sliding down a pass called the rock garden – on your face, back, side and face in repeating sequence is not as painful as it sounds. i wouldn’t recommend going down that way…but whatever gets you to the bottom.

this weekend i went skiing.

more importantly, this weekend i went skiing on an active volcanoe. i’m not joking. this is, after all, new zealand.

a rotarian at a club i’m speaking at this week extended an invitation to go skiing with his family. his kids decided not to go but i joined him and his wife on the 4 hour drive to mt. ruapehu.

that was fridaynight. saturday morning bright and early we arrived at the slopes…happy valley for us beginners. there they gave me a quick lesson and i made my way back and forth across the mini slope. confidence bloomed. so much so that when the time arrived for me to take my beginners class i got bored and upgraded my lesson to intermediate.

confidence unwarranted i discovered.

my hosts decided that after lunch i should try out the lower mountain slopes – more difficult. this is where i came face to face (literarlly) with the rock garden. apparently my wedge wasn’t wedging enough and the seriously steep incline at the beginning of the run sent me sprawling again and again and again.

toward the bottom i was near tears. not from the pain of landing on my face. or from the pain of rolling over my poles. not from the pain of toppling over my host. (although partially from the guilt of running into him when he already had bruised ribs).

mostly just from frustration that i couldn’t get it. ready to head down and sulk my hosts refused to let me. instead she hauled me back up the lift – we talked about what was going wrong with my wedge and sent me back down again.

the second time was less face time. my wedge looked and felt better and as a result i had less snow stuffed down the neck of my shirt and down my pants. less…not none mind you.

about that time i headed back up for my lesson. one of the weaker skiers, i joined a group of two and we made our way down the same slope. this time it was much slower going (knowing how to wedge – or brake – helps that) but i did almost the whole thing standing up.

never mind the whiteout conditions…we couldn’t see anything but each other…with the horizon blending into the snow seamlessly the feeling is dizzying. but we managed.

i had a few other adventures but i’ll share those later.


1 Comment on white stuff

  1. T.Marie says:

    Your first skiing experience makes a great metaphor for life…trying something new, falling, knowing a few others down, getting back up, having friends help you up, and small achievements. Beautiful. đŸ™‚

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