January, 2002. My school has been part of a ski program in which students pay to be bussed to the local mountain (Wachusett Mountain, MA) for skiing or lessons. This year, I decided to join. What the heck, everyone has been telling me that skiing is fun, so I figure I'll give it a try. If not now, when? So I signed up, bought some ski pants, gloves and a hat, and was ready to go.
Or so I thought...
My brother and I grabbed our rental skis and poles, put 'em on (with a little bit of friendly advice from a passer-by that noticed us and guessed correctly that we were students with a school group). We then headed around to the right, to the baby bunny slope. It was about this time that I asked Brian (my brother) about lessons. "Mom didn't sign us up for them," he told me. "She didn't?" I asked, surprised. "Hey, they're expensive." "Uh, ok."
I would come to regret listening to him...
So, I go up the rope tow and down the tiny hill a couple of times. I find that I can keep my balance with no difficulty whatsoever, and find that I can actually turn, though not terribly well. But it's good enough I think, and I can stop with a wedge, so I went off to the beginner hill.
A couple runs down convinced me I could handle the next level, the easiest intermediate trail on the mountain, a nice easy thing called Ralph's Run. Very easy. Now I marvel how I fell so often and yea, nearly killed myself on this trail. Because I almost did. My much prized nordic experience was great for balance, but I didn't know any proper technique, and so I was in the backseat all the time. No stopping without a wedge for me; if I tried a hockey stop, I would just carve to my doom.
Anyway, the night went by, and I survived most of it, falling often and having fun. But the last run is what got me. Ralph's Run was being groomed; my only choice was another trail that joined at the bottom. It's worth noting that bottom of these trails is steep for a beginner trail.Very. Anyway, it happened. I somehow went down and twisted my right knee, hard. I managed to make it the bus and home, in excruciating pain.
To cut a long story short, I couldn't walk the next day, and had the knee immobilized for three. But the next week was back in a soft brace, because I was hooked. There's no stopping me now. Skiing is the one and only winter sport for me.