The First Time I Went Skiing

I was a junior in high school. I was just starting to break free of the horribly shy person that I had been most of my life, and had taken up flirting with one of the guys, Phil, in my Chemistry class. Phil also happened to be a ski instructor at Swiss Valley, a make-shift ski “hill” in Michigan. (It was by no stretch a resort, or a mountain, but it was close to South Bend, which really was the only requirement for most of us.)

One afternoon, after discussing his ski instructing, Phil told me about the ski club that our school had, and he made it sound like paradise. Friday evenings far away from parents, skiing. It sounded fantastic to me. With his promise to teach me to ski, I joined the club, bought a crazy amount of ski stuff (spending most of my savings at the time) and headed out to ski.

I practiced a bit on a small hill (although avid skiers would argue that the whole facility was a small hill) and once I felt comfortable enough, I headed up the chair lift to the top of one of the hills. On my first run I hit the side of a mogul and landed on my left wrist. I waited around for Phil, but he was nowhere to be seen. Laura, one of my friends, stopped by and tried to get me to continue down the hill. I however, would have no part of it. I took off my skis, tucked them under my right arm along with my poles, and I walked down the rest of the way. I am quite certain I looked as ridiculous as I felt, but there was no way I was getting back on those damn skis.

I decided to stop by the clinic at the lodge and have them look at my hand and wrist. It was getting kind of numb and I couldn’t move my fingers. I was told best case, my thumb was broken, worst case – it was my wrist. And although that seemed worse that I had anticipated, I was not at all surprised. It hurt like crazy.

My mom was a nurse at the time, and was working the night shift at the hospital. Phil had to take me to the hospital and hand me over to mom, broken. He did not seem very thrilled with this. And, I am quite certain that right there nixed any chance of scoring a real date with him.

I ended up in a cast for the rest of the winter, but because I had paid so much money for the ski clothes and equipment, I still went every Friday. With a broken arm. Because I am nothing if not cool.

We are off to Breckenridge to ski for the rest of the week. Here is to hoping I don't break my arm...