Thursday, February 14, 2013

Comin' down the mountain!

Near the top of the mountain.
I'm in the midst of a bunch of filming for a work project* and found myself on a mountain in Colorado over the last few days. I was told the only way down from the location we were filming at was skiing or walking so I chose skiing. Sure, it's been ten or fifteen years since I last skied, but I've always liked it and always picked it back up, so why not?

Dude, mountains in Colorado are WAY different than the ones I've skied in Pennsylvania or Illinois. Their idea of an "easy" route is the equivalent of a black diamond (erm, super difficult) everywhere else! And the head of events sent me to the very tippy top of the mountain saying it was easier to get to the location we were shooting at. And when I say mountain I mean MOUNTAIN!

The short of it? I made it a little ways. And then at a point where you had to make a sharp turn right to take the green path over the mogul-laden path to the easy left, and some ski instructor decided to park his class in the middle of where I needed to go, I realized I lacked the skills,  took off my skiis, and walked past them. I put 'em back on when I hit the gren path, but even that "easy" path proved too much for me. At this point I was wondering what was wrong with me. But honestly? I got myself in over my head. I skiid a while longer and each time someone directed me to an easy path they were anything but.

I made an executive decision. I was going to get off this mountain without killing myself.

I would walk down.

And hour later I realized this decision might kill me anyway. Walking sideways so as to not fall over while carrying skis and poles turns out to be pretty taxing. I kept thinking I was almost at the bottom, so that would power me, until I turned a corner and realized, yup, I was still WAAAAAY on top of a mountain. I could see images of me frozen, Kubrickian Shining-stylee, in the snow.

But I'm an idiot so I just kept going. Until a ski patrol guy on a snowmobile (who, c'mon, was probably answering multiple calls of people seeing some idiot try to walk down the side of a mountain) pulled up and offered me a lift down.

The bottom of the mountain.
O.K., so something else I learned yesterday? As crazy as skiers and snowboarders are, a skier/snowboarder on a snowmobile is FAR crazier! What followed me climbing on top that snowmobile was four of the most harrowing moments of my life. You'd think those dudes take the easiest inclines down, but no; they go directly towards the steepest path down. That poor dude probably still has indentations around his waist where my arms were holding on for dear life.

I thought once we hit bottom I'd get a look from him and his buddies that would totally emasculate me but no, he dropped me off and was super cool. Wished me a good day and sai it was no big deal as I blubbered my gratitude. And that helped my self-respect a lot, even if the rest of me was aching and shaking and in agony from skiing and hiking.

My immediate response yesterday? I'm never skiing again. My response today? I'm definitely taking some ski lessons sometime in the near future. If that mountain taught me anything it's that I'm mortal and have limits so it's time to expand those limits again.

*It's awesome and I can't wait to share it with you when it's all done.

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