Black Diamond Chicken Wings

I don’t understand why the North East is so insistent on snow sports.  When I moved to Boston it seemed everyone inherent to here, was mad for winter athletics.  I hail from the land-locked Midwest and haven’t any interest in such tom-foolery.  Snow serves two very purposeful functions for me: lovely curb appeal and days off.  I have no staked interest in anything else.

But I’m also biased.  Last year I tried my feet at snowboarding.  My lovely fiancé is a sportsman and loves the thrill of the ice race.  He’s been an avid and dedicated skier most his life and thought to try snowboarding on a company outing last year.  At the time I was still trying to impress him so I tagged along, hopeful. Hope wanes on slick surfaces.  Despite the picturesque surroundings in snow covered Vermont I could not find a rhythm in snowboarding.  It was contrary to nature!  I fell and fell and fell.  I bruised my tail bone for what felt like months.  I bailed and cried and may have pushed a child in one of my many attempts to “shred?” down a bunny hill. 

The incline was minimal (see: mostly horizontal).  With such failure on a seemingly simple track I lost all hope and abandoned the endeavor.

I understand how adventure-less this is.

In follow-up trips I still donned my ski costume but took straight to the lodge where I drank wine and read from my Kindle while Hiro tore up some Black Diamond or another.

I knew my limits.  I saw no harm in this.

When snow fell again this year Hiro seemed anxious to try skiing.  It seemed plausible that if I hated snowboarding I would hate skiing.  To start, skis are long, spindly bruise shoes.  More surface area yields more room for error as I can’t even seem to keep my own gangly appendages in check.  But Hiro, and my best friend Brad both assured me that skiing is easier to pick up.  That there is more control leant the skier when skiing.  They spoke calmly and rationally of the many valors of skiing.

This was all great and good and I wore a snow-suit in the off chance I might ski, but mostly I wanted to sit in the lodge and read.

Note that I realize how fortunate I am.  Never before have I been afforded a privilege as lavish as lodge dwelling and skiing.  Hiro’s company supplements the costs and, as Hiro implores, I should take advantage of these opportunities when they arise.  I know, I know.

So we get there after a three hour bus ride and the mountains of Stowe Vermont are lovely.  The city seems timid, but abustle with charm and I am lodge ready!  First, though, we need to take a gondola across a mountain.  I once feared gondolas intensely, and now I only fear them momentarily, so much so that I was able to take in some lovely views!  Upon arrival Hiro scurried off to ski down some frighteningly tall mountains while Brad and I made way for the lodge for a brunch-time snack.

We had chicken wings!  It was a first for me.

The chicken wings (and Bloody Mary) gave me courage.  I enrolled in a lesson!

The lesson was really the best way to go.  For an hour we did nothing more than scoot around on one ski, dragging our legs across the slick terrain to get a feeling for traction.  Owing to my painful experiences in snowboarding I felt old hat at this and wasn’t as afraid as many of my timid ski schoolers.  This gave me an edge.  I was the girl who seemed cool.  Most people in super rudimentary ski school are there because they are not cool.  They are afraid of falling.  They do not want to have the experience I had last year.

There’s really something to courage and confidence because I really convinced myself I was getting it, and after awhile, it seemed I was.  I took to the bunny slopes easily and started to weave and turn confidently.  Hiro and Brad arrived at the end of my lesson to find me smiling and waving and asking if I could go up the “magic carpet” (children’s ski lift) one more time?!

Of course my cockiness had to meet its end.  Coming back to the bus I thought I was trained enough to take to a steeper hill.  I fell, couldn’t get up and nearly rolled down the hill.  But, in the end, I enjoyed the triumph.  I don’t know that I’ll ever take to a Black Diamond, but I’m game to tear up that bunny hill any day.