" first.  There was not enough time for more than one "lesson".

It took us a good 45 minutes to figure out how to get the snowboarding boots on and attached to the snowboard.  There were no instructions...you just do it.  And you don't dare look like you have no clue cuz there are little kids sitting right next to you who know exactly what they're doing.

Humility was the word of the day.  We would be watching those same kids all day long and wondering how in the world they stay up on their boards and go down the hill with such ease.  But right now, priority number one was figuring out how to look "natural" and "nonchalant" and try to blend in with everyone around us all while having a clueless look on our faces.  But hey, we were together and this was going to be fun, right.

We manage to make it out of the ski chalet and found the closest little hump of a hill so we could "practice".  We inched closer and closer to a guy giving a little kid a lesson and tried to glean any pertinent information from our contraband lesson.  We learned how to unattach one foot and "walk" with your snowboard still attached with your other foot.  No small feat!  And we learned how to scoot really well.  We spent more time scooting over the snow than actually going down the hill.  It was the best core workout I'd ever done.  We scooted to the moving sidewalk (which brought us up the bunny slope).  We scooted out of other people's way.  We scooted to get unstuck (which was a lot).  You get the idea - we got really good at scooting.

Speaking of the moving sidewalk.  It was going up the hill at a steady incline.  This bunny slope was of mammoth proportions in my eyes.  Not what I envisioned a bunny slope looking like.  So, about an hour after getting to BuckHill, we finally arrived at the top of the bunny slope.  I ask Chuck, "So, how do we get down there?" pointing to all the small, ant-like figures at the bottom of the "hill".  I will never forget his response, "How about I just push you?"

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  I'm trying to be a good sport about this Babe, but seriously.  You think taking your wife who is deathly afraid of heights, to the top of a hill on a fast moving object, that she hasn't had any lessons in steering or stopping on, and suggesting you just push her down the hill is really going to work with me?  Do you even know me at all?"

And then I start doing the only thing I know to do...I scoot down the hill.  But suddenly, it's not flat anymore and I'm actually going fast.  And then I realize I have no clue how to stop, steer or even fall.  I pray I don't hit anyone.  And then I see Chuck zoom past me and fall violently.  All of his falls were like that - violent, like he hit a tree and just fell backward and rolled a few times.  The one bit of advice he gave me that I actually took to heart was, "If you feel like you're going to fall, just sit down."  Ok.  Can't hurt.  So, whenever I got going too fast, I'd just sit down.  Speeding down a hill isn't my favorite activity, even though that's what we were there to do.  But the only problem with sitting down in the middle of the hill is that you have to get back up again and start scooting again so that you can start speeding again.  It was an endless cycle.

I did so many up-hill sit-ups.  I couldn't stop laughing the entire time.  Laughing at myself, laughing at Chuck. Laughing at the madness of what we were doing and calling it "fun".  It really was the perfect day.

At one point I "snowboarded" (if that's what you want to call what I was doing) into two trash barrels (since I couldn't steer).  I could not get away from them.  Once I fell, I couldn't get up, I taught myself how to crawl out of trash cans with a board stuck to your feet.  I'm still pretty proud of that one.  And my feet were still warm.  That's really all the matters.

A week later and Chuck is still not 'back to normal'.  Remember those violent falls?  Too bad I didn't get one of video.  But he fell on his elbow somehow.  He thought he broke a rib.  Turns out he strained the muscles around his ribs and is still hobbling around and taking shallow breaths. Or maybe that happened the time he fell off the moving side-walk.  Either way, he's in pain.  I still have bruises up and down my legs (even as padded as they were) from "sitting" on the hill so abruptly so many times and landing more on my boots than the soft, cushy snow.  But don't worry...we'll both make it.  And I'm sure this won't be the last time.  But next time, we will definitely get lessons.  But you will NEVER see me riding the ski lift.  Those things go even higher than the bunny hill!  Sometimes you just gotta put your foot down...even in the snow.

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