The Black Diamond

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The story you're about to hear is a tale of perseverance. It's about determination and overcoming obstacles. It's about facing your fears and forgetting about the demons from your past. It's about yesterday, when Chris led me down a black diamond during blizzard like conditions.


For those of you who don't know, a mountain is ranked by difficulty- a green circle means easy, a blue square means a little bit more difficult, and a black diamond means what in the hell are you doing turn back NOW! Just to give you some background knowledge, Chris comes from a family of skiers. They've been coming to Steamboat since he was a baby, he skied his first black at age six months while riding on his mother's back. That's not even joke. So he doesn't quite understand what it means to "not get" skiing.

My family took ski trips when I was younger, but we were never hard core skiers by any means. We usually had more fun building forts in the cabin with our crazy cousins and running from the hot tub to jumping in the snow like a bunch of idiots. I can only assume we were the unconventional hooligans on the mountain Chris's family probably despised.


This was only my second time skiing with Chris's family and I felt like I had something to prove. The last time didn't exactly go over so well. For starters I fell off the chair lift when it was time to get off on our very first run. I got all nervous and forgot to "put my tips up" and somehow my ski got caught in the bar and the next thing I know I was army crawling off the lift trying not to get hit by the next chair that was swinging by. All the while Chris and his parents stood close by looking at me like what in the hell is this girl doing? 

"I'm just making sure the rotator cuff is working on the bottom of my boot sole shoe thinger..." I mumbled as I crawled toward their feet with shame filling my face.

It didn't improve from there. I may have led on to the fact I was a good skier so they proceeded to take me down blues and blacks right off the bat. They zoomed down the hill while I tried to slip into a ski school of five-year-olds and just follow their cue. The day ended with me crying at the top of a very steep black diamond screaming "Just let me go off on my own down a green! I'm not as good as you guys! I just want a sled! I can't handle this. I need a drink. "

And then I wasn't invited back for about five years... Thus I bring you to today. I had something to prove.

I did okay yesterday morning. I didn't cry, I didn't fall off the lift, and I was able to keep up for the most part. Chris even said he was just proud of me for not throwing a fit at the top of the mountain. But I still hadn't impressed him yet and that was my goal. Around 3:00 p.m. yesterday it started to snow a lot. We took one last ride up the mountain and by the time we got to the top the wind was blowing and the snow was falling hard, the visibility was getting worse by the second.  Our chances for survival were getting slim.

Even though my legs were sore and I was getting very dehydrated (I hadn't had a beer in nearly two hours) I knew I had to push on. We had two options to get down the mountain at this point, a green run or a black diamond. Chris asked me what I wanted to do. I looked down the black and knew it was probably a life or death run for me (at least that's what I told myself.) And then I heard Tina Fey's voice in my head say,


And yes, I often hear Tina's voice in my head when I'm not sure what to do. I looked at Chris and said, let's do it. As I sped down the mountain, conquering my fears with each pole plant, I could hear the Eye of the Tiger playing. Or perhaps I was just singing it, I'm not really sure.

Chris captured the moment below, it doesn't look as blizzardy or as steep as I portrayed it, but I swear it was. Just look at the top, that's practically an Olympic sized run. It was really dangerous, trust me. And I skied it so well I wouldn't be surprised if someone tries to recruit me to be on their ski team or something. I passed a group of really fast girls and left them in my dust, that peewee ski school didn't even see me coming.


And then I was rewarded with a Blue Moon at the bottom.



In the end we were all champions. Harlow included. Can you see him trying to eat the falling snow?


The snow continued to fall and it was an all around great night.



It's been a great trip. It might be kind of hard to return to the city.

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29 comments:

  1. Yay for being brave and going down the black diamond! I've been skiing since I was seven and still refuse to go down those trails. My boyfriend made me do one at Killington years ago and I cried the whole way down. It was a sheet of ice, the tears were reasonable. I really love that Tina Fey quote, I wish I heard more of her in my head when I don't know what to do. Instead I get "I want to go to there", then I say it out loud and people look at me like I'm either crazy or having a stroke.

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  2. My boyfriend Eric really, REALLY WANTS to take me skiing. I never have skied and have no interest, though he swears I'll have THE BESTTIMEEVER and everyone I know has been going skiing or snowboarding this winter. This MAY help me get over my fear of dying. I really think I shld wear a helmet.

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  3. Omg, this is a very similar story to what happened to me the first time I went skiing with my boyfriend and his friends. I wiped out and I think people refer to it as a "yard sale" where my poles, skiis, and hat were all strewn across the hill behind me as I tumbled and somersaulted down until I skidded to a stop. I actually saw stars, and I think that means I had a concussion.

    We went skiing in January for his 30th birthday, and I was so afraid but I persevered and didn't get a concussion this time.

    Way to go girl. You're a survivor :)

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  4. So proud of my black diamond babe! Looking good!

