My eyes opened to a gray sky. My body although it tact, felt a million miles away. It was day two of skiing and I ate snow. I ate snow, hard.
To be honest, I never really wanted to go skiing, but I knew it was something Dan (the boyfriend) loved and missed. So skiing we went! We arrived at Jackson Hole Ski Resort. It was stunning, yet intimidating.
Dan guided me from location to location. First, picking up our lift ticket that happened to be there niffy hotel looking key cards that we could just keep in our pockets. Then, on to the ski rental.
A young girl caught my eye as we entered the rental room. She asked my boot size and I must have given her a look without knowing it. “Been a while?” she asked. I then informed her that it was my first time skiing and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The look of surprise came over her face as I spoke and she replied laughingly, “And you chose to start here?” She saw the worry on my face and then began to measure me and assured me not to fret. Although Jackson Hole might be challenging, I was going to learn from the best. Dan and I then moved over a station, picked up our skis, poles and helmets and we were off.
We took the gondola up to the Ski School. We were the first to arrive. I was so nerves I couldn’t even think. Dan was kind enough to take a one-day Newbee ski lesson with me. Forever I will be thank for that, as it calmed my nerves.
We were soon met by Ava another student and Jennifer our instructor. Jennifer was in her mid to upper forties and man, was spirited. She yelled, laughed and cheered with every skill we went over. She started us off on a small little bump. (I couldn’t even call it a hill) We worked on shifting out weight, creating wedges, digging our skis into a snow. The basic. After about 15 minutes of that I hear Jennifer, “Ok lets hit the slopes!” Ava and I must of felt the same thing, as when I looked at her it was like looking to a mirror. The look of terror was written on our faces. Jennifer soon laughed and said we were going to the beginner kids obstacle course. My heart lightened.
Jennifer had us work for about an hour on the obstacle course. It was easy, yet challenging. Making sure that we were putting the weight on the right side when turning, not favoring one or the other. Jennifer felt that we were picking it up like naturals. Cheering us on with every small victory. It was so enraging. I though I was really nailing it with all the awesome things she had to say. Then there was Dan making Ava and I look like little kids, and then the little kids making us look like babies and they slew by with ease.
It was now time to hit the slopes. We stuck to the few Greens that Jackson Hole had. Slowly but surely, making giant S as we made our way down the mountain. All the while, Jennifer cheering us on and reminding use to make a pizza with our skies then we were picking up too much speed. Up and down we went while children no older than five are whizzing past Ava and I.
Toward the second half of the day we started to do the steeper Greens. Jennifer said I was picking things up a bit faster than Ava and to have a go at it on my own. I was nervous, but excited. I was at the edge of the Bronco hill. I gave a little push and I was off. I felt like I was going 100 miles an hour. Moving from side to side, weaving in and out of trees, watching the lift pass overhead. I thought to myself, “this is flying”. I finally understood what all the hubbub was about.
The day ended and although I had fallen seven times, Jennifer said I was a “natural born athlete” and too keep with it. I left day one on cloud nine.
Then there was day two. Dan and I hit the greens. I was flying. I had speed, but I was in control. A few hours in and I had not fallen once. Dan was shocked with how much I took to the sport. He assured me I was ready to the Blues. I told myself I needed more.
We took the gondola, higher and high and higher and higher and higher and we finally go there. We stepped out onto the snow, not only did I fear how high we were, but also I couldn’t see anything that was coming. The trail was so steep it mad it seem like you were about to fall off the edge of the world. This wasn’t just a few steps up; it was a few flights of stairs up. I was panicking and soon began to doubt myself.
After about 5 yards from pushing off, I was on the ground. Skiers were flying by as I tried to get up. Dan helped me to my feet and tried to keep me steady. He told me to follow his lead and I did, very horribly and that is when it happened.
I have no idea how far I traveled, but the next thing I know, my eyes opened to a gray sky. My body although it tact, felt a million miles away. I was flat on my back . My left hand was gripping the snow. I had a pole, I though. My right hand wiggles and it takes me a moment to realize it is gripping my other pole. Both of which are pinned under me. Then I go to move my legs. The left is free as a bird. The right, I can’t move. Not an inch, not a cementer. There is something digging into my back and neck, as I begin to panic. I scream for Dan, who is crawling up the hill toward me. I can’t sit up, there is something holding me down. I yell again for Dan. He is moving but not fast enough, as I am thinking the worst. I can only move my neck so far without it shooting back to the snow. Dan finally gets to me and tries to release my right foot from the ski, but it is all the way under by butt and my ski had gone up the back of my ski jack. That is what was digging into my back and neck.
I hear someone, “Are you ok?” and then the embarrassment hits me. I had no idea how injured I was and there was literally nothing I can do, until Dan unzipped me and gets me out of my ski jacket while all these what seems like world class ski people zip on by. I pull by goggles over my eyes and being to cry as Dan releases me. I smile to the kind man who asked and said, I was totally fine and it was just my first time on the blues. He smiled back, encouragingly and was gone.
After I was finally released, Dan grabbed my skies and we climb up the hill to the gondola. I sit there, out of breath, hiding my tears with my new Roxy goggles. I felt defeated. We sat there until we were no longer wheezing and then caught a ride on the gondola to the Greens. We did one run and I fell half way down. I was discourage, defeat, scared and in a lot of pain. I realized by the time we got to the bottom of the mountain, my head was pounding and my right side was aching.
I was for sure concussed and my body took a pretty hard beating. I hung up the skies for the day and hopped the bus back to our hotel for the night, where I laid in a hot bath that was soothing and agonizing at the same time.
The next day I wasn’t 100 %, not even close, but I spent a lot of money on this lift ticket and I wasn’t going to waste it. I stuck to the Greens. Dan at my side the whole time, as I was too scared to go at it alone. When he hit the Blues, I would rest up and talk to other skiers around the lodge. Although it was all very painful on day three it was still worth it.
As they say, don’t bit off more than you can chew. Also, don’t get cocky. That was my biggest mistake. If I would have just really worked on my parallel turns or took another day lesson, I might have been ready to give the Blues a real shot on Day Three, but I got cocky. That “natural born athlete” went straight to my head. Don’t make the same mistakes that this Newbee made. Perfect the Greens and then move on to the Blues, otherwise you will end up like me, black and blue.