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How I Spent my Winter Vacation

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
ok, spring time is coming around and its left me feeling a little depressed, as well as nostalgic and corney. thought i would share:

Monday afternoon was warm enough around here to drop the top on my convertible, I was driving through a small farming town around here, looking out at fields now only thinly covered in snow. I had just skied a three day weekend and on Sunday, I wasn’t feeling very well and thinking I was probably burnt out. I just really wanted no part of the whole skiing thing, and I was pretty sure it was not a temporary condition. But there with the strange juxtaposition of my top down and snow still on the fields, seeing the snow recede and brown grass and pathways that haven’t been seen in months start to appear, I began to feel nostalgic for the winter. I spent a while thinking back on the ski season.

I thought first about the physical feelings, I could feel the wind in my face, stinging my cheeks and my chin, already chafe from being tucked in my wet collar during the ride up on the lift. I can hear the loose granular hissing beneath my edges, leaving deep railroad tracks behind, that I stop and regard proudly…

Oh, I’ve definetly improved this year, first overcoming abject terror of returning after injury, and then starting to notice all the subtleties of the turn, the carve, the skid, and the brake, remembering how the skis worked…. Though I’m not as fast as I used to be but much more confident than that first tearful run of the season, and much more attuned to all the nuances that occur.

It always helps to have a significant other that skis better than you, and once I swallowed my pride and admitted this, and made a conscious effort to accept critique gracefully, I realized what a resource I had! Every time I skied with or around him, I got better. I see him flying past me at speeds I swear Ill get up to someday, stop to watch me and all my flaws coming down the hill, often with a correction, some times with a drill, and even sometimes with his arms out for a hug and an “Im so proud of you!” he made time to ski with me, he didn’t complain that I was slower. He didn’t get upset when he had to work and I had to ski. And, I skied on newly tuned skis every time I went out, thanks to his technician skills. I could not ask for a better partner, skiing, or otherwise.

I almost broke down and bought a helmet this year, after my short slalom skis kicked out from underneath me and I landed on my head. Haven’t yet but perhaps next year. I would like to attempt trees and maybe a little backcountry next year, so maybe at the end-of –season sales….

Ive spent hours, even days, on the greens, working on drills, putting down railroad tracks, trying to ingrain the memories that the muscles had forgotten. Ive suffered through black toenails, shin bang, and painful calves (every Monday, it seems.) I think I had whiplash and a mild concussion after that landing on my head thing, and a very obvious shiner on my left eye.

I began to realize all the little things,like the way boots are buckled, that can affect your skiing, I suffered the new boot breaking in period, quite successfully, amazed how much proper alignment improved my skiing. I found a great bootfiter…(thanks Greg and Sandi at Green Mountain Orthotic Labs at Stratton)

Ive skied narrow wooded trails and paused to take in the sharp, cold silence around me, at one with the mountain, myself, and finding comfort in its peace, solitude, and quiet strength. I’ve heard the wind in the trees and the sound of snow slipping from a bough, standing in quiet contemplation of the beauty around me.

And I’ve been so exuberant and joyful flying down the mountain that I’ve actually screamed “WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!” out loud, all by myself, (scaring the bejesus out of a lone newbie snowboarder quietly scraping his way down the trail). I’ve let the skis run, thrown my hands up in the air, and stuck my tounge out, feeling it freeze, because that is what pure Joy and Spirit moved me to do at the time. Ive had more perma-grin than I can remember, standing in liftlines grinning like an idiot and not being able to stop, and not even caring.

I’ve met more people than I can count, on lifts and in lines, every one with a story and everyone with the same love of the mountain and of the sport that I have. Ive had the BEST six dollar cheeseburgers I’ve ever eaten, and drank three dollar bottles of Gatorade, and gnawed frozen Balance bars on the lift.

Still a few more skiing days left of the year (hopefully.) Still need to get better, the more I improve the more things I realize I need to learn,. And whatever happens on these next few trips, I can look back and honestly say that it has been a GREAT season!!!
post #2 of 17
Thanks LindaA. Very :
post #3 of 17
Wow! Well written. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Thank you,


PS. What convertible are you driving?
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
got all sappy there for a minute

IG - Chrysler Sebring.....
post #5 of 17
Originally posted by LindaA:
got all sappy there for a minute
That's OK, with a little minor editing, I'm going to plagiarize your post in about 6 week's time.

