“I don’t usually look over the edge because it scares THE JUICE outta me!” – My Son, this past week-end in Vail, Colorado.
Yeah. What HE said. And as I ponder his statement, I realize two things: 1) I don’t windburn “cute” and 2) I HATE SKIING! Thanks fer nothin’, Vail*.
Now – I realize them’s fightin werds – especially here in the Rocky Mountain State. But I can no longer live a lie. Not after this week-end’s ski trip to Vail. Because Vail, with its clusterbomb of Green Circle ski runs, made up my mind about something I’d been on-the-border of detesting anyway.
This loathing goes beyond the usual annoyances of frozen fingers, cramped calf muscles and hobbled dashes to the bathroom wearing skiboots and snowpants. It even goes beyond the twenty HOURS of prep work for every ten MINUTES of time spent on the mountain actually skiing. Although that IS the worst ratio on the planet, no?
My total abhorrence results from the whole process of just trying to GET to the skiing. Because Vail has conveniently placed its slow boat Green Circle ski runs in a “bowl” at the TOP of the mountain. Brilliant!
I mean, other than having a sick sense of humor, why would Vail Mountain Authorities make the least proficient skiers in the world (me!) take SEVERAL chair lifts just to get TO the skiing?? All while making these same poor saps (me!) cross death-defying Blue Square ski trails in the process?! (WARNING: You are now crossing a really steep, bowel-loosening, mogul ski trail. Look UP before crossing! Or the REAL skiers on this trail will totally TAKE YOU OUT! Ski faster, Varmint! I wanna see yew ski!!! ping, ping).
After all that drama? You’re still not there yet. You still have to go down, down, down something called the “Game Trail” to get into the mythical bowl for Dumb-Dumb Skiers. THAT IS TOTAL B.S.!!! I will frickin’ CUT YOU if I ever get ahold of you, Vail Mountain Authorities.
This Game Trail is a true gauntlet in every sense of the word. Iroquois are on one side, beating you bloody with war clubs. But that’s not the worst part. On the OTHER side of the Game Trail is a total plummet-to-your-death-just-waiting-to-happen. There is absolutely NOTHING between you and the Other Side of the Mountain. Not even that measly Police Line Do Not Cross tape. They may as well post a huge sign written-in-blood at the beginning of the Game Trail: ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE! ‘Cause you just KNOW that come Spring Thaw, down at the bottom of that death-drop, they find all the Green Circle skiers who went missing. They’ve been turned into a bunch of skeletons, clackin’ their teeth and clutching gold doubloons in their bony hands.
And while I’m contemplating what my teeth would look like devoid of…MY FACE!…the panic that’s been lurking ROARS! into life. And that “juice” referenced in the quote at the beginning of the blog? It gets scared right out of me. Juice Squirters activated and fully engaged, Captain! I’m squirting juice EVERYWHERE and trailing huge PLUMES of it behind me as I head into the gauntlet. Hey! Does anyone else have those black dots dancing in front of their eyes? No?? How about breathing?!? Is anyone else finding it hard to breathe??? ‘Cause my heart is in my throat, beating double-time against my balaclava and I think it’s cutting off my air-supply!!
Oh! And by the way…where’s the fresh pow-pow everyone’s raving about?? Because it sure as SH** ain’t here! Because HERE? On the Game Trail?? There’s nothing but crusty ICE, ya mo-fos! This SUCKS! This SUCKS the most SUCKINESS from SUCK TOWN that has ever SUCKED!!!!! SUCK times SUCK equals SUCK SQUARED! Screw SUCK SQUARED!! It’s SUCK TIMES INFINITY…PLUS ONE!
When I finally shoot out the end of the Game Trail and enter the bowl, I’m greeted by a zero-visibility blizzard. Awww…mystery solved. HERE’S the fresh pow-pow! IN YO’ FACE!!
In this fun little play called SKIING SUCKS AND I HATE IT! the lead actress knows that – unless she’s willing to live the rest of her life there in that bowl (she considered it, she really, really considered it; but then discarded the notion) – she needs to catch one more lift to the top. And SKI out. Ha ha ha! That is sooo flippin’ funny I almost forgot to laugh. And that part about FINALLY getting to ski…but not wanting to anymore?!? What a GAS! If that’s not a cosmic kick in the snowpants, I don’t know what is.
So, in what I’ve come to think of as my LEAST proud motherhood moment, I adopt an “every man for himself” attitude and completely ignore the fallen bodies of my children, as first one, then the other, bite dust behind me. I leave them there good luck and God bless, you’re my greatest triumph! as I head for that final lift, barely hanging on to my sanity.
I am a terrible mother. Just awful. But I did wait for them to join me (in all their bawling, snot-nosed glory) before boarding the final chopper out of Saigon. So there is that.
When we finally disembark, we’re at the top of the Eagle’s Nest Green Circle ski run. It seems like it’s taken our entire lives to get there. We’re all exhausted. And in about one more second, we will become separated again because Terrible Mother has caused the earth to turn on its axis, thereby triggering Marine OPPOSITE Day where EVERY man will be left behind. So I instruct the kids to remember: no matter what happens, follow EAGLE’S NEST GREEN CIRCLE!
And in some bizarre rallying cry, I then shout my long-ago birthing mantra at them. “There’s no way out but THROUGH!” I hope it’s helping them. ‘Cause it’s not really helping ME, that’s for d^^m sure! But again, for good measure, “THERE’S NO WAY OUT BUT THROUGH!” hee-hee, hoo-hoo, hee-hee, hoo-hoo [Yes. That was Lamaze breathing. Why? Did you think that was insane laughter?? ‘Cause it wasn’t. Don’t be a hater just because YOU’RE not into that new age crap intended to stave off panic and pain.]
Then I switch my Juice Phasers from “Stun” to “OVERLOAD!”
And take off down the mountain.
Yep. Hate skiing. Thanks, Vail*.
*Now don’t get me wrong: Vail is an incredibly beautiful place. It’s loaded with gorgeous Alpine architecture. The locals are incredibly friendly AND they love dogs, specifically our dog (ding, ding, ding, bonus points!). Admittedly, the town is a bit top-heavy with fur stores. And artisan jewelry shops. But they just got theirselves an UGG store. So that breaks up the monotony a bit. In summation, Vail is a really lovely town peopled with lovely people and stored with lovely stores. But some A$$HOLE designed their Green Circle ski runs. So peace out! Thank you and goodnight!!