The Insanity of Skiing

When you get down to it, skiing is a really bizarre sport. The old “explain this to someone who’s never heard of it” test confirms this:

“Okay, so what you do. You put what are essentially highly modified, fiberglass barrel staves on your feet. Well, not directly. You also wear extremely uncomfortable boots that make your ankles immoble so you walk like some sort of hunchback.

Then, you get on a moving chair attached to a teensy wire, which pulls you waaaaaaaay up in the air over a bunch of trees and very sharp rocks, and then you have to get off it while you’re still moving and without crashing into anything or anyone.

You also do this when it is ridiculously cold. The colder, the more disgusting the weather, the deeper the snow, the better.

So you’re up at the top of this mountain, and you have to get down it without crashing into any of the following:

1) trees

2) other people

3) signs

4) chairlifts

5) snowmaking equipment

6) rocks

7) anything else that might have managed to meander into the middle of the trail, like a moose.

Then, once you get down, you do it again!”

Not even mentioning the risks of breaking a leg, blowing out any one of the many tendons that hold your knee together, or just generally wearing yourself out. It’s a really dumb sport.

Yet I do it anyway, despite the fact that I’m afraid of heights. For some reason, if I’m on anything but a chairlift, I’m terribly afraid of heights. Well, even on some really high up lifts (especially gondolas…fucking hate those things).

This clearly has a lot to do with the fact that I started skiing when I was about five years old (I first put on skis at 2, I first agreed to get on the chairlift at five), so it seems quite a bit more natural to me.

Some people ask why I never switched to snowboarding. I did think about it for a while, but when I was about fourteen, two of my friends from camp blew out their ACL’s snowboarding within about 2 months of each other.

As much as chicks dig scars, I don’t dig physical therapy and being on crutches for months.

Snowboarding also falls into the same stupid realm, replacing “modified barrel staves” with “modified skateboard that you are attached to quite firmly.” At least in skis, if you fall, your skis come off so you don’t fuck up your knees too badly.

In the end, I guess I realize what I’m doing is dumb (even without the notice on the back of the lift ticket that “SKIING CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY AND/OR DEATH”…gotta love the and/or), but some part of me still really enjoys it.

That part of me is definitely not my knees right now though. Anybody got some Advil?

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