I decided 2013 would be the year to step outside my comfort zone – to do things that make me a little nervous, like volunteering in the church nursery.
This seemed better than my yearly resolution to lose weight, which, frankly, is tiresome.
So when the family proposed a January trip to Snowshoe during my 9-year-old son’s track-out, I was all for it. I’d skied before in my 20s, so technically the trip wasn’t completely new, but it was a far cry from our regular Florida vacations.
“Plus,” I told my husband, Jerry, “this will be a real calorie torcher.”
Who knew? Maybe I would take care of two New Year’s resolutions.
“Skiing is not going to burn as many calories as you think,” he responded.
Since this is a family newspaper and no curse words are allowed, let me just say: My behind.
There cannot be anything that burns more calories than skiing.
First, there are several layers of clothing to put on indoors, after which you must make haste to an exit before you sweat in all of those layers, thus rendering them ineffective as you freeze outside in soggy clothes.
While renting the equipment, I broke out in a sweat just trying on boots.
This was all before 9 a.m. Can I just add the gear weighs at least 30 pounds and sticks out in all kinds of directions?
Here’s a tip: Enjoy that bench in the rental office, because you won’t be sitting down again for a while – unless you’re hurtling down the mountain on your keister.
There are no benches at ski resorts.
We dropped the kid off at ski school and took off down the mountain on a so-called “easy” green slope.
My behind. I basically snow-plowed and white-knuckled my way down, terrified.
I didn’t remember being so afraid the last time I skied.
At one point, I got a little too close to the edge and went down a small embankment into the woods. I was flat on my back with both skis sticking straight up out of the snow.
In the distance I could hear a kid crying that he couldn’t get up. I could relate.
It was tempting to stay that way; it was peaceful, and all the pine trees looked so pretty against the blue sky. But Jerry was waiting for me at the bottom, so I began the long and arduous process of getting the skis off, then getting on all fours, rising to a standing position and finagling the equipment so I had a ski and a pole in each hand.
The hard work was yet to come. Using the ski/pole combination as hiking sticks for leverage, I slowly made my way up the embankment – sweating profusely, grunting and breathing heavily.
How could this not be a calorie torcher? Surely I was a skeleton underneath these layers.
At the top, I clicked into my skies and made it the rest of the way down, where Jerry waited, impatient and exasperated. I told him what happened and was met with laughter, which didn’t do anything for my sour mood.
“You need a ski lesson,” he said, as we got on the lift together. The lift was my favorite part – the bench I’d been looking for.
But at the top, Jerry hopped off and I was still on.
The operator stopped the lift and extracted me, and all the cool kids looked at me like I was a loser.
If it hadn’t been so foggy that first day and I could have seen how steep those West Virginia slopes were, even the easy ones, I never would have gone down that mountain. But by the third day, I was kind of starting to enjoy myself.
I was still scared when I went down the mountain, but I also had a certain sense of accomplishment and exhilaration when I reached the bottom – enough to keep trying anyway.
It was a love/hate thing. I was feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
The church nursery is next.