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