I skied today. I fell, and did it sort of dramatically. Ouch. And this relates to my theory:
Many people ski once per year. I am one of these people. Usually I ski three days, as do many others it seems. I feel the three day mountain-warrior experience has unique themes for each day.
Day No. 1: "Hesitant Revitalization"
You step into your snow-sport devices and apply sunscreen. You get on the slopes and marvel at all you remember. "WOW," you think. "I'm awesome! And I haven't skied in a whole year!" You find your muscle memory happy place but are mostly cautious. You have fun and revel in the experience (especially if you're from a non-mountainous land). You walk away feelin' good.
Day No. 2: "Too Big for Your Britches"
The day dawns and you step up to the plate. "I'm the bomb dot com," you think. You are arrogant, and mentally, if not verbally, berate other "rookies" on the mountain as you pass them. You act like you own the place. No, you do. You slide down the hill in a mostly out of control state. Speed and flippancy are your allies. The envelop is pushed. Disaster narrowly avoided. You get sunburned. You ski all day and on the last run at four o'clock you bite it. Hard. You might curse.
Day No. 3: "Who Am I?"
You rethink everything. Your body screams at you when you de-sack after your previous day of foolishness. Doubt is your best friend. You realize you ski once a year and have serious skill deficits. You are laid low. Penitence is paid to the mountain upon boarding the lift. Speed is exchanged with control. Arrogance for reality. You throttle back to 80 percent. You apply sunscreen to your virgin epidermis and then aloe to the burned hide. "Clearheaded Enjoyment" is your motto. You go for broke, but realize your place in the world. You leave some for next year, knowing that you will have the same three-pronged experience. Oh well. You walk away with a limp, but have a pocketful of quality memories.
So this is my theory. Maybe it's just a personal testimony. But I'm sticking by it.
First-run-of-the-day excitement. Dinah is uninterested and focusing all mental power on body-heat generation. It was cold today.
I got longer skis today. *reader feels sense of foreboding* The 182s. Amazing what 8 centimeters of additional length earns you on the slopes (read: less control, more (too much) speed).
So about my crash today: my ski tips crossed while I sliced down the hill. My brain informed me I was in trouble just before the problem reached critical mass. I hurtled forward, poles strewn hither then yon. My face struck snow and bounced lightly off the snowy earth. Right shoulder dug into the pitch. Slid to a stop, all systems momentarily off-line. *three seconds pass* Reboot.
"OWWWWW..." I realized what happened.
A kind Samaritan helped me to my snow covered feet. He complimented my gravitationally challenged performance. I shook my head, clearing the cobwebs. I thanked him for the aid and continued (at a retarded pace) toward the base, a broken and aching man (until the next run).
Day No. 2 hubris in action.
Some cloud shots. Very nice skies early in the day, despite formidable, blasting gales.
Cold Glory. huh huh...
None shall pass. It clouded over after noon, the wind mounted and things got REAL cold in a hurry. I do like the dramatic weather though. The power. The intensity. Pretty impressive to comprehend. And photograph. And then go inside and hot-chocolate yourself.