Friday, February 17, 2012

What does "Slow and Easy" Mean to You?

Apparently, "slow and easy" mean completely different things to a 17 year-old boy and a 47 year-old mom. 

But I'm recovered enough now to talk about it. 

Last weekend, the Sam Stanley Experience and I went skiing in West Virginia with our Venture Crew (which is an older, co-ed version of Boy Scouts). 

I learned to ski last winter at our local ski area, and I did...okay.  Okay, if you don't count the minor head injury, the pulled hamstring and the anxiety attack on the ski lift (who knew?  I'm afraid of heights!). 

But like with childbirth, the memory of pain fades. When the chance to go to a "real" resort came around, I gladly waved my hand in the air to organize a trip.  But this year, I decided I was going to do everything, but be extra careful.  I would fight through my fear of heights and figure out how to ride the lift (and how to get off of it without too much damage), and I would go nice and slow and have a good time. 

I found a nice instructor guy to help me figure out the ski lift, and I made it up the beginner hill.  Then I came down the beginner hill.  I felt a little wobbly--as in, my legs were shaking so hard that I almost fell over)--so I decided to take the complimentary beginner lesson.  And I did GREAT.  The nice instructor guys were very complimentary, and at the end of the lesson, said to go down the beginner hill a couple more times, then try Salamander Trail.

Okay:  On that map right there, Salamander Trail is WAY over to the left, it's got a green circle on it.  That means it's the easiest kind.  It's also the longest trail in the area, at 2 miles. 

And my son said, "it's slow and easy, Mom, come on, I'll do it with you!"

So I did.  And it felt really fast. And I fell.  So I got back up, went really fast again, and I fell again.  All within the first 1/4 mile.  And I was scared.  And the Sam Stanley Experience was long gone. 

So I took off my skis, and I walked down that hill.  1 3/4 mile, in 20 degree weather, with snow cannons blowing in my face,  in God-Only-Knows how many feet of snow.  Downhill all the way, fortunately, but O. M. G. 

The upshot of this experience is that I got a major work out, and didn't feel guilty for taking off my boots and putting on my jammie pants for the rest of the day. I lay in my bunk reading a book.  After that, I took a nice long shower and spent the evening, being the hot tea drinking person, with the other adults in the lodge playing Catch Phrase. 

So.  I get to cross something off my bucket list during the Decade of Living Fearlessly: "Learn to ride a ski lift without Xanax". 
"Learn to go down a hill on skis" gets pushed back to next year.  Maybe.  And maybe with Xanax.  

What does "Slow and Easy" mean to you?  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Or keep your mind in the gutter.  Whatever. 

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