So after taking a break from downhill skiing in favor or cross country skiing (in Minnesota it's not really an option...) I thought I'd try it once again.
My friend Kristina's family has a house in the mountains and is currently serving a two week sentence (the Swiss call it "Ski Holiday") there I decided to come for the weekend in between. Saturday was cold and gloomy and not a particularly good day to ski. In fact, they closed most of the runs because it was too windy so we mostly hung around her house (where her children literally hung around/on us--the boy and baby were SO cute and the eldest... well that's another story!) and we went to lunch and the après ski, had dinner with her family and went back out in town. (In an effort to spice up our conversations with people we created fake names and jobs. Whether or not people believed us was incumbent on their level of intoxication but at one point a group believed that Kristina was a Canadian dolphin trainer named Dionne and that I was a famous motivational speaker named Cher--Clueless reference anyone? Everything I said they group would go, "Look! You're trying to motivate him!" Needless to say, these weren't the brightest guys...)
Sunday was a gorgeous day so we decided to try our hand skiing. The fabulous thing about skiing with Kristina is that we are at the same level (low) and didn't have to pretend that we weren't nervous about the foreboding hills up ahead. We head up the mountain and I click into my skis, that's when I tried to move à la cross country skiing--and it wasn't very fruitful. I realized that my affinity for cross country skiing had nearly killed my downhill skiing skills. As we first started down I shouted, "This is NOT like riding a bike!!!" But by the time we got to the first lift I felt a little more confident. And then not so...
This lift wasn't the kind where you sit with a person and put your legs on the bar, it was more of a tow-rope like they had on the Bunny Hills of Whitetail. Kristina got on no problem. I skied up and the worker handed me the pole with a little disc on the bottom and as I sat I heard him shout, "Nicht sitzen! Nicht sitzen!" ("Don't sit! Don't sit!") And the only thing I could think to shout was, "Kristinaaaa!!!!" So the rope stretched and I fell, but not before being dragged for a few feet. Wonderful way to reintroduce myself to skiing. The thing about embarrassment is it is so much more embarrassing if no one is there to share in your embarrassment. That being said, the Swiss worker did not even crack a smile at my spill, which made it all the more mortifying. I learned fast though, how to sit on those lifts.
The rest of the day was uneventful (my only fall of the day was on the chairlift!) and a ton of fun. I haven't felt this confident skiing in a long time and at one point we even did a run (because the one we wanted was closed and we had to) that had moguls! (I actually got stuck in one... So maybe the chairlift wasn't it for my embarrassment.) But they day was beautiful, the skiing a blast and the views were incredible. And of course, the après ski drink very good (and deserved!).
Pictures to follow.