Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Thousand Promises

I am reminded of Marv's line in the movie Sin City, "My muscles make me a thousand promises of pain to come." While this title may be appropriate to a Hillary or Obama presidential administration, I am actually referring to the literal physical pain here.

I went skiing for the first time in my life the night before last. I did not have an instructor. A guy from the rental shop gave me a few pointers: "Do this to turn left and do this to stop." After a few runs on the training slope I hit the beginner slope.

The training slope is about 200 feet, is gentle, and has a "magic carpet," i.e. a moving walk similar to those found at airports to bring folks back to the start.

The beginner slope has a lift is hundreds of yards long with some steep descents and some gradual ones. My first fall could not even wait for the slope. I did a full face plant getting off of the lift at the top.

I picked myself up and made my way slowly - I was still learning how to inch along - to the edge. I slid forward a few feet then took off like a shot. I careened into the side near the edge of the run, both skis off, and rolled sideways and lengthwise. For some reason, I was laughing. I was not hurt much. The guy from the rental shop helped me back into my skis, and I went all the way down to the site of my next crash.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I did this for three more hours. On one of my more successful runs, one of the other skiers told me I had rooster tails behind me. I guess that means I was going pretty fast, although I am not sure. I think gravity was helping me a bit too. I was a bit larger than most everyone else on that particular hill (the fact that they were also about 20 years younger than me had a bit to do with that too).

I was not wearing goggles since they were not included in the rental and I had brought my shooting glasses. I was not wearing my shooting glasses since they are tinted and it was night. On one of my last falls, I was reminded that I had my glasses in a zipper pouch on my jacket. These glasses are designed to take a shotgun blast so they did not think much about it when I landed on top of them. Today I have a huge, big, black and blue bruise on my belly.

The worst falls were ones where my shoulders were wrenched. My left is prone to popping out of socket and then back but I think both popped out of socket at least a few times. Last night on the plane back home I tried taking off one of my boots. Everything turned yellow and I saw stars. I decided that I'd just wear them for the flight.

Yesterday I only thought I was sore. Today I feel the pain that has come.

I can't wait to do it again though.

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