Thursday, July 26, 2012

squaw valley: epic fail

back in March, I went to San Francisco to see my best friend Jenn. This time though, we were going to drive up to Lake Tahoe where she and her husband have a home overlooking the Lake. Jenn and Ed are quite the snowboarders, and since I hate snowboarders, I knew this could get innneresting. Little did I know just how inneresting it was going to be.

let me preface this with a few fun factoids:
1. i grew up skiing
2. in seventh grade, i had a skiing accident. it involved 3 big fat men, a bunny slope, a giant red "SLOW" sign with too much space underneath it,  my head colliding with the three big fat men, and a hospital. Sometimes, my head still gets a sharp pain where it collided with the big fat men.
3. i had a panic attack in high school atop a black that involved me screaming, me not being able to move, and the ski patrol sled.
4. it seems that as long as i stay on the greens and blues, i can successfully avoid the ski patrol and panic attacks.

So, off we go to Squaw Valley for day one of some fun in the sun. We drive up and the first thing I notice is the giant "Home of the 1960 Olypmics" sign. Uhh, scuse? The Olympics were here? It was at this moment I knew - deep down in my gut - that this was not a good idea. We suit up and walk to the gondola line. Here I am, the stupid east coaster, thinking it would be a normal ski lift. Wrong. It was a giant globe with about 100 people stuffed inside. The best part is that you can see all around you, which for a normal person, this would be really breathtaking to see all that beautiful scenery as you go up and up. Except, the further up we went, the worse I felt. The bigger my gut got and pretty soon I knew I was going to throw up. Everyone was SO chatty on that stupid gondola and all I wanted to do was get the hell off. I wasn't just born yesterday. I knew the higher up the mountain we went, the harder it was going to be for me to get down. Now, it's important to note that my entire ski party was aware of my skiing history. Yet here we were at the top of the teal line:

We got off the gondola and my shit immediately hit the fan. I froze. My heart started palpitating. I started sweating. My eyes started crying. Before I knew it, Jenn and I had sent Ed on his way and we were sitting on the slope. Jenn was being very motivational but I wasn't having it. She finally offered me a xanax and a ride down on her snowboard. I would be lying if I said riding down on her back on her snowboard didn't cross my mind but in the end, I decided to be a man about it. After the xany kicked in, I sent Jenn off and said I'd meet them at the bottom. She reminded me that I should just go for it, because my solution of walking down was going to take forever. "I got this" I told her as she glided off into the distance. As soon as she was out of eye shot, I took off my skis and began my mighty trek down the mountain.

About ten minutes into my sweaty, shaky, very prayerful pilgrimage, I received an answer to prayer when I spotted several ski patrolmen - with a sled! - about 50 feet away. Since I have no shame, and I really just wanted off that God forsaken mountain, I walked myself to their station and politely asked for a ride down to the bottom. You know how when you feel clausterphobic in an elevator? That's how I felt. Except I wasn't surrounded by walls and smelly people. I just needed to be done. After determining that I was not hurt, and was just in fact just a giant wimp, they began strapping me in to the ski sled. And much like I had said to Jenn just a few minutes before, I told them: "I got this." And off we sledded into the distance. I will say Squaw Valley is quite breathtaking on the back of a sled. They dumped me out at the bottom and I was home free. Immediately upon dumping, I stopped sweating, stopped shaking and realized I was going to live.

So I found myself a seat at the bonfire and waited for the troops to arrive. And I called my mother and told her I would be putting my skis and all of my ski gear up for sale on ebay.

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