December 14, 2008

Feeling the Burn!

I went skiing again. It's only been 13 years since the last time. I wasn't sure when I'd been skiing last but I found my lift ticket from 1995.

Back in 95 I was stationed in Germany and we went on a ski trip to Garmisch. Since we were planning on going to multiple places.....multiple places that may or may not have ski rentals, I bought my own skis, boots, and poles. Time to go out into the garage, find everything, and clean it off.

The day started way, way too early. One of our guests for our annual Christmas party sponsored a skiing trip to Sun Valley (the only place open due to our unseasonably warm weather). We had to meet up at the Grove Hotel at 6 AM to take off on the 2 & 1/2 to 3 hour drive. Carolyn and I got up even earlier so I could make hot chocolate for everyone. Unfortuneatly I splashed some of the scalding milk on my stomach and started off the day with a small 1st degree burn.

We all hit the slopes and immediately I realized that I suck. I could go down the easiest hill slowly by making tons of switchbacks. I think I managed a whole two runs before we broke for lunch. On that second run I rode the lift with a couple members of the ski patrol and on old-timer inquired about my skiis. Evidentally ski technology has come a long way in 13 years and "nobody" uses the old-type anymore. The guy wasn't being a dick or anything, he was just trying to tell me that I might have a better time with the newer skiis. I did some looking around and noticed that not only did every member of the Ski Patrol have the newer skiis, but so did every other skier on the hill.

After lunch I made another couple of runs, getting better each time. I went and rented a pair of newer skis and made a couple more runs. The new skis did give me much better control, but I also ended up pushing a bit harder that I probably should. I was getting to the point where I never had to slow down to a complete stop.

The group was to assemble at 3 PM to head back to Boise, so I was trying to make as many quick runs as possible. One time coming down the hill I wasn't the slowest person coming down. Unfortunately the guy that was slower than I was blocked me from being able to bleeding off speed in a specific area I'd come accustomed to doing. So here I am approaching the end of the hill where it's pretty steep and I'm going too fast.

No problem, I'll just make a sharper turn than I ever have yet and bleed off the speed. Uh oh...not gonna happen. QUICK: SPLIT SECOND DECISION!

I can either hit my wife and her ski instructor, the ski rack they are in front of, an open spot of pavers surrounding the lodge, or a big concrete planter with a pine tree in it. Actually I don't think I could've hit the Mrs.....still to sharp of a turn.

Yep, I hit the pavers and start to ski across the bricks. For some reason my skis don't glide so well over the stones and my body flies on ahead. Just before I hit I manage to hyper-extend back, arching my body so I do a terrible belly-flop onto the stones. The wind is knocked out of me and I'm trying to flop around, but my one of my bindings didn't release.

A couple of people come rushing over to me and I manage to get my one ski off. After a few agonizing seconds I'm asked if I can move my feet. Some people wanted to get the medics but I've alfready given myself a quick once over. Aside from having problems catching my breath I've already been flopping around and I know my ribs aren't broken. Some level of paralysis should have been ruled out with my movement....

I keep insisting that I'm fine and don't need a medic. After I manage to get up I check myself out some more.....aw crap, my coat is shredded. Well maybe not shredded, but the coat I hadn't worn before today now has many holes and you can see where I had my goggles stored in the pocket. My gloves are really torn to shreds though and I only have a small tear in the pocket flap of my new ski pants.

When I'm up I look at my watch. The one lady asks me if my watch is ok. "Um yeah, it's just fine...I just wanted to see if I had time to make one more run."

For some reason they decide that I'm done for the day. This ends up getting back to my office that I was kicked off of/banned from the mountain.

One of the other guests thinks it'd be funny to scan a copy of the free Sun Valley magazine and Photoshop me in. Since she doesn't have Photoshop and is unable to get a good scan of the magazine......it falls to me. I was able to get a PDF copy of the mag, extract the cover, and pose for some action shots to Photoshop in.

The pic above is the final result. We printed it out on a nice full-bleed 8" x 10" and framed it for my boss.

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