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  5. Black Diamonds and Blue moons, way to go lady! You'll be a pro in no time. Also maybe some content for your next stand-up?

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  6. Thats awesome that you got out there and conquered it! I am in the same position you are in, my boyfriends family basically grew up skiing and I come from the family that liked to party in the lodge. Hoping I survive my trip as well!

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  7. Awww, that picture of you two at the end is SO cute! Love the new hair!! And proud of you for making it down the black diamond! Enjoy your time away :)

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  8. How in the world did you do it! I was afraid to get myself off the bunny mountain and felt I was going fast enough on my little hill! Although I've only gone skiing once, I don't think I could ever!

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  9. I am impressed! I am a born and bred Colorado girl and I still refuse to go down any blacks. I tried it once and ate it big time so now I stick to blues and greens when we go. And if it makes you feel better, I just fell off the chair lift last weekend when I didn't ski away fast enough and the chair came back around to swing into my back. I still don't get why skiing in considered fun.

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  10. Good far you! My family and I used to ski a lot, but I was never too intense about it. Usually, my dad would have to sit with me because I would get too cold and needed hot chocolate, and meanwhile my brothers always went off on their own to risk their lives on the black diamonds. And don't feel bad, even after skiing for five years I STILL got overly anxious every time I got on and off a ski lift.

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  11. Look at you go! You have way more guts than I do... after I bit the dust going down a blue square and not just one but both of my skis flying off I doubt I'll ever brave a black diamond :-P

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and keep making me jealous with your blue moons and bloody marys as I'm stuck at work...

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  12. Is it just me or was it actually Tay #22 writing this post?

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  13. Go girl! Take that water slide...err...black diamond ;) Xx.

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  14. The first and last time I went skiing, my friends took me up to a black for the first run (they were pros apparently) and I panicked and rode the gondola back down the mountain instead of skiing down what i just knew was a death trap. Only the damn gondola thingy took me down THE WRONG SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN and I ended up in Breckenridge instead of Vail. I was utterly lost and alone. Some people from the group I was with found me crying by a payphone. I spent the rest of the trip on the bunny slopes kicking it with 2nd graders. Like I said, my first and LAST skiing experience.

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  15. Whoow well done! :D You look like a pro (;

    xo Noor
    clothesanddreams.blogspot.com

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  16. Great job! I've never been down a Black Diamond, however I did do a DOUBLE Black Diamond. Took out ski patrol and the whole bit. Glad you had more luck than me ;)

    Katelyn
    http://realhousewifeofgreenville.blogspot.com/

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  17. I feel your pain girlfriend. Everyone snowboards these days (or maybe just in Cali) but skiing is tough but rewarding once you get it. I once took a nosedive at the top of a mountain popping off both of my skis and getting snow up my jacket and down my pants. Real pro.
    Btw, really cute picture of you and the BF at the end. Sheesh.

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  18. The one and only time I went skiing I ran into a tree to stop myself. That's how good I was!

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  19. Yah! You did it! It's really cute that Chris managed to snap a picture of you being all brave and conquering that MONSTER of a hill.. more like a cliff, really. ;)

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  20. That hill does look terrifying! At least he rewarded you well at the bottom :)

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  21. i would not be able to do it. no way. i'm just too much of a scaredy cat. blue moon was well deserved!

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  22. OMG the first time I went skiing I thought the poles could be used to help you stop. SO as I put the poles in the ground at the end of a blue hill the rubber handle smacked me in my right eye, thus making me topple down the rest of the hill. I got a black eye and my eyelashes fell off in a CHUNK. Thank goodness they grew back but I couldn't wear mascara an di looked so weird. Therefore I do not ski anymore. But KUDOS for you, sounds like you did great girl!

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  23. Taylor I'm dying laughing... Trying not to let on that I'm reading blogs while at work & reading this post ARE NOT EASY! You crack me up!! But YAAAAY for you for going down the black!! That's more than I think I'll ever do! HAHA! & I believe Matt said something similar to me the second year we went skiing together... he was just proud of me for making it up the mountain & not throwing a fit! HA! Hope you have a great rest of the time your there!!

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  24. Here goes nothin. Okay, I'm one of those weirdos who reads blogs but doesn't keep a blog of her own - unless you count my nightstand diary a blog. I know you "real bloggers" don't usually think we exist but we truly do. Just wanted you to know that I laugh out loud at you (seriously - it's not one of those times where I just say LOL to a text because I don't know what else to say). Anyways - I've had a few blue moons plus a reds apple ale to encourage me to comment....jesus, I need alcohol to comment, what is this...match.com?

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    Replies
    1. Haha I love the non-blogger comment the best :) Especially the alcohol induced ones.

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  25. Wow. Very impressive. I can safely say I will never ski a black diamond since I went and tore up my ACL on a green 2 years ago. But I will head back to my little green hills. And did he really, seriously do a black diamond on his mom's back at six months? That is just so bad ass.

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