It could be worse

Went skiing on Saturday.  It was the first time I’d gone skiing in two years.  I sucked so bad it was hardly funny.  I lost one of my skis on my first run, which involved me going downhill on my back with my other ski dragging behind me.  That was the only time I lost my skis, so yay for me,  but I didn’t meet my goal of making it through a run without falling.  Still, muscle memory is some good juju.  In the beginning I had to run through a checklist before every run to remind myself of all the stuff you’re supposed to do: lean into turns, snowplow, look where you want to go, etc.  By the end of the day I was starting to do all of this unconsciously.

I looked in the newspaper the next day and apparently there had been an extreme cold warning for Saturday, but it wasn’t really as bad as all that.  My hands went numb several times, but I just took that as a sign to go back inside and warm up.  After all, it’s not a winter sport if you can still feel your fingers.

The “chalet” at the ski hill was rather piss poor, since it’s my opinion that there must be a fireplace for a spot to be called a chalet.  Despite the cold, the runs got really crowded in the afternoon, especially with kids.  Damn those reckless buggers, I almost got hit several times and I saw two snowboarders collide.  On the one hand, I can appreciate that kids and teenagers are supposed to be learning their physical limits, but on the other hand I object to anything that inconveniences me in any way whatsoever.

It’s nice that you can leave your boots in the lodge and be completely confident that they’ll still be there later despite any number of people passing through.  Still, anyone who goes skiing or snowboarding must already have some money, otherwise they wouldn’t be participating in such a bourgeois pastime.  Ski rental and full day pass was only $35.00 for me, so it’s not like skiing is necessarily amazingly expensive (season pass is like $150-200), but admittedly anyone who gets serious about the sport will be spending loads of money on special equipment — not just skis, boots, and poles, but also a proper coat and ski pants, and probably ski mask, gloves, and wick-away underwear and shirt — I wore the wick-away stuff for the first time this Saturday and was impressed at how much less sticky I felt.  Anyone living somewhere cold will have their own coat, gloves, hat (called a tuque here in Canada), and thermal underwear already, but probably a serious skier will want to get the special stuff, since they really do make a difference.

And to top it off, the ski hill was only five to ten minutes away from my house.  My brother said that last season he and his friends went boarding between their classes at the university.  Beyond the parking lot are people’s houses, and it’s kind of cool to look out from the top of the hill and see the winter landscape of suburbia stretching out.  So chalk up one more reason not to hate northern Ontario.

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