JD and I had had our skiing adventure today. I wasn't excited about it. I wanted to stay home and watch movies all day while he skied, but JD wouldn't let me get away with that. Truthfully, I also knew that if I skipped it, I would regret not even trying it. So off we went. In a lot of ways, it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
1. Skiing is a lot of work: I mean, when you watch someone ski, it looks so effortless to just glide down the slopes. While it's true that gravity does a lot of the work, there's nothing natural about moving around with skiis attached to your feet. Moving around on flat ground requires a lot of effort (especially at the very beginning when I wasn't even using poles yet), and trying to get up after falling is ridiculously awkward (imagine laying down on the ground and trying to get up without being able to bend your legs enough to have your feet flat on the ground- you basically have to wedge the edge of your ski into the snow). But what surprised me the most was that the boots (even without the skiis) were outrageously heavy. Imagine the feeling of walking in very stiff ice skates. Then imagine super gluing a brick to the bottom of the skates.... And trying to walk on snow. I have a feeling my ankles and knees will be on fire tomorrow morning.
2. You will fall, but mostly on purpose: I was able to maintain balance pretty well, even for a newbie. Every time I fell, it was because I had started to go too fast for my comfort level, panicked, and fell backwards to stop myself.
3. Skiing is very cold: Should be a no-brainer, I know, but you'd think being all bundled up and moving around would keep you nice and toasty. Not so much for me. My hands got pretty cold and that's ultimately what did me in. By mid afternoon, my fingers were starting to go numb, and I finally went into the lodge when I couldn't take it anymore.
4: JD can be a good teacher: Maybe it was my previous blog post that whipped him into shape or maybe I just learned faster this time (he did say I picked it up quickly), but I'm satisfied with my first ski experience and he seems impressed as well. We got through the day without fighting (including a near miss when he made it seem like we could do the slope I wanted using a different lift, but I was forced to do a more difficult slope I wasn't quite ready for).
All in all, I enjoyed my first ski experience and would do it again.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
This week, JD and I will be making the trip up to Michigan to visit his family. They used to live in NC, but moved back to Michigan (where JD grew up) 2 summers ago because his dad got a new job. They’ve visited us twice since the move (last year for the holidays and over the summer for his academy graduation), but we haven’t had a chance to visit them yet, so it’s a long overdue trip.
While there, JD has big plans to take me skiing. He used to go all the time growing up, but I’ve never been. Honestly, my interest in skiing is more along the lines of sitting in the ski lodge by the fire sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow…. Not so much flying down a mountain at dangerous speeds, but I don’t think JD will let me get away with that.
Not only does skiing not interest me, but I’m nervous about JD trying to teach me to ski. We don’t work well together. At all. I love him very much; he’s a great husband and everything, but we have very different working styles (I’m work then play; he’s play, play some more, then maybe work) and very different learning styles (I take things slow and master things one step at a time; he throws himself in head first, sometimes quite literally). If we try to work together on a house project or he tries to teach me something new, we inevitably fight. He thinks I’m a slave driver; I think he expects too much, too fast.
For this reason, I can already picture the disaster that will be skiing. I will go out reluctantly with him, because it’s something he loves and wants to share with me. He will assume that I’ll master it quickly and be ready for the most difficult slope by the end of the morning. Instead, I will grow increasingly frustrated when I’m unable to remain standing up on my skiis, and he will grow increasingly frustrated, assuming that it’s my mental state and not my physical ability that’s holding me (and himself) back from a blissful day of gliding down the slopes.
I hope the day is more fun than I’m envisioning. Mostly, I hope no one ends up in the ER.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This morning, something amazing happened. The kind of thing you hear about, but never actually happens to you. I was craving a tasty coffee to chase away the cold morning and pulled into Starbucks for a café mocha. I waited in the drive thru- minding my own business and having a conversation with Siri. When it was my turn, I pulled up to the window and tried to hand the cashier my card. He waved me off, and said the man in front of me had paid for mine. I glanced over at the minivan pulling out of the parking lot, then turned back to the cashier and felt my face switch from complete surprise to pure joy. “Really?” I grinned. “Yep,” he smiled back. The coffee tasted even better since I knew it was free. I was already in a good mood this morning, but that just made the day even brighter.
It’s amazing what a small, simple act of kindness can do. It only cost that man $5, but I’ve been gushing about it all day, and plan to pay it forward (more than once!) and hope that those people are inspired to pay it forward as well. There are a lot of things to complain about in this world, but there’s a lot of good too. Hopefully, we all remember to let our good out once in a while.