Not that the Sebring convertible is a bad ride, because I believe there are bonus points for most any top-less car - except for Geo Metros, Chrysler K-cars and the like - but I was thinking you were motoring in something a little more exotic - a Diablo VT, maybe a Modena Spyder.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

my expensive skiing habit dictates that the Sebring is about as exotic as I get!

Careful, credit your sources, lots of lawyers on this site!! if you make any money on it...then you can buy me a real convertible.... :
post #7 of 17
LindaA, a very nice post. Wish I had your way with words.
My thoughts mirror some of yours, almost to the exact word!
I was thinking about girls having to swallow their pride and to have to follow their boys down a run just yesterday.
I am leaving on a business trip, and will try to regroup my thought about that as to make a post on the subject upon my return...
post #8 of 17
Beautiful piece of writing, LindaA, in any case, but especially since you're an engineer. I wish they all wrote with that skill and humanity. Are there more of those beautiful articles left in you? I'll bet there are!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Why thank you, oboe, and perhaps I will have more.

I was a writer before I was an engineer actually, and since the downturn in the tech quarter, I might have to become one again.

Expository writing and personal essay doesn't often sell all that well, its the copywriting and web content writing that sells, so I get to grace you kind people with such ramblings...Im sure to come up with another soon...writers write everyday, and its good practice.

hope you'll all buy my great american novel. (when i write it.)

Glad to have people to share with that can relate to that essay, without thinking ive absolutely lost my mind!!!
post #10 of 17
Nice coda.
post #11 of 17
Well . . . I didn't mean to suggest that you HADN'T lost your mind, exactly. I mean, YOU'RE ONE OF US!
post #12 of 17
I think that the Sebring convertible is one of the best looking cars ever made.
post #13 of 17
Very nice chapter, LindaA. It's about time someone wrote a great American novel about skiing. Great plot so far.
post #14 of 17
LindaA - as a writer myself (both for a living and because I feel the need to tell stories), I applaud your courage and your prose. After many years of being a flatlander, I have rediscovered skiing since I got my two older daughters started on this great sport three years ago. I can only hope that they will develop into the type of woman that you seem to be - humble, vivacious, grounded, intelligent, and love skiing!

Reading your initial post made me think of some of the feelings that I've had this year, and while I won't bore everyone with what would surely be a repeat of things already written, let me just say that you speak for me as well in your delight of the discovery of yourself and the release of spirit that physical exertion in the mountains seems to bring about!

Keep pointing 'em down the hill!

(BTW - to be a good role model for my girls, I got a helmet this year after making them wear the ones I got for them. Not only is this a safe thing to do, but it is also a nice way to keep warm! Though we'll see how I feel about that aspect of it this weekend when I'm out in the "heat"!)
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, jck,nice of you to say so, and it sounds like you are raising two wonderful and bright daughters, always a reflection on the parents!

I have two sons who i am trying to introduce to skiing, one loves it, and one could care less. That one wants to learn to snowboard, and i told him he could learn after he learns to ski, after he turns eighteen, and after they have lowered my cold, dead body into the ground....

Milesb - went down to dealership just to "see what kind of deals they might have". I've always loved the look of the Sebring too...and there was a white one, (always wanted a white convertible) and so the salesman says, "why dont you just test drive it" That was it. The ride was incredibly stable for a convertible, it was a beautiful, sunny day, I loved the classy retro dials on the dashboard (reminded my of my fathers old cadillac, his dream car.) Im such a pushover....One thought almost saved me, however, that was, "ok, where do I put the ski rack?" but it was early september and no snow in site....

[ March 24, 2003, 07:30 AM: Message edited by: LindaA ]
post #16 of 17
NICE , indeed! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #17 of 17
LindaA - not to turn this into a parenting discussion, but I definitely agree with the "learn to ski first, then you can try boarding" school : In the end, you can only expose 'em to stuff, you can't make them like any (or all) of it!

Anyway, it looks like my season is over, so let's all hope for a good golf season and early and lots of snow next winter!!!!!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
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