Paul Hopper (paulhopper) wrote,
Paul Hopper

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the Paul Hopper school of skiing

Well, I'm back from the ski trip with Dan, Kerene, and Markita. Been back for a week already and I'm just now getting around to posting here about it. I learned that it's not as easy as I thought it would be to take pictures while skiing. Still, I got a few and will post them whenever I get around to getting them developed. That said...

When I was little and my parents took us skiing, I was taught how to fall. And that falling was better than, say, going too fast and running into another skier. Or tree. So that was what I went into this ski trip with and I expected to fall down pretty much whenever I wanted to stop. Apparently, my friends didn't like the idea of falling down so much. (Maybe it wasn't the idea so much as the experience?) So we took lessons. We didn't fall so much after that. :-) And although they will never let me forget that I advised them to just fall, we all had a great time.

Now, I'm used to the bunny hill being at the bottom of a much larger hill. Makes sense, right? That way, beginners can start off at the bottom, get comfortable, then move up. But at this place... well... the bunny hill was at the top. Then there was a little leveling off, but to either side of the hill, you could continue down a much longer slope. (It was still considered a beginner slope, but it was nothing like the bunny hill.) So, the first time down, I'm heading down and I get to the bottom and I fall, like any reasonable idiot on skis would do. :-) Markita, however, just kept on going. Why can't people just learn to fall when they're supposed to? *sigh*

I believe when we got there the weather report said there'd be a high of -3° and a low of... was -20-something° or -30-something°? *shrugs shoulders* It was cold! (Actually, it didn't feel nearly as bad as you would think. I didn't think it was all that bad at all.)

By the middle of that first day on the slopes, Kerene was feeling pretty uneasy and she didn't really care for all the falling down. I guess the others hadn't mastered the art of falling down, yet, and they actually hurt themselves when they fell. Amateurs! Markita was still into skiing, but she really wanted to take the skiing lessons. I didn't know how much they would cost and, being perfectly fine with my method of falling down and having no desire to become a profession skier or anything, I was more reluctant than they were. But Markita pushed me and we both pushed Kerene and the three of us took skiing lessons from Jeff. And they made a world of difference! After that, we all fell a lot less. (I only fell once. And that was because Markita had fallen and I wanted to make sure she was okay and help her up and all that, but was going too fast to come to a stop more gracefully.)

The chairlift was, for me, quite frightening. I mean, there's an open chair. And you. High up. With no bar or seat belt or anything to keep you from going forward and falling out of the chair. I was fine when I rode by myself because I would simply place my arms across the back of the chair and think nothing of it. But one time... Markita and I rode the same chair up. I had less to hold on to and, although I hadn't even thought of it before, I was suddenly very aware of just how high up I was and how little there was keeping me from falling. My stomach felt a little quesy and I took deep breaths. I was terrified. After that, I always rode the chairlift alone. Funny how that works, isn't it? I don't think I'd have a problem sky diving, but riding a chairlift can freak me out. Hmm.

By the end of the second day of skiing, Dan had gotten much better on the snowboard and looked like he was having a blast while the rest of us were doing pretty good with the skis. And I loved how we would all head down the slope at the same time and ski right over to the chairlift area together. Made me feel like we really knew what we were doing. :-) We'd gone down all the beginner slopes and nearly all the intermediate slopes. Sorry, but the advanced slopes made me think of death. And, while I'm not afraid to die, I don't exactly feel the need to rush it along right now. :-)

We got back at a decent time, dropped off Markita, who was more than anxious to get back to her husband and twins, picked up Dan and Kerene's son, then went back to Ann Arbor. Dan went with me to drop off the SUV we rented for the trip and then I went home and crashed. It was a great trip and well worth missing a couple days of class, three days of work, and the money it cost to go. Like I told them, I've never spent so much money on an intangible item and felt so good about it afterwards. We'll definitely be doing more stuff like this in the future!